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Fourth Concert of the 74th Season

Student Concerto Concert

Sunday, May 5th, 2013
Cordier Auditorium, North Manchester
Scott Humphries, Conductor

  Waltz from the Sleeping Beauty Ballet Suite Pyotr Il'ych Tchaikovsky  
       
  Quando me'n vo soletta from La Bohème Giacomo Puccini  
  Waltz Song: Ah! Je Veux Vivre from Romeo and Juliet Charles Gounod  
  Cassie Whitaker, soprano  
       
  Mache dich, mein Herze rein from St. Matthew's Passion Johann Sebastian Bach  
  Ah! Che zucconi! from Gianni Schicchi Giacomo Puccini  
  Jeremiah Sanders, baritone  
       
  Clarinet Concerto Aaron Copland  
  Sarah Leininger, clarinet  
       
  Intermission  
       
  Danses sacrée et profane Claude Debussy  
 

I. Danse Sacrée
II. Danse Profane

 
  Kathryn Fenstermacher, harp  
       
  A Storied Season Debra J Lynn  
 

I. The Threads that were Spun
II. Soldier's Letter, No. 1
III. Sister's Letter, No. 1
IV. Soldier's Letter, No. 2
V. Child's Letter
VI. Soldier's Letter, No. 3
VII. Sister's Letter, No. 2
VIII. The Threads that were Spun (Finale)

 
  World Premiere Performance

Judy Marlett, mezzo-soprano
Manchester University A Cappella Choir
Manchester Church of the Brethren Ecclesia Choir
 
       
 

Program Notes by James R. C. Adams

 
  The Garland Waltz from Sleeping Beauty Pyotr Il'ych Tchaikovsky
(1840-1893)
 
 

Tchaikovsky is so well-known that there is little need to provide a biography. Suffice it to point out that he was born into a middle-class family, who expected him to have a career in the civil service. He was one of the so-called Nationalist Composers, at least by some critics. Some of his Russian compatriots thought he was not Russian enough.

The story of the Sleeping Beauty has come down to us in a number of different incarnations. Perhaps it was first written by Charles Perrault, but the best-known version is from the Brothers Grimm. Perrault was a 17th-Century writer who is credited with the invention of the fairy tale, and who has given us such well-known "characters" as Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, Cinderella, and Bluebeard.

The version of Sleeping Beauty that we find in the Tchaikovsky ballet was put together by the Director of the Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg, Ivan Vsevolozhsky. I say "put together" because, although the plot is based on the Grimm version of the story, Vsevolozhsky incorporated many of Perrault's characters that were not in the original story. We find the previously mentioned characters, plus The White Cat, Prince Charming, Princess Florine, Bluebird, The Gray Wolf, and Hop-o-My-Thumb.

The ballet originally was well over three hours long, not counting the intervals. It was later condensed to a suite after Tchaikovsky's death. The waltz we hear today was known as The Garland Waltz.


 
       
  Quando me'n vo soletta from La Bohème Giacomo Puccini
(1858-1924)
 
 

Puccini was born into a musical family, taking organ lessons from his father until he was five years old. By the turn of the century, Puccini was the most popular of all opera composers. His first great success was Manon Lescaut. That was followed by La Bohème.

When the opera was written in 1896, the word Bohème commonly meant "Gypsy." It has since become synonymous with what we now call "hippy life." It is a tragic story of a group of poor artists and intellectuals sharing a garret in Paris.

It is Christmas Eve, and they are out of money, firewood, food, and wine. It is too cold for the artist, Marcello, to hold his brush. Rodolfo, the poet, burns his work to get some heat. Then, Schaunard, the musician, surprises them with all they need to celebrate, because of a landfall from an English lord. They rejoice at this good fortune, and all head for a tavern.

At the tavern, Musetta appears. She is an old flame of Marcello, and is eager to re-light his fire. She is a great admirer of herself, and sings the aria Quando me'n vo soletta.

