Perpetual Light: The Requiems of Mozart and Duruflé

Perpetual Light: The Requiems of Mozart and Duruflé
Monday, Feb 19, 2018
7:00 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Jean-Sébastien Vallée, Guest Conductor
Duruflé: Requiem, Op. 9
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Cecelia Stearman, Mezzo-Soprano
Patton Rice, Bass
James M. Meaders, DCINY Conductor
Mozart: Requiem
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International
Maribeth Crawford, Soprano
Cecelia Stearman, Mezzo-Soprano
Shawn Mlynek, Tenor
Patton Rice, Bass
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Jean-Sébastien Vallée
Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes (OPCM)
Ottawa Choral Society
Ensemble vocal Ganymede
Chor der Stadt Wiesbaden
Rideau Chorale
Choeur classique de l'Outaouais
Vocaal Ensemble Cantate
Exeter Bach Society
Chancellor High School Vocal Ensemble
James M. Meaders
Centennial High School Chamber Choir
First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Melton Mowbray Choral Society
The Jackson Hole Chorale
Taunton Choral Society
Southland Symphony Orchestra Chorus
Mississippi School of the Arts Chorale

Jean-Sébastien Vallée

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Jean-Sébastien Vallée
Maestro Jean-Sébastien Vallée is a rapidly rising conductor on today’s concert music stage and an internationally recognized scholar and pedagogue. Dr. Vallée is Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands. In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestra music, Jean-Sébastien is an advocate for contemporary music, making one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. As a scholar, Dr. Vallée has been invited to present his research at several national and international conferences including the American Choral Directors Association, Festival 500, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Podium, the national conference of Choral Canada, the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, and the World Symposium on Choral Music. Maestro Vallée is also director of the renown choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal, and Music Director of the Ottawa Choral Society. His work has been broadcast by CBC and PBS, and can be heard on several recordings, including his new recording entitled LUX (ATMA 2017). www.jsvallee.com

Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes (OPCM)

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Francis Choinière
Francis Choinière is a versatile musician active as a pianist, conductor, composer, and baritone. Co-founder of the OPCM (Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes), artistic director of EVTS (Ensemble Vocal Trame Sonore), and chorus master for several concerts at the Bell Center with Hans Zimmer and Ramin Djawadi, Francis is highly engaged in Montreal’s music scene. Francis refined his conducting under Maestro Colin Metters (Guildhall) during the Berlin International Masterclass with Berlin Sinfonia. Currently studying at McGill Schulich School of Music, Francis sings in numerous choirs including the Choeur Métropolitain (under Yannick Nézet-Séguin), and the Schulich Singers (under Jean-Sebastien Vallee).

The Orchestre Philharmonique et Choeur des Mélomanes (OPCM) is a non-profit organization founded in 2015 that seeks to promote choral and orchestral music in Montreal. Our mission is two-fold. At a community level, the OPCM provides students with a unique musical experience, through weekly rehearsals and 2 to 4 performances per year accompanied by professional musicians. On an artistic level, the OPCM seeks to engage its audience with a more diverse repertoire than the standard Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. Our programming consists primarily of new choral and orchestral works. We also encourage collaborations between young emerging musicians and established soloists.

Ottawa Choral Society

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Jean-Sebastien Vallee
Jean-Sébastien Vallée Music Director Ottawa Choral Society Conductor, scholar, clinician, and adjudicator, Jean-Sébastien Vallée is Conductor of the choirs of the historic Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (Montreal), and Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Area at McGill University‘s prestigious Schulich School of Music. An ardent advocate for contemporary music, he commissions new works and programmes rarely- performed repertoire. Maestro Vallée‘s research interests, particularly focussed on the connection between audiation and gestural communication, have made him much in demand as a presenter at numerous national and international conferences. His recent activities include a residency at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, masterclasses in China, and as a Presenter in choral pedagogy at the International Symposium on Choral Music held in Barcelona in July 2017.

