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Masterworks Chorale to perform Beethoven

By Staff | Apr 13, 2012

Shepherd University’s Masterworks Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Erik Reid Jones, will present Rossini’s Stabat Mater and the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Ode to Joy, with full orchestra and soloists, on Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town, and on Sunday, April 22 at 7 p.m at the Frank Center Theater as part of the Friends of Music concert series. Featured soloists in the program include Natalie Conte, Melanie Regan, Joseph Regan and Colin Brady.

Natalie Conte completed her bachelor and master of music degrees at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University where she was the recipient of the Annie Wentz Prize, the George Castelle Memorial Award for excellence in performance and the Azalia H. Thomas Award for superior marks in the field of music theory. She has studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson and John Shirley-Quirk and worked with Thomas Grubb, Vera Danchenko-Stern, James Harp and Garnett Bruce. Conte currently trains with Medea Namoradze. Conte has performed at the Russian Embassy, Opera Camerata of Washington, the Annapolis Chorale and the State Department.

Her opera credits include The Gondoliers, Verdi’s Falstaff, Massenet’s Cendrillon and Mozart’s The Abduction from “The Seraglio.” Conte has performed in Rome, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Melanie Zayas Regan studied at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where she earned both her bachelor and master of music degrees in voice. Upon completing her master’s degree, she took the position of applied voice instructor at St. James School. In 2007, Regan founded the Saint James Boy’s Ensemble, a group that specializes in close harmony a cappella works with selections ranging from 18th-century polyphony to modern pop. In addition to her role as teacher and private voice instructor, she is an active performer both locally and throughout the eastern region of the United States.

Joseph Regan is a successful singer and voice teacher based in the Mid-Atlantic region. He can be seen on the opera stage where he has performed the roles of Fenton from Verdi’s Falstaff, Tamino from Mozart’s Magic Flute and Jenik from Smetana’s Bartered Bride.

Regan is a well known for his work in the field of oratorio.

He has sung Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Bach. Regan has performed the St. John Passion solos on multiple occasions and has performed more than a dozen of Bach’s Cantatas. In addition to his work as a soloist, Regan is also a highly sought after ensemble singer and sings regularly with the Washington National Cathedral and the Countertop Ensemble. Regan received his bachelor and master of music degrees from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University.

Baritone Colin Brady received his bachelor of music in voice performance from the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He studied with David Jones, Willie Anthony Waters, and David Crawford.

He has performed with New Britain Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Opera Colorado, Des Moines Metro Opera, Connecticut Opera and Sarasota Opera. He has performed Don Alfonso in Lancaster Opera’s Cosi Fan Tutte, Benoit, Alcindoro in New Britain Symphony’s La Boheme, Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with the Connecticut Concert Opera, Angelotti/Jailer in Tosca for Opera Theater of Connecticut, Marco in Gianni Schicci with Port Opera in Maine and Connecticut Opera, Curio in Guilio Ceasare with Opera Colorado, Ali in L’Italiana, Old Gypsy in Il Trovatore and Mandarino in Turandot with Connecticut Opera.

Dr. Erik Reid Jones, director of choral and vocal activities at Shepherd and founder and artistic director of the Master Singers of Virginia, received his bachelor of music degree summa cum laude in vocal music education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, his master of music degree in choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati, and his doctoral degree in choral conducting at the University of Maryland at College Park. Jones has taught at Shenandoah Conservatory, Harford Community College and the University of Maryland. Jones is a published author and an avid choral composer, with more than 20 works to his credit.

The Masterworks Chorale, a vocal ensemble with more than 130 singers, is comprised of Shepherd vocal students and members from the surrounding community. The ensemble presents two full-length productions per year of great masterpieces from the choral literature as well as appearances at the Annual Holiday Gala Concert.

General admission for Beethoven’s Ode to Joy is $22 in advance and $27 at the door. The tickets are $22 for faculty, staff and seniors; and $15 for students 18 and under.

For ticket information, call 304-876-5765 or visit www.sufom.org.