Magnificat: Music in Celebration of International Women's Day

Magnificat: Music in Celebration of International Women's Day
Sunday, Mar 17, 2019
2:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Jonathan Griffith, DCINY Artistic Director and Principal Conductor
Rutter: Magnificat
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Nancy Menk, Guest Conductor
Magnificat - Music for Women's Voices
Brahms: Ave Maria
M. Haydn:  Magnificat (Magnify the Lord)
Vaughan Williams: Magnificat
Larsen: Canticle of Mary
Gjeilo: Gloria
Moore: Always Keep This Close 
 
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Claire Leyden, Soprano
Lindsey Anderson, Mezzo-Soprano
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Pope John Paul II High School Singers
Medina Community Choir
Victor Valley College Singers and Master Arts Chorale
Christ Church Choir
Trinity Choir
The Star Chorale
Capital Harmonia
Les Ms.
Mountain Melody Women's Chorus
Saint Mary's College Women's Choir
Colorado Women's Chorale
Nazareth Academy Chorale
Wabash Community Women's Choir

Pope John Paul II High School Singers

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Mike O'Neill
Mike is in his 5th year at JPII after having previously taught high school choir in Texas and Florida. Mike graduated with a Bachelors of Music Education degree from the University of Florida and a Masters in Music in Choral Conducting from the University of North Texas. Before getting back into the classroom at JPII, Mike was a music educator for the Barbershop Harmony Society, headquartered in Nashville, TN, serving the non-profit organization for eight years in various roles. Mike and his family, wife of 18 years and three daughters, reside in Hendersonville, TN., a small suburb outside of Nashville.

The JPII Singers represent three different choirs at Pope John Paul II High School, made up of 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders. The Concert Choir is JPII's intermediate traditional choir, the Chamber Choir is JPII's advanced traditional choir, and Voices uKnighted is JPII's contemporary a cappella ensemble.

Medina Community Choir

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Hannah Brear
Hannah sang as soprano soloist in Notre-Dame and Sacré-Coeur, Paris and at 20, sang for the Pope at the Vatican. She was Principal Voice Coach for the Choir of the Conservatoire of Music, Perpignan and moved back to London in 1999. She formed the Medina Community Choir in 2006 with only 6 members and this has since grown to 130 singers. She has performed with and arranged works for Lesley Garrett, The Royal Band of HM Royal Marines, Russell Watson and Fat Boy Slim. In 2012, Hannah ran with the Olympic Torch for services to musical education in the community.

Medina Community Choir was founded in 2006 by Hannah Brear at Medina College on the Isle of Wight, UK, so that parents of students at the school could perform alongside their children. In the Choir there are teachers, doctors, students, bar tenders and builders; all ages and abilities are welcome without audition. The Choir's biggest audiences have been at National Music Festivals where they have backed artists like FatBoy Slim and Melanie Safka in front of over 60,000. MCC recently performed in the UK Touring production of "Godspell" and tours France's cathedrals every two years with its award-winning Gospel repertoire.

Victor Valley College Singers and Master Arts Chorale

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Karen Miskell
Dr. Karen Miskell is the Director of Choral and Vocal Music at Victor Valley College in Victorville, California. Prior to earning her DMA in Choral Music from the University of Southern California (conferred May 2018), Dr. Miskell received a MM in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University (2013) and a BM in Music Education from the University of Miami (2005). In between her BM and MM degrees, Dr. Miskell taught secondary choral music in the public schools of Las Vegas, Nevada (2005-2011). Dr. Miskell actively serves as a choral clinician, adjudicator, and educator.

Members of the Victor Valley College Singers and Master Arts Chorale have a long history of excellent choral music performances. Both groups actively perform on campus with the VVC Orchestras, performing a wide range of genres and styles.

Christ Church Choir

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Lorna Barker

Dr. Lorna Barker is a concert pianist in the Charleston area. She holds a BM from Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, a MM from Syracuse University and a DMA from the University of South Carolina, all in piano performance. She is an active accompanist, vocal coach and piano instructor for the College of Charleston. She is also the Music Director at Christ Church, a position she has enjoyed for the past twenty-seven years. She is the Executive Director of the East Cooper Concert Series. Her choir performs regularly in the Charleston area and is known for its energy and versatility.


The Choir at Christ Church has been an inspiration to congregants for many years. Besides leading Sunday worship with their musical gifts, they are active in other ministries at Christ Church and in their community. They have recorded two CDs and have performed for Piccolo Spoleto as well as at the Biltmore Estate during the December candlelight tours. They also perform in the community several times a year as well as perform classical and sacred concerts regularly at Christ Church.