Ottawa Choral Society Directed by prominent Canadian choral musician Jean-Sébastien Vallée, the Ottawa Choral Society (OCS) plays a pivotal role in the City‘s cultural life. The Society engages leading concert artists and ensembles in repertoire ranging from the supple polyphony of the Baroque to the jazz rhythms and cluster chords of contemporary composers. As the City‘s premiere symphonic chorus, the OCS appears regularly on the stage of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and has made five international tours. The Society is proud of its initiatives which support emerging choral musicans, concert artists, conductors, and composers. Its New Discoveries Auditions attract candidates from across Canada who compete for career development awards and professional performance opportunities. www.ottawachoralsociety.com

Ensemble vocal Ganymede

Yvan Sabourin completed his musical studies at the University of Montréal together with a master's degree in choral conducting at the University of Sherbrooke under visiting professor Nicole Paiement. He recently completed a development program with Bernard Tetu (France). Under his direction, the Ganymede Vocal Ensemble won the gold medal at the choral competition of the Montreal Outgames in 2006 and in 2010 won the special diversity prize at the Choral International Festival in Neuchâtel, in Swiss. He is a member of many associations and he celebrated his 35 years of choral leadership in 2017.

The Ensemble Vocal Ganymède, whose members come mainly but not exclusively from the Montréal gay community was created in 1991 by Yvan Sabourin, its current music director. The choir's mission is to present the classical male-voice repertoire; the better to raise awareness of this music and to provide an image of openness and respect. On two occasions, Ganymède has hosted prestigious choral gatherings: the Choralies du Rallye des Arts du Centre-Sud de Montréal (1996) and the Gala Choruses (2004), the largest cultural event in the gay world.

Chor der Stadt Wiesbaden

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Christoph Stiller
Christoph Stiller was born in Euskirchen, Germany. He completed his studies in conducting and piano at the Hochschule für Musik in nearby Cologne in 1997, and later that year joined the music staff of the Hessian State Theatre in Wiesbaden. As Head of Music he is responsible for the musical preparation of all principal singers, most recently for a production of Wagner's Ring Cycle. In his twenty years at the theatre he has also conducted over 500 performances of varied repertoire, from ballet and operetta to Mozart's da Ponte operas and the great works of Verdi. Christoph Stiller was appointed Director of the Chor der Stadt Wiesbaden in 2011.

The Chor der Stadt Wiesbaden is the concert choir of the capital of the state of Hesse in Germany. The chorus was founded in 1847. It regularly sings in symphonic concerts with the Hesse State Orchestra under the baton of the orchestra’s principal conductor. Among the works performed in the past years were Georg Friedrich Handel’s Messiah, Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony, Joseph Haydn’s The Seasons, Felix Mendelssohn’s Second Walpurgisnacht, Bruckner’s Te Deum and Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem. In April of 2017, the chorus performed the Duruflé Requiem in a major Wiesbaden church. Besides concert performances, the choir is involved in cultural activities of the Wiesbaden community. It has participated in concerts of the Wiesbaden Music Academy and it regularly organizes public sing-along events at Christmastime.

Rideau Chorale

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Roland Graham
Roland Graham, director of Rideau Chorale, is an accomplished pianist, conductor, and composer. Founder and director of Southminster United Church’s Doors Open for Music, Concerts by the Canal, and Master Piano Recital series, Roland began his choral training as a boy at St. Pauls' Cathedral in London, Ontario, and later with St. Matthew's Choir of Men and Boys, Ontario Youth Choir, and Anglican Chorale of Ottawa. Roland holds a bachelor of music from the University of Ottawa, studying piano performance with Jean Desmarais, and a master's degree from Université de Montréal, studying piano interpretation with Jimmy Bière and Marc Durand.