 
Quando me'n vo, quando me'n vo soletta
per la via la gente sosta e mira, e la belleza
mia tutta recerca in me, ricerca in me da capo a piè
...
As I wander through the streets,
the people stop and stare and drink in
my beauty from head to foot.
(Standard translation)
 
 
       
  Waltz Song: Ah! Je Veux Vivre from Romeo and Juliet Charles Gounod
(1818-1893)
 
 

Gounod was born in Paris, the son of a painter of considerable talent. His first teacher was his mother, who was a successful concert pianist. After studying at the Paris Conservatoire, Gounod won the Prix de Rome, and, while there, became enchanted with early church music. He wrote much liturgical music and many songs, but he is best known for his opera, Faust.

Orchestra excerpts continue to be popular as concert pieces, and parts of the opera have been worked into a ballet. The libretto took so many liberties with Goethe's work that it has no appeal for lovers of Goethe, and the same thing could be said about his Romeo and Juliet, although the aggrieved one in this case is Shakespeare. However, this is an opera, not a play, and here, what counts is the music.

Ah! Je Veux Vivre is one of the great arias of the repertoire. It comes in the first act, during a ball when Romeo first meets Juliet.

Ah! I want to live
In this dream which intoxicates me:
That day still
Gentle flame,
I keep you in my soul
As a treasure!


 
       
  Mache dich, mein Herze rein from St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244 Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)
 
 

Bach wrote several "Passions," but only two of them have survived: The Passion According to St. Matthew and The Passion According to St. John. I recall hearing the latter at Christmas time, in an unheated Gothic church in Ziegenhain, Germany, where I could see my breath. It was an unforgettable occasion, and yet, The St. Matthew Passion is considered to be even more impressive. It is too bad that we will hear only a very small part of it today.

The St. Matthew Passion requires massive orchestral and choral resources, and for this reason was revised by Bach many times to suit the circumstances of its performance. Two orchestras and two choirs, plus two organs were preferred, but not always available. Perhaps that is the reason it was rarely performed outside Leipzig before 1829. In that year, Felix Mendelssohn performed it in an almost complete version in Berlin. Mendelssohn is credited with the revival of interest in Bach's music after a long period of relative obscurity.

In 1957 on an episode of the TV series Omnibus, Leonard Bernstein performed excerpts of it, and declared it to be "...that glorious work that started me off on my own private passion for Bach."

In the text below, you will notice that many phrases are repeated:

 
Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,
Ich will Jesum selbst begraben.
Denn er soll nunmehr in mir
Für und für
Seine süsse Ruhe haben
Welt, geh aus; lass Jesum ein!
Make thee clean, my heart, from sin.
Unto Jesus give thou welcome.
So within my cleansed breast
Shall He rest,
Dwelling evermore within me,
World, depart; let Jesus in!
 
 
       
  Ah! Che zucconi! from Gianni Schicchi Giacomo Puccini  
 

Gianni Schicci (pronounced "Johnny Skee-kee") was the third of a trio of one-act operas known collectively as Il Trittico. They were called Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi, and they represented different genres: tragedy, sentiment, and comedy, respectively.  They were first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1918.

Gianni Schicchi may have been a real person. He is excoriated by Dante in the 30th Canto of his Inferno, where he is condemned to the eighth circle, along with thieves and swindlers.

The action takes place in Florence in the year 1299. Buoso Donati has just died, and his presumptive heirs have uncovered a will leaving everything to a monastery. They are in despair until it occurs to one of them to send for the renowned mimic. Gianni Schicchi, who helps them hatch a scheme to bypass the will. He sends for a notary, poses as the "dying" donati, and dictates a new will, benefitting not only the family, but himself, as well. The family is outraged, but cannot denounce him without incriminating themselves.

In the aria we hear today, Ah! Che zucconi!, Gianni is describing his encounter with the Notary. "What a blockhead!" (Literally, "pumpkin.") Then, using a different voice, he recounts his conversation... "Sir Notary, come quickly to Buoso Natali. There has been a great worsening. He wants to make a will. Sir, bring your parchment, quickly. Don't delay, Sir, or it will be too late!" Then he switches back to his normal voice, and explains how he will impersonate the dead man, who will lie in semi darkness with only his nose showing, while he, Schicchi, will crouch down behind the bed and speak as if he were Buoso.