Trinity Choir

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Ron Valentino
Ron Valentino is the Music Director at Trinity Church in Menlo Park, California, a Teaching Artist for the San Francisco Opera Guild's Education Programs and also coordinates English titles for the San Francisco Symphony's vocal programs. Ron has performed with many of today's best-known classical artists including Ruth Ann Swenson, Nathan Gunn and Deborah Voigt. In addition to concert work Ron has been on the music staff of the San Francisco Opera and Opera Center, Los Angeles Opera and the New National Theatre Tokyo. Ron has also performed with the San Francisco Symphony, California Symphony and the Sacramento Symphony. Additional credits include the American Conservatory Theatre and the record breaking San Francisco production of Phantom of the Opera. A resident of San Francisco, Ron enjoys traveling and hiking.

The Trinity Choir supports the worship of the Trinity Menlo Park community through the spiritual offering of vocal music. We are blessed with outstanding volunteers who generously share their time and talent.

The Star Chorale

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Jayne Turner
Jayne Turner Jayne was recently appointed to the role of Music Director with the Star Chorale and has vast experience of performance with ensembles, choirs and orchestras over almost 40 years. She is particularly experienced in choral conducting having been the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Choral Institute of Melbourne (CHIME) for around 20 years. During this time, CHIME performed Australian premieres of works by Karl Jenkins and Ola Gjeilo and performed on stage with Andrea Bocelli and the Czech National Orchestra. Jayne has also held the position of Music Director at some secondary schools in Melbourne and taught music for many years.

The Star Chorale The Star Chorale was founded in 2000 and is a Melbourne-based community choir dedicated to continuing and enhancing a tradition of excellence in the performance of choral music. It was established by its exceptional founder and leader, Jane Elton Brown OAM, whose passion and ethos shaped the choir it is today. Her drive for excellence, profound musical knowledge and attention to detail created The Star Chorale's reputation as one of Melbourne's leading choirs.

Capital Harmonia

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Mary Ann East
Mary Ann East (BME, Indiana University; MM, George Mason University) has taught every level of music for Fairfax County Public Schools. Mrs. East is currently the Music Director at Community of Faith UMC in Herndon, adjunct professor at George Mason University, and owner of Monarch Music, offering private instruction. Mrs. East has also adjudicated and guest conducted throughout the state of Virginia. In 2013 she founded Capital Harmonia, a local women’s chorus whose mission is to bring music composed by women and for women’s voices to the DC area through partnerships with local women’s organizations.

Founded in 2013, Capital Harmonia is a community women’s chorus based in northern Virginia. We are dedicated to bringing music written for women’s voices to local organizations and events, particularly those which support and promote the concerns of women. Since our formation, we have performed with numerous local and regional organizations that serve and promote the causes of women, including shelters, women's clubs, nursing homes, and organizations concerned with women’s health issues. We feature music written by women composers and have a wide repertoire of songs from Classical to Broadway and Pop.

Les Ms.

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Valerie Long
Born in Gander, Newfoundland, Dr. Valerie Long holds undergraduate degrees in Music and Music Education from Memorial University of Newfoundland, a Masters of Music in Choral Music Education and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Valerie has performed the roles of music director and pianist for numerous musical theatre productions and has earned a reputation for being an engaging and highly respected adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor and performer. Her unique style of accompanying while directing is a celebrated feature of her work! Valerie also directs Let's Make a Choir – a unique program designed to initiate new singers into the choral collective, and the 100+ voice Holy Heart of Mary Alumnae Choir, who have toured extensively throughout Europe. Among Valerie’s awards of distinction: • Music Educator of the Year • Founder’s Award for achievement in the Arts • Torch Bearer’s Award, World Harmony Run, • Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Government of NL

In the fall of 1999, twenty women formed the female vocal ensemble Les Ms. Under the direction of and accompanied by Dr. Valerie Long, Les Ms. is recognized for high quality music and unique performance style. Delivering an eclectic repertoire spanning from sacred music and spirituals to traditional, pop and vocal jazz, Les Ms. performances are known for their high energy presentation style and engaging audience connection. Now grown to 40 members, Les Ms. takes great pride in its performances with other local choirs, particularly for events benefiting the community. The group's anchor event, Les Ms. & Friends Sing for Care, was created as an annual benefit concert to support the H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation’s Patient and Family Support Fund. Every year, the event provides an exciting opportunity to highlight and celebrate other choral ensembles and musicians as they come together to share their gifts of music in the spirit of collaboration and good will. To date Les Ms. & Friends Sing for Care has contributed over $150,000 to this important fund. Please visit www.lesms.ca for further information.

Our director, Dr. Long, hails from Gander, the town in Newfoundland which inspired the hit musical, "Come From Away", and members of the choir were involved in assisting stranded passengers during the 9/11 plane diversions to our province.

St. John's, Newfoundland is the most easterly and oldest city in North America.  The province has a rich musical history and, per capita, one of the highest concentrations of choral singing in Canada.
 

Mountain Melody Women's Chorus

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Julia Shelby
Julia Shelby is the Director of Mountain Melody. She is a native Californian and hails from the San Francisco Peninsula. Since 2001, she and her husband have lived in Mountain Ranch in Calaveras County. Music has always been a part of her life. She plays multiple instruments, has sung in various choirs including the prestigious and internationally known Peninsula Women’s Chorus from Palo Alto, California. Julia formed Mountain Melody in the fall of 2005, to share her expertise and love of vocal music with the community. Ms. Shelby also works in Calaveras and neighboring counties as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner.