Rideau Chorale was founded in 2015 and is directed by Roland Graham. The vision of the choir, in addition to promoting and presenting beautiful pieces of music to the community, is to provide mentorship and opportunities for choristers to develop their musical talents such as sight-reading and vocal performance, from beginner to advanced. The choir attracts men and women of all ages with a variety of musical backgrounds. We present our concerts at Southminster as well as other venues. Rideau Chorale has performed Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Fauré's Requiem, Handel's Four Coronation Anthems and Vivaldi's Gloria, among other amazing works.

Choeur classique de l'Outaouais

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Tiphaine Legrand
Tiphaine Legrand, a choir director of French origin, enthusiastically took over the musical direction of the Choeur classique de l’Outaouais in September 2011. In fall of 2012, she became responsible for the Choral Singing section of the Youth School at Université de Montréal. After studying music at the Sorbonne, Paris, Tiphaine Legrand completed a bachelor’s degree in singing and choir direction with Chantal Masson-Bourque at Université Laval, and a master’s degree in choral direction with Nicole Paiement at the Université de Sherbrooke. She completed her master’s degree with Robert Ingari in May 2009.

Founded in September 1986, the Chœur classique de l’Outaouais performs great works of choral tradition, as well as new, contemporary compositions. Its repertoire makes it possible to assist in the development of regional musicians, and to familiarize its audience with works by many Canadian composers. Awards and recognition include: the 1998 “Creation of the Year” award at the Culturiades gala and the 2010 Liette-Turner Foundation award. In 2017, the choir was delighted to be one of 20 choirs who won a nationwide competition organized by Radio-Canada and recorded one of the tracks on the CD Chœurs d’ici, chansons d’ici.

Vocaal Ensemble Cantate

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Niels Kuijers
Niels Kuijers is a well respected director of chamber choirs and ensembles around The Netherlands. Next to directing Niels is involved in the education and training of singers -using the Lichtenberg model- and directors up to the highest musical level (conservatorium Rotterdam, The Netherlands).

Vocaal Ensemble Cantate is a chamber choir consisting of 25 singers. Cantate's repertoire includes all kind of chamber music, from the early years of polyphony to Bach, Rutter and Part. Vocaal Ensemble Cantate is often invited to cooperate and perform in well established concerts of 'Musica Aeterna' in The Netherlands.

Exeter Bach Society

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Jonathan Lucas Wood
Jonathan Wood’s first introduction to the Exeter Bach Society choir was as their conductor on a tour to Finland in mid-June 2016, when a group of 18 singers performed in two different churches and visited various interesting places, including Sibelius’s home, Ainola. He is increasingly in demand as a dynamic conductor, vocal coach and professional singer. He has been leading student music at the University of Exeter as conductor of Exeter University Singers and Musical Director of the Exeter University Gilbert & Sullivan Society since 2011. Jonathan is also currently a Deputy Lay Clerk at Exeter Cathedral where he sings under the direction of Timothy Noon, Director of Music, and has partaken in numerous broadcasts. Away from the South West of England, Jonathan is often engaged with the National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain and has recently performed as part of the Fellowship Octet – the pinnacle of the organisation. This involvement has led him to work and record with esteemed conductors such as Marin Alsop (Music Director of São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), Daniel Barenboim (General Music Director of the Berlin State Opera, and the Staatskapelle Berlin) and Gustavo Dudamel (Venezuelan Music Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar and the Los Angeles Philharmonic). Jonathan is also heavily involved with theatre. His recent conducting credits include 'The Last Five Years', 'Iolanthe', 'Princess Ida' and 'Merrily We Roll Along' and he recently took one of the lead parts in Gilbert & Sullivan’s 'The Gondeliers'.