Here follows the libretto only sketchily outlined above:

 
Ah!... che zucconi!
Si corre dal notaio.

(Rather breathlessly)
Messer notaio, presto,
Via da Buoso Donati!
Cè un gran ipeggoramento!
Vuol fare testamento!
Portates su con voi le pergamene,
presto, messere, se no è tardi!

(In a natural voice)
Ed il notaio viene. Entra.
la stanza è semi oscura,
dentro il letto intravded
di Buoso la figura!
in testa la cappellina!
Al viso la pezzolina!
Fra cappellina e pezzolina
Un naso che par quello
di Buoso e invece è il mio,
perchè al posto di Buoso ci son io.
Io lo Schicchi con altra voce e forma!
Io falsifico in me Buoso Donati,
testando e dando al testamento norma!
O gente! Questa matta bizzarria
che mi zampilla nella fantasia
è tale da sfidar l'eternità!
 
 
       
  Clarinet Concerto Aaron Copland
(1900-1990)
 
 

Aaron Copland, the son of an immigrant family, grew to be considered the most "American" of American composers. He was born in Brooklyn, NY, and spent the first twenty years of his life there on a street which, in his words, "can only be described as drab." At the age of twenty-one, he was able to go to Paris where he studied under Paul Vidal and the legendary Nadia Boulanger. He was her first American student, and she was sufficiently impressed to commission him to write an organ concerto for her to perform during her American tour. With this work, he established himself as an important addition to American musical life.

Although he is most famous for his ability to evoke images of rural America, his urban background provoked a touch of the Blues in more than one work, including the Concerto for Clarinet. This concerto has an unconventional structure.

Typically, a concerto has three movements. It is a work that showcases a single instrument (or a few) and pits it against the full orchestra in a kind of contest. That, in fact, is what "concerto" really means: a "vying with." As part of that competition, the soloist is offered a moment to play, extemporaneously, without the orchestra. That is called a cadenza, and sometimes there are two cadenze, one in the first movement and the other in the last. But a cadenza can appear anywhere in a concerto.

This is a modern concerto, and there are changes from tradition. There are only two movements, and there is no silent break between them. Instead, the movements are divided by the cadenza, and it is a rather long one. It is not played extemporaneously, but is meant to seem so. The two movements are quite different in character. There is little evidence of jazz in the first one, but a great deal in both the cadenza and the final movement, which is in rondo form.

The first movement is quiet, slow, and perhaps a bit melancholic. It is so different from what follows, that more than one attempt was made to get Copland to orchestrate it for performance alone, but he rejected that temptation because he wanted the concerto to be integrated.

Despite the non-jazzy opening movement, the concerto is commonly referred to as a jazz concerto. Perhaps that is because it was commissioned by that great jazz clarinetist, Benny Goodman, who tried to bridge the gap between jazz and classical music, as Gershwin had. In that effort, Goodman commissioned works from a number of "classical" composers, including Igor Stravinsky. Goodman found Copland's concerto to be beyond his skill level, and played a revised version of it to bring down some of the higher notes.

After the very quiet and lyrical first movement, the cadenza comes in with a very strong jazzy quality, which grows more obvious in the final movement. There are hints of Latin American music throughout both the cadenza and the second movement. Copland was in Brazil as he was beginning the composition, and even incorporated a Brazilian tune he heard in Rio in this work. He wrote to his friend, Carlos Chávez, a well-known Mexican composer that he was quite satisfied with his concerto. Copland's Salón México also shows his interest in Latin American music.

In the final movement, you will hear many "jazzy" effects, and some phrases that foretell ones in Leonard Bernstein's music.


 
       
  Danses sacrée et profane Claude Debussy
(1862-1918)
 
 

These two dances were commissioned by the Pleyel corporation for a new type of harp which is no longer available. The commission was a promotional gimmick for their new instrument. It was a popular piece and, shortly after its first performance, the score was modified slightly to make it playable on modern instruments.

It is hard to understand the titles of these two dances. The first one is "sacred" only in a vague way, referring to ancient Greek temple dancers. So, if you consider the ancient Greeks to be heathens, the dance could be more logically titled "Profane."