Mountain Melody Women’s was created in 2005 and is comprised of women throughout Calaveras, Tuolumne, and Amador counties in the Sierra Nevada foothills. While each member has a distinct and individual voice, when they come together as a group, the sound created is a stunning blend of resonant harmonies. Each singer in the chorus looks forward to the challenge and exhilaration of learning, rehearsing, and perfecting the beautiful music they perform.

Saint Mary's College Women's Choir

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Nancy Menk
Nancy Menk holds the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of the Music Department. She also teaches graduate conducting at the University of Notre Dame. She is founder and conductor of the South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble of 32 select singers from the Michiana area. Both the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir and the South Bend Chamber Singers regularly commission, perform, and record new works. Dr. Menk is also conductor of the 110-voice Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. She has conducted 6 Carnegie Hall concerts with Distinguished Concerts International New York, including the Carnegie Hall premiere of American composer Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. She returned to NYC in November 2014 to conduct a concert of music by American composer Gwyneth Walker at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In October 2016, she became the first woman to program and lead a subscription concert of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, conducting works by C.P.E. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and Igor Stravinsky. She holds the D.M.A. in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

The Saint Mary's College Women's Choir regularly commissions and performs new works for women's voices. An outgrowth of this emphasis is the publication of the Saint Mary's College Choral Series, a collection of new works for women's voices. The Choir has performed throughout the United States and has appeared before state, division, and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Each November the Choir hosts the annual Saint Mary's College High School Women's Choir Festival, in which 20 choirs from neighboring states perform for each other and a panel of commentators. The Choir tours nationally every other year, and regularly performs with the University of Notre Dame Glee Club in joint performances of major works with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. The Women’s Choir has recorded six compact discs of new music for women's voices on the ProOrgano label. They were named Second Place Winners of The American Prize in Choral Performance for 2012.

Colorado Women's Chorale

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Jennifer Ferguson
Jennifer Ferguson has been the Artistic Director and conductor of the Colorado Women’s Chorale since 2012 and became the founding director of the Colorado Men’s Chorale in 2016. She holds a B.M. in Music Education from Saint Mary’s College, and a M.M. Choral Conducting from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. Jennifer has been the guest conductor of the Poudre District and Arvada Honor Choirs in Denver, and is a Board member and singer in the professional Evans Choir directed by Catherine Sailer. She is thrilled to be bringing CWC to New York again to sing under Nancy Menk.

The Colorado Women's Chorale, based in Denver, was founded in 2003 by renowned music educator, Charlotte Adams. With a goal of "Women Promoting Artistry", the CWC focuses on 19th and 20th century music composed specifically for women's voices. CWC is a member of Augustana Arts and provides concerts and musical outreach to the Denver Metro Community throughout the year. Their sibling organization, the Colorado Men's Chorale, often combines with the CWC for special concerts and for choir tours. This is the second time the CWC has appeared with DCINY and Nancy Menk.

Nazareth Academy Chorale

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Katherine Chmelko
Katherine Chmelko is the Director of the Nazareth Academy Chorale. Under her direction, the Chorale has most recently toured Italy in 2013, England in 2016, and Austria in 2018. In September 2015, for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, she prepared the High School Papal Choir to sing under the direction of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin for the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Ms. Chmelko holds a B.M. in Music Education from Saint Mary’s College - Notre Dame, Indiana and is currently pursuing a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Messiah College.

The Nazareth Academy Chorale, based in Philadelphia, PA, is a select group of 51 voices made up of students in grades 9-12. The Chorale has toured internationally and has performed at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. As the school’s most advanced vocal ensemble, the Chorale annually participates in adjudication through the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association consistently earning superior ratings. In support of new music for women’s voices, the Chorale is also a member of the Women’s Choir Commission Consortium through the American Choral Director’s Association. This is the Chorale’s second appearance with DCINY under the direction of Dr. Menk.

Wabash Community Women's Choir

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Emily France
Emily (Unger) France was born and raised in Wabash, Indiana. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Emily has taught private piano lessons and has been a choral music teacher for over twenty years. She has directed numerous musicals for the Honeywell Foundation Summer Theatre program. In February 2013, she founded the Honeywell Foundation Vocal Impact Youth Choirs and serves as the director. She formed the Wabash Community Women’s Choir in 2018. Emily resides in Wabash with her husband Brandon and their four children.

Wabash Community Women's Choir was formed in 2018 by local musician and teacher Emily France to allow young women of the Wabash community the opportunity to study and perform challenging all-women's choral repertoire in an extra-curricular setting. The choir is comprised of high school, collegiate and professional young women from throughout Wabash County. The members of this choir are excited for their debut on the Carnegie Hall stage in March 2019.