The Exeter Bach Society was initiated in 1995 with the aim of promoting a greater knowledge of Johann Sebastian Bach, his family and times, within the city of Exeter, Devon, and the surrounding area. With this objective in mind, as well as performing Bach’s choral and orchestral works, we hold extra events at least twice a year, usually a talk or a recital with a Baroque theme. These are often held after a church service in which the choir and orchestra perform one of Bach’s sacred cantatas as an integral part of the service, which was of course how Bach intended them to be performed. We have approx 60 members in the choir and hold three concerts, also performing works by other composers. In addition, we run choral workshops led by internationally-known conductors.

Chancellor High School Vocal Ensemble

Rhonda Miller is currently Fine Arts Department Chair and Choir Director at Chancellor High School in Fredericksburg, VA where she directs six choirs. She is also Music Director at Bethel Baptist Church in Reva, VA. After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Texas Tech University, and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from The University of North Texas, Mrs. Miller was a flutist and flute soloist with the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldier’s Chorus, the official touring Band and Chorus of the U. S. Army. She has been teaching Choirs for 24 years. She currently serves as Virginia Music Educators Association District XV Chairperson, and she has served American Choral Directors’ Association as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Virginia Middle School, as well as the Southern Division Repertoire and Standards Chair for Middle School.

Vocal Ensemble is Chancellor High School's premier auditioned choir. Vocal Ensemble regularly performs Level 6 repertoire at District Assessment and consistently achieves Superior ratings in both concert performance and sight reading. Vocal Ensemble students are frequently chosen for Honors Choirs such as District Chorus, All-Virginia Chorus, ACDA Southern Division Honor Choirs and ACDA National Honor Choirs. Vocal Ensemble maintains a full schedule of concert and community performances throughout the school year.

James M. Meaders

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James M. Meaders
Dr. James M. Meaders is currently Artistic and Educational Consultant with Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) and a free-lance conductor and voice teacher in the United Kingdom. Meaders moved to New York in July 2014 to accept a position with DCINY after 16 years on faculty at Mississippi College. As Professor and Director of Choral Activities in the Department of Music at MC, Dr. Meaders’ choirs performed multiple invitational performances for conventions of the American Choral Directors Association at the state, divisional, and national level. He led the Mississippi College Singers on four international tours and concerts in such venerable venues as Washington National Cathedral, St. Peter’s, Vienna, Canterbury Cathedral, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. He has also presented multiple sessions on varied choral topics to state and divisional ACDA conventions. In February 2015, Meaders, along with Dr. Alicia Walker from the University of South Carolina, presented a session on the integration of service learning and music education for national ACDA in Salt Lake City, Utah. He presented a session on rehearsal technique to the annual convention of the Association of British Choral Directors in Glasgow, Scotland in August, 2017.

Dr. Meaders appeared as a guest conductor with DCINY on many occasions, with credits including Rene Clausen’s Memorial, Rutter’s Mass of the Children, and Leonard Bernstein’s, Chichester Psalms. In 2014, Meaders, in collaboration with the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Distinguished Concerts Singers International conducted the New York premiere of Requiem for the Living by Dan Forrest. Recent conducting engagements include a reprise of Requiem for the Living in January 2016 and Ola Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass in March 2016, both at Carnegie Hall. Meaders was honored to conduct the New York premiere of Kim Arnesen’s Requiem in January 2017 at Carnegie Hall, followed up by a collaboration with Norwegian composer, Ola Gjeilo, at David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center in June 2017. He will return to the Carnegie Hall stage in 2018 with performances of Mozart’s Requiem, Dreamweaver by Ola Gjeilo, and Jubilate Deo by Dan Forrest.

Dr. Meaders has taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, applied voice, and chaired a university department of music. He facilitates and serves on the faculty of DCINY’s annual Conductors’ Mentoring Workshop, held each January in New York City. He was a practicing church musician for more than 25 years before moving to New York and has conducted community choirs, numerous honor choirs, and many festivals. Dr. Meaders, in partnership with several US choral colleagues, created The International Partnership for Choral Music Education, an annual service learning-based conducting symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa, that is dedicated to promoting the development of the choral arts of South Africa. He is past-president of Mississippi ACDA and has served as College and University R&S Chair for Southern Division ACDA.