The second dance, labeled "Profane," is simply a waltz, and might have been more properly labeled "lay" dance, as in "laity." It suggests nothing in our ordinary understanding of the word "profane."

Seriously, I presume Debussy was thinking of the word origins. "Sacred," in this case refers to dances associated with priestesses of the ancient Greek temples, most specifically at Delphi. "Profane" originally meant "outside the temple," so it refers to folk-dances among other non-temple related music.


 
       
  A Storied Season
Program Notes by Debra Lynn
Debra J. Lynn
(b. 1963)
 
 

This piece was commissioned by the family of our guest soloist, Judy Marlett. It was inspired by a collection of letters written during the years surrounding the Civil War in the U.S. (mid-late 19th Century). Of all the letters sent to me, I decided to focus this composition on letters written by three main characters: Tyler, Lanie, and Percy Houghtaling. One of the things I love most about composing for singers is the element of text. Words have such varied articulations and rhythmic elements -- it's fun to explore those and expand them into pitch and tempo. Poems have a clearly defined meter. Since the texts for this composition are excerpted from letters, there is less in the way of a prescribed rhythm to the words. There is no rhyme scheme, and varying inflections can give entirely different meanings to a single phrase. I chose to set multiple letters by each character to establish recurring themes and show how their writing evolved through time, due to their changing circumstances. Given the rich culture of American folk music and hymn tunes from the time, it made sense to derive the themes for each character from this body of repertoire. An excerpt from Walt Whitman's To Think of Time seemed a perfect text to serve as bookends for the entire work.

Soldier's Letters: All three letters by Civil War soldier Tyler Houghtaling are dated 1861-1862, and show the progression of his feelings throughout those years -- moving from optimism and wonder to impending doom and regret. In one letter, he mentions a folksong called "The Banks of the Schuylkill" and wishes he were home to sing it with his friends and family. The Schuylkill River is located in Pennsylvania and the source of its eastern branch is in the Appalachian Mountains. The setting of the first letter opens with this folk-tune, which continues to be heard throughout each of Tyler's letter settings -- especially when he is remembering his home. It is often sung by the chorus as Tyler might have been remembering it while writing.

The chorus also layers in other folk songs in each subsequent letter setting. "Tenting Tonight" was very popular during the Civil War, and is introduced in the second letter setting. It describes conditions at a military camp. Each verse becomes more despairing than the previous until the final chorus text becomes "dying tonight." The chorus sings the words "dyning tonight" in the third letter setting while "Taps" is heard in the distance. The third letter setting is definitely the most heart-wrenching. It retains the previous folksongs, but adds to them "The Vacant Chair" (a favorite of Abraham Lincoln) sung by a family mourning the loss of their war dead. This tune appears at first in a minor key -- played by clarinet solo, then in ints original major mode, sung by the chorus.

Tyler's words, always sung by the soloist, function more like a descant above the folksong tunes. This indicates the conflict within Tyler -- torn between his longing for home and his duty as a Union soldier. Fortunately, Tyler eventually survived the Civil War and returned home to marry and raise a family -- from whom our soloist is descended. Tyler was Judy Marlett's great-great-grandfather.

Sister's Letters: Lanie Houghtaling's letters astounded me. My immediate impressions of her included: sarcastic and ironic wit, highly intelligent and articulate, well-educated (especially for a woman of her time), busy, and a woman of strong faith. I have enjoyed getting to know Lanie through her letters. They have a distinctive form apart from all the others I read from this family. Lanie lists a few facts, then offers short (sometimes sardonic) personal commentaries about those facts. I kept envisioning what this would look like in a stage production; there would be dry plot exposition, followed by colorful asides to the audience. When setting her words to music, these little "asides" are set apart in a recitative (recitation) style. The audience will feel frozen in time for a moment while Lanie delivers her "punchline," and then the orchestra will propel us back into the exposition section.

