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Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra welcomes Conte

By Staff | Mar 7, 2014

The Friends of Music at Shepherd University is proud to announce the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, led by Jed Gaylin, will feature show stopper soprano, Natalie Conte, on Saturday, Mar. 8, at 8 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center Theater of Shepherd University.

This rich program features Samuel Barbers masterpiece depicting American childhood, Knoxville: Summer of 1915, set on text by American novelist James Agee. Portraying the same era, Ravel’s most exquisite Tombeau de Couperin pays homage to friends lost in World War One. These two works act as the bookends of life. After intermission, romance and new life is in the air with intoxicating songs by Richard Strauss and Schubert’s delicious Fifth Symphony. Rising star soprano Natalie Conte of Shepherd University joins us for this richly-hued program of shimmer and magic.

Conte is a devoted performer in the Mid-Atlantic. She most frequently appears as a soloist in Outreach programs for the Lyric Opera Baltimore. She also has concertized at the Russian Embassy, with the Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation, the Young Victorian Theatre Company, Live Arts Maryland, at the State Department, and with Opera Lancaster where she was described as a “show stopper”. In addition to recitals, Natalie’s opera and oratorio credits include the roles of the title role in Aida, Fiordiligi in Cos fan tutte, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Musetta in La Bohme, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff, the Countess in Mozarts Le Nozze di Figaro, and the soprano soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Britten’s War Requiem , and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. Beyond the local stage, Natalie has performed in her hometown Detroit, Michigan as well as internationally in Rome, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. Along with her performance credits, Natalie teaches voice both privately and at Shepherd University where she has held an adjunct voice faculty position since September of 2008. Natalie is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University where she earned a Master and Bachelor of Music. While there, she won awards for excellence in both performance and academics, and studied with John Shirley-Quirk and Phyllis Bryn-Julson. In April, 2011 she won second prize in the Russell C. Wonderlic Memorial Competition. In March of 2013, she was a finalist in the Washington International Competition. In May 2013, Natalie was awarded first prize in the DC Vocal Arts Society Competition. She currently studies with Barbara Dever. Natalie is looking forward to performing Barbers Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra this March.

Ticket prices for the concert are $20 dollars for general admission, $18 dollars for seniors/Shepherd faculty and staff, $10 dollars for students 18 & under. Free for Shepherd students with Rambler ID and Gold MAC cardholders. Seating is general admission. Box Office opens one hour prior to the performance. Purchase tickets online at least 24 hours before the performance at www.sufom.org or call 304- 876-5765. Cash, check, VISA, and MasterCard accepted.

Preceding each concert of the Orchestra is a pleasant and informative luncheon with the Music Director, Jed Gaylin, known as Lunch with Friends sponsored by the Friends of Music Guild. Lunch with Friends is held on the Friday, Marc.7 at noon at the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown. Tickets to Lunch with Friends are sold separately from concert tickets and can be obtained by contacting Betty Lou Bryant at 304-876-3897.

The Friends of Music is a (501c3) non-profit organization that supports and promotes musical excellence at Shepherd University and throughout the region. For tickets, and all FOM information please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, www.sufom.org, or contact: 304- 876- 5765, friends@sufom.org.