Centennial High School Chamber Choir

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Johnathan Vest
Dr. Johnathan Vest serves as the Director of Choral Activities at Centennial High School in Franklin, TN, where he also serves as musical director for the theater department. He holds a B.M from Harding University, a M.A. from Middle Tennessee State University, and an Ed.D from the University of Alabama. Dr. Vest sings with the Nashville Chamber singers and currently serves as President of the Tennessee Music Education Association.

The Centennial High School Chamber Choir is the top choral ensemble at Centennial High School in Franklin, TN. Performing a wide variety of challenging repertoire, the Chamber Choir has a history of superior ratings at regional and state contests in Tennessee. The choir is an integral part of the Franklin community, regularly performing at community and school events.

First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, Lake Charles, Louisiana

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D. Bret Smithey
Dr. D. Bret Smithey, bass-baritone from Charlotte, North Carolina, has sung with regional opera companies including the Knoxville and Princeton Operas, the National Opera Company and the Brevard Music Festival. Dr. Smithey has also appeared with many symphonies including the Tallahassee Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony, and the Washington Symphony. Dr. Smithey received his Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College and Master of Music from the University of Tennessee. He acquired his doctorate from Florida State University. Dr. Smithey has taught at McNeese State University, the University of Tennessee and Murray State University. Currently he serves as Director of Music Ministries at First United Methodist Church of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The First United Methodist Church of Lake Charles, Louisiana, founded in 1871, is the oldest Protestant church in Lake Charles. The Chancel Choir is a diverse musical ensemble composed of fory-two members, ranging in age from 23 to 92, from the city and surrounding areas. The choir performs weekly at the Traditional Worship Service under the direction of Dr. D. Bret Smithey. Their repertoire includes a variety of sacred music styles including classical, contemporary, spiritual and Gospel works performed in English, Italian, German, Russian, and Latin. The choir also performs in concert with other area choral groups and provides public concerts in Southwest Louisiana.

Melton Mowbray Choral Society

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James Gutteridge
James Gutteridge studied at the University of Surrey, gaining an honours degree in music in 2001. During his time there he held several church organist posts in South West London. After Easter 2005 James decided he wanted to ’come home’ and took up his current position of Director of Music at St Mary’s Melton Mowbray, where he directs the choir as well as playing the organ for services. James also enjoys working in musical theatre, having worked on professional shows in London. James founded the Melton Mowbray Choral Society in 2013 and he is Musical Director.

Melton Mowbray Choral Society has been rehearsing and performing concerts together since being formed in April 2013. We are now over 50 strong and perform major concerts organised with professional soloists as well as a traditional Christmas Carol Concert each year. We are very fortunate in performing most of our concerts in the wonderful setting of St Mary's Parish Church in Melton Mowbray, as well as many other beautiful venues. www.meltonmowbraychoralsociety.co.uk

The Jackson Hole Chorale

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Ron Fabry
This is his fourth season as artistic director/conductor of the Jackson Hole Chorale. He achieved a double Master’s degree in Church Music and Organ Performance from Westminster Choir College ,Princeton, NJ , studying conducting with Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt and group vocal techniques with Frauke Haasemann. His postgraduate studies were at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. He taught conducting, choir training methods, and group vocal techniques in the Rochester, NY, Diocese certification program. Throughout his 45 years of music, his professional objective is “to encourage ordinary people to do extraordinary things…to challenge people to grow personally, musically and spiritually.”

The Jackson Hole Chorale was formed in 1983 with a mission to provide an opportunity for local singers to perform and further their choral skills. Throughout the years we have educated our community audience in a wide variety of music forms and literature, introducing them to composers with whom they might otherwise never become acquainted. The Chorale performs music from all periods. We consist of 25-30 members, including some founding members. We perform three major concerts every year – one at Christmas, one in the spring and one in the summer. Typical concerts feature a large work performed by the entire Chorale, such as the Mozart Requiem, and some small-group presentations such as barbershop quartets, trios and duets.

