Robert Frost: A Celebration!
November 13th, 2016 at 2PM
BRAHMS: Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103
COPLAND: Old American Songs
Amanda Williams, soprano
Claire Galloway Weber, mezzo-Soprano
Michael Dodge, tenor
Robin McGinness, baritone
Michael Sheppard, piano
Michael Repper, conductor
Jonathan Palevsky, Narrator
Join us for this special concert to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of the iconic American poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost! Baltimore's finest vocal talent, together with Jonathan Palevsky, Program Director of WBJC-FM, will lead us on an enticing journey through the choral folk music of Brahms, Copland, and Randall Thompson, who set Frost's poems to music.
Jonathan Palevsky is Program Director here at WBJC-FM. He has worked for the station since 1986 when I became a part-time announcer. He has been the station’s Program Director since 1990. Originally from Montreal Jonathan came to Baltimore in 1982 to study classical guitar at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He has hosted just about every conceivable time slot at WBJC, and be regularly heard hosting the WBJC Operafest, their music review program Face the Music and the CD reissue program Past Masters.
Jonathan Palevsky, Narrator
Amanda Williams is a rising lyric soprano in the Baltimore and Washington, DC area. Praised as a performer who “carries herself beautifully”, "shows great promise" and in possession of a both a "warm" and "consistent sweetness of tone and clarity of articulation". She excels in the lyric soprano repertory of the eighteenth and twentieth century, such as works by Mozart, Britten, and Mahler. She has made her mark with performances as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Così fan tutte and Helena in Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Ms. Williams has also been featured as a soloist in key works such as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Handel's Messiah, and has had the privilege of performing with the Washington National Opera Chorus, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, and Lyric Opera Baltimore. Ms. Williams holds a Bachelor of Music degree from West Chester University, as well as a Master of Music degree and Graduate Performance Diploma from Peabody Conservatory.
Amanda Williams, Soprano
Mezzo-soprano Claire Galloway Weber is an avid linguist and proponent of presenting modern works alongside more standard opera and art song repertoire. Past operatic performances include Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Laura (Iolanta), Barbara Thames (Stinney, Frances Pollock World Premiere), Fanny Price (Mansfield Park, Jonathan Dove U.S. Premiere), Prince Charmant (Cendrillon), the Mother, Dragonfly, and Squirrel (L’Enfant et les Sortilèges), Olga (Eugene Onegin), and Dido (Dido and Aeneas).
Ms. Weber currently studies with Mark Schnaible having recently received her Masters of Music at Peabody Conservatory in Steven Rainbolt’s studio. She received her Bachelors Degree from Bard College.
Claire Weber, Mezzo-soprano
Hailed by the Baltimore Sun for his “eloquent phrasing” and “persuasive acting,” tenor Michael Dodge is a singer of art song, oratorio and opera based in Baltimore, Maryland. Recent opera performances include the roles of Sam Kaplan (Street Scene), Teddy Deakin (The Ghost Train, Paul Crabtree World Premiere), Mr. Rushworth (Mansfield Park, Jonathan Dove U.S. Premiere), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Bayan (Ruslan y Lyudmila), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), and Toby (The Medium). Concert and oratorio appearances include Mass in B Minor (Bach), Magnificat (Pergolesi/Durante), Van Gogh (Michael Gordon) and Elijah (Mendelssohn). Michael graduated with a master’s degree in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he worked as a graduate assistant to the voice department and was the recipient of the George Woodhead Prize in Voice. As a scholar of musicology and theory, Michael has presented research papers on vocal music at conferences in the United States and abroad.
Michael Dodge, Tenor
Hailed for his "impressive singing," baritone Rob McGinness is an avid performer of both contemporary and traditional opera. Currently based in Baltimore, Rob sings with ensembles and opera companies in the United States and Europe. His operatic roles include the title role in Don Giovanni, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role lauded for his “bright baritone and winning jitteriness.” When he is not rehearsing or performing, Mr. McGinness is an eclectic cook who also enjoys brewing his own beer and cider
Robin McGinness, Baritone
Michael Repper is a conductor currently in residence at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in pursuit of a doctor in musical arts. He was the Conducting Fellow of the Baltimore Symphony Orcehstra from 2013-2016, an assistant to Marin Alsop, and is the Assistant Conductor of the Concert Artists of Baltimore. He is the Music Director of the Northern Neck Orchestra in Virginia, and the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore, the first cathedral in the United States. His conducting has taken him far and wide, from Costa Mesa, CA to Woolongong, Australia including a featured performance at the Sydney Opera House and a recent debut with the São Paulo Symphony in Brazil. A graduate from Stanford University with Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Honors, Mike enjoys musical scholarship, having conducted extensive research in melodic-range spectography and perfect pitch perception. Mike is also a graduate of the Orange County School of the Arts in Southern California, where he gained experience directing productions of Jazz, Theatre, Classical, and Soundtrack Music, all realms he continues to direct today.
Michael Repper, Conductor
Trained at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Michael Sheppard studied with Prof. Leon Fleisher and also with Prof. Ann Schein, who was a student of Artur Rubinstein and Dame Myra Hess.
Sheppard has received critical acclaim as a grand interpreter of transcriptions of operatic tunes as well as American musical theatre in addition to the traditional piano repertory. Deeply committed to new music, he has worked closely with composers Nicholas Maw, Michael Hersch, Robert Sirota and John Corigliano. Sheppard is a composer in his own right and often programs his original compositions. In addition to being a Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association, Sheppard has also been a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the La Gesse Foundation and a prizewinner in the National Federation of Music Clubs National Competition. His recently-released album of contemporary American music for the Harmonia Mundi label has been getting rave reviews. A native of Philadelphia, he resides in Baltimore, where he is represented by Chesapeake International Artists.
Michael Sheppard, piano
The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost (published 1916)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.