The Masterwork Chorus Morristown New Jersey magnificent choral concerts of classical and modern composers
SPONSORED BY =
MARCH 22 • 8 PM
Pre-concert Lecture by Andrew Megill 7 PM
Dorothy Young Center for the Arts
Drew University, Madison
Tickets - $25 - $75
Elizabeth Baber Weaver - Soprano
Soprano Elizabeth Baber Weaver has been praised by the Washington Post for her "angelic brightness and dedication" and the "remarkable clarity" of her declamation, and the New York Times called her singing "truly lovely.” She has appeared as a soloist with Hesperus, Parthenia, Ex Umbris, the New York Consort of Viols, Guido's Ear, Mountainside Baroque, Music in the Somerset Hills, and Voices of Ascension, and in the revival of The Play of Daniel at the Cloisters. Elizabeth is a member of the Grammy-nominated ensemble Pomerium, and has performed and recorded as a guest artist with the acclaimed quartet New York Polyphony. With her duo partner, lutenist Charles Weaver, she has created recitals praised for their “impeccable performances” and “imagination in programming.” She is on the faculty of the New York Continuo Collective and is a member of the choir for the traditional Latin Mass at St. Mary Church, Norwalk, CT.
Virginia Warnken - Mezzo
Hailed by the New York Times as an “elegant,” “rich-toned alto” with “riveting presence,” Grammy© Award-winning mezzo-soprano Virginia Warnken is becoming known throughout the American musical community for her heartfelt interpretations of the works of Bach, Handel, and their contemporaries, as well as for her exciting and unique performances of avant-garde 20th and 21st century works. She is a founding member Grammy© Award-winning groundbreaking alternative-classical vocal band Roomful of Teeth, described as “Powerful” by Rolling Stone Magazine, integrating western and non-western vocal techniques such as Tuvan throat singing, Inuit throat singing, yodeling, high Bulgarian-style belting, and Korean P’ansori, and collaborating with composers to forge a new repertoire for the voice using an expanded sound palette. Ms. Warnken has been featured as a soloist with Grammy-nominated ensembles Seraphic Fire and the Trinity Wall Street Choir, as well as TENET, Carmel Bach Festival, Green Mountain Project, Clarion Music Society, Musica Sacra, Oratorio Society of New York, Vox Vocal Ensemble, and others, and has worked with conductors such as Masaaki Suzuki, Nic McGegan, Kent Tritle, Patrick Quigley, Steven Fox, Stefan Parkman, Julian Wachner, and more. In the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Warnken will join the highly distinguished roster of soloists of Philharmonia Baroque in Vivaldi’s Juditha Triumphans, led by Nic McGegan. In recent seasons, she has appeared on the main stage of Carnegie Hall as the alto soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass, Handel’s Messiah, and Mozart’s C Minor Mass. Ms. Warnken is a fervent advocate of contemporary music, and has performed and premiered works by numerous prominent composers and non-classical pop/rock acts including Questlove and other members of legendary hip-hip/neo-soul band The Roots, Louis Andriessen, Caleb Burhans, Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Judd Greenstein, Missy Mazzoli, and Steve Reich. In addition to peforming, Ms. Warnken also enjoys teaching, and has taught privately and guest lectured at Yale, Princeton, Williams College, Wellesley, Vassar, Dickinson College, and others.
Stephen Sands - Tenor
A “crystalline tenor” who was praised by the New York Times as “a tenor with a focused, powerful tone“ who sings with “subtlety” and “poignancy“, Stephen Sands is highly sought after as both a soloist and ensemble member by some of the most prestigious institutions and conductors in the United States. Steve Smith of the New York Times lauded Stephen for “expertly handling the solo parts” in the recent Stravinsky Festival at Trinity Church. Mr. Sands holds his degree from Westminster Choir College, where he was a member of the world-renowned Westminster Choir under the direction of Joseph Flummerfelt. He is a founding member and Executive Director of the internationally award-winning Antioch Chamber Ensemble, widely regarded as one of the finest professional vocal ensembles in the country.
Stephen has been heard as the Evangelist and tenor soloist in numerous performances of Bach’s sacred oratorios, most recently with the Trinity Choir and Baroque Orchestra in the St. Matthew Passion of J.S. Bach. As an ensemble member, Stephen sings with the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, Vox Vocal Ensemble, Aoede Consort, TENET, Clarion Music Society, Pomerium, and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street under the direction of Julian Wachner. His extensive discography includes the recent releases of a CD of Bach Motets and the Complete Haydn Masses with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street. Recent releases include tenor solos in the Grammy nominated recording of Handel’s Israel and Egypt with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, and a CD of Mannerist Motets of the Renaissance with Pomerium. An Aaron Copland grant recipient, Stephen was the Executive Director of the new Antioch Chamber Ensemble CD of choral works by Matthew Brown, titled (though love be a day).
As an Artistic and Executive director, Stephen has successfully raised funds from both individual and institutional sources for The Antioch Chamber Ensemble and Music in the Somerset Hills, an organization dedicated to music education and performance in northern New Jersey. He has had the pleasure of coordinating international performing tours, producing commercial recordings, and staging many self-directed performances. In 2012, Stephen raised funds for, produced and performed in a production of Handel’s opera Semele and Handel’s Messiah.
In addition to a successful career as a musician, Stephen is also a highly respected choral director and music educator. He has taught choral music to students in grades 3-12 in the Somerset Hills School District for over 15 years. Stephen was also the Youth Choir Director at St. Luke’s Church in Gladstone, NJ from 2003-2013. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Music in the Somerset Hills and the Somerset Hills Community Chorus, which celebrates its fourth season in 2013-2014. Highlights of this season include a concert of works by Benjamin Britten and a concert of French Masterworks.
David Newman - Baritone
American baritone David Newman enjoys an active and varied concert career throughout North America. Hailed as “electrifying” by the Washington Post and noted by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his “eloquent, emotional singing,” he is in particular demand as a Baroque specialist. He has performed Messiah with Tafelmusik, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and with Masterwork Chorus in Carnegie Hall; St. John Passion with the American Bach Soloists, Carmel Bach Festival, Chorale Delaware, and the Bach Chamber Orchestra of Honolulu; and St. Matthew Passion with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Baroque Choral Guild, San Francisco Bach Choir, and a national tour with the combined forces of Santa Fe Pro Musica and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. In his debut with the Washington Bach Consort, Mr. Newman was noted by the Baltimore Sun for his “exquisitely phrased, velvet-toned Mache dich, mein Herz.” Other notable appearances include Bach’s B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with The Bethlehem Bach Choir, Coffee Cantata, Easter Oratorio, and Christmas Oratorio with the Santa Fe Bach Festival, and Haydn’s Creation with The Honolulu Symphony. He was also a featured soloist in the Sorbonne’s 2003 Festival Berlioz in Paris with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra.
He has appeared regularly as a guest artist with the Four Nations Ensemble, including performances in Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall, and has also performed with the Spoleto Festival, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Opera Birmingham, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Russian National Orchestra. His recording of Alexander’s Feast with The Bach Sinfonia was recently released on the Dorian label. Mr. Newman teaches voice at James Madison University.