Taunton Choral Society

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Edward Goater
Edward Goater is a conductor, tenor and teacher living in Wells, Somerset. He studied conducting with Norman Barns MBE and for many years was a member of the BBC Singers. As a professional musician, Edward has worked with some of the very best musicians in the world including Pierre Boulez, Bryn Terfel, Judith Weir, Sir Simon Rattle, Bob Chilcott and many more. Edward is currently Musical Director of the Taunton Military Wives Choir, Taunton Choral Society, Director of the Somerset Choral Society and Director of the Military Wives Choir Foundation, Taunton. He is also Associate Conductor of Berkshire Youth Choir.

Taunton Choral Society was formed in 1903 and is the largest and oldest choir in Taunton, Somerset. From the choir’s inception it has created a tradition of performing large choral works, both religious and secular, interspersed with instrumental and smaller scale works. In 1991, the choir performed Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Bryn Terfel, our Patron, in the title role. TCS has performed works by Bach to Britten, Duruflé and Elgar, from Mozart to Vaughan Williams and Verdi via Orff. The choir shares its music making by performing 3 concerts per year in local venues.

Southland Symphony Orchestra Chorus

Lincoln County Choral Society is composed of serious music lovers and singers from Lincoln County, Mississippi, and the surrounding area who want to study and perform a wide range of beautiful, challenging pieces beyond the anthems we sing with our church choirs. We are blessed with extremely talented directors and accompanists, which allows us to perform twice a year for our local community.
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Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann
Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann, internationally recognized performer, composer, conductor, author, and speaker, appears with many ensembles throughout the nation. A faculty member at CSUDH and Chaffey College, she is Music Director/Conductor of the Southland Symphony Orchestra & Chorus and a popular SoCal guest conductor. Dr. Mann is Pastor & Minister of Music at Bethel Congregational UCC in Ontario, CA and Artistic Director of Bethel Arts. A frequent performer with Chamber Orchestra of the South Bay, La Mirada, Rio Hondo, Temecula Valley & Coachella Valley Symphony Orchestras, she is principal violist of the Culver City and Marina del Rey Symphony Orchestras.
The Southland Symphony Orchestra Chorus is proud part of the Southland Symphony Orchestra family. The chorus is a fast growing, dedicated group of singers from the community. We made our debut at the "Tribute to Democracy" Concert with the SSO on Sunday October 23rd, 2016. Under the direction of Dr. Sylvia Lee Mann, the orchestra and chorus bring wonderful music to the city of Ontario and our neighboring communities. We have recently presented Mozart’s “Requiem; Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy”; and Handel’s “Messiah. We focus on performing major works for chorus and orchestra, and are delighted to be recognized by DCINY.

Mississippi School of the Arts Chorale

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Patton Rice
Patton Rice is in his 13th year as the Director of Vocal Music at MSA and holds a degree in music ed. from Auburn University and a masters in vocal performance from Florida State University. While at MSA he has prepared the chorale for performances with DCINY at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. Patton’s solo experience includes Memorial by Rene Clausen with DCINY at Carnegie Hall, Escamillo to Denyce Graves‘ Carmen with the Southern Festival Orchestra and Polonius opposite Sherill Milnes‘ Hamlet with Greater Miami Opera.

MSA's award winning Chorale has performed 5 times at Carnegie Hall and once at Avery Fisher Hall over the past 12 years. The Chorale has also performed with both the Meridian and Mississippi Symphony Orchestras and has received multiple superior ratings at District and State Choral Festivals for the past 13 years. Former and current MSA Chorale members include repeat finalists at State and Southern Region NATS competitions, scholarship recipients to prestigious collegiate programs and even count an American Idol finalist and several professional singers among their alumni.