About half of the first letter describes an incident in which a friend was accosted by a group of young people at a dance. Therefore, the solo themes are derived from a couple of contrasting folktunes that would likely have been played at a dance during that era: "Turkey in the Straw," and "Sweet Betsy from Pike." The orchestra actually plays these songs as a fitting soundtrack for the events being described in Lanie's letter. The accosting adolescents are characterized by members of the woodwind section, who have spoken/shouted lines of text -- and then sensored by the brass.

The other letter, also addressed to Etta, is a sad occasion. Lanie was writing from her deathbed, realizing she would not be able to see Etta again. Gone are the witty "asides." All Lanie had strength to write was expressions of thankfulness and peace. It's an entirely different side of Lanie, but she leaves no doubt about her faith in God and her love for her family. The "Sweet Bye and Bye" tune appears in this letter setting rather prominently. Lanie was Judy Marlett's great-grandmother.

A Child's Letter: The letter by Percy Houghtaling (Lanie's son, and Judy Marlett's grandfather) was written when he was very young, and is addressed to his mother's siter, Etta (the sister to whom Lanie's letters were addressed). The music attempts to convey some of the "stream-of-consciousness" so evident in the writing and story-telling of young children. Much seems random and the emotional range is extreme. This is achieved musically by setting the movement in two different keys simultaneously -- about half of the orchestra and the chorus perform in D Major, while the other half of the orchestra and the soloist perform in G-flat Major. Recognizable tune fragments appear as well: Nursery Songs ("Row, Row, Row Your Boat," "Pop Goes the Weasel," and "Ring Around the Rosey,") and a favorite hymn tune of the time ("Sweet Bye and Bye" -- which represents both Percy and Lanie's affection for Etta). Frequent interruptions by his mother help keep Percy "on task" as he writes. Since much of the letter describes berry-picking, a frolicking 6/8 meter helps the listener envision Percy leaping through nearby berry patches.

Note of Thanks: I greatly appreciate Maestro Humphries and these fine musicians for their willingness to lift these notes and rhythms off the page and breathe life into the memory of these interesting writers. I love writing for musicians I know personally. Writing for the MSO is a pure joy. I know their sound, and I enjoy being able to envision each of them specifically as I'm writing music for them to play. The same is true for the chorus members. Thanks to Judy Marlett for inspiring the composition with your beautiful voice and your love of history. Thanks also, Scott Humphries, for your passion for this project and the sensitivity with which you have interpreted my work. I am humbled by the care and integrity with which each person has approached this composition.


 
       
 

Manchester Symphony Orchestra Personnel

 
  Violin I
Elizabeth Smith, Concertmaster
Rachel Nowak +^
Kristin Westover
Pablo Vasquez
Ilona Orban
Lois Clond

Violin II
Joyce Dubach *
Alyssa Loos +^
Paula Merriman
Linda Kummernuss
Colleen Phillips
Will Stanley

Viola
Julie Sadler *
Carrie Shank +^
Margaret Sklenar
Renée Neher +
Benjamin Crim +^

Cello
Robert Lynn *
Michael Rueff +^
Timothy Spahr
Robert Hudson

Bass
Darrel Fiene *
Katie Huddleston +^

Piccolo/Flute
Kathy Davis *
Kathy Urbani

Oboe
Sarah McConnell *
Diane Whitacre

Clarinet
Lila D. Hammer *
Mark W. Huntington
Sarah Leininger +^
Bass Clarinet
Sarah Leininger +^
Mark W. Huntington

Bassoon
Erich Zummack *

Horn
John Morse *
Kristen Hoffman +^
Michael Paynter +^
Dana Dillon +^

Trumpet
Steven Hammer *
Dennis Ulrey

Trombone
Jon Hartman *
Chris Hartman +^
Larry Dockter

Tuba
Caleb Dehning

Timpani
Dave Robbins *

Percussion
Dave Robbins *
Timothy Reed
Mackenzi Lowry +
Katie Lowther +
Eryn Lynn

Harp
Jaclyn Wappel

Piano
Tim Reed

Dulcimer
Becky Walter

* Denotes principal
+ Denotes MU student
^ Denotes Keister Scholarship recipient
** Denotes assistant principal
       
 

Manchester University A