Nearly a year in the making, The Huntsville Master Chorale once again brings a Choral Festival to Huntsville this June. Members of the choral ensemble will be directed by none other than the internationally known conductor and clinician, Dr. Jeffrey Allen Murdock. Named the 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year, he is the Founder of the Arkansas Center for Black Music, and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Arkansas.
Huntsville Choral Festival
The vision and inspiration for this festival, REFLECTIONS, belongs to Dr. Patricia Ramirez Hacker, artistic director for the Huntsville Master Chorale. She explained, “In this, our second choral festival, we have created an event that invites choral singers from all regional area colleges and church choirs and ensembles to participate, either as a singer or as an observer.” She continued, “Now, more than ever, we need collaboration, a sense of coming together. Creating something special, as only the human voice can. We have planned this festival to reach deep into the community with an uplifting festival where singers can learn and perform together.” A unique opportunity for singers as well as audience members to experience the power of music.
At the concluding concert of the FESTIVAL, the choral ensemble and orchestra will perform music from Mozart to Gospel, including listener favorites, as well as presenting the world premiere of When Music Sounds, by Anthony Giamanco, winner of the HMC 2023 Choral Competition Contest.
Joining this year’s FESTIVAL performance are four superb soloists: Huntsville-raised soprano Manna K. Jones, Oakwood University’s mezzo-soprano Julie Moore-Foster, American tenor Roderick George, and baritone, Michael Parham.
REFLECTIONS will be performed at Trinity United Methodist Church, 607 Airport Road, Huntsville, Saturday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church. Donations are welcome at the door.
Experienced choral singers will NOT want to miss this opportunity to perform in this landmark choral event. If you are interested in being a part of this festival choir as a singer or as an observer, visit hsvmasterchorale.org for rehearsal and registration information.
Huntsville-raised soprano Manna K. Jones is known for her dramatic brilliance across opera and classical music as well as musical theater. She has appeared internationally, in the title roles at Carnegie Hall, and made her Broadway Rocktopia, a Classical Revolution. Manna is featured in the Naxos documentary film, Global Wagner – From Bayreuth to the World for her work as Brünhilde in Götterdämmerung. She grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, graduating from Lee High School.
Julie Moore-Foster, mezzo-soprano, born in Manhattan, New York City, currently is the head of the music department and assistant professor in voice and diction at Oakwood University, a position she has held since 1999. Moore has performed in numerous choirs and many times as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras. While on a tour to Europe with the Marygrove College Choir, she was chosen to be a featured soloist in a televised BBC performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tenor Roderick George made his debut as a soloist at New York’s Lincoln Center. His repertoire spans from Bach and Beethoven to contemporary composers. Internationally, he has made appearances throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, South America, Canada, and Russia. Dr. George is a champion of American art song, specializing in the songs of H.T. Burleigh and settings of texts by Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes. George heads the vocal program at the University of Montevallo where he was named a recipient of the College of Fine Arts Distinguished Teacher Award
Michael Parham’s “resonant and ear caressing” baritone voice was most recently heard as a featured soloist in Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera and has debuted roles of note across the US. As a self-proclaimed “Choir Boy” Parham jumps at the opportunity to perform choral music and sacred works, touring with the American Spiritual Ensemble. He is an alum of Portland Opera Resident Artist Program, Oakwood University, and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
Composer of Choral Competition Winner – Anthony Giamanco
Anthony Giamanco began musical studies at the age of 8; a few years later he took his first forays into music composition, blossoming to a professional career at the age of 17. He has served as organist/choir director at several churches throughout his home state of Michigan. While at Eastern Michigan University he minored in piano and began formal training on the organ. Never losing sight of his first love, composition, he become a voice major, the study of which introduced him to the joys of German lieder, particularly the masterpieces of Schubert.
Composing, however, was not to take a back seat for long. At Eastern Michigan University his compositional style began to blossom. As an adolescent, he had taught himself how to form chords on the piano, and before long, he was writing short melodies, first with simple harmonies, then increasingly more adventurous, eventually applying his ever-growing knowledge to a variety of musical forms. Self-motivation in developing his ear at this early stage prepared him for the more intense musical studies offered at the university level and, as he matured, his musical tastes became more eclectic, embracing jazz, pop, gospel, and folk styles which increasingly informed his writing.
Although he continued composing organ music, his desire to write for the piano grew, and he began creating supplementary pieces for his students, as well as composing hymn settings and original sacred pieces for piano, many of which have since been published by Lorenz. Recently, music for handbells, brass and woodwind ensembles, and string quartet have become more prominent in his writing. His music is now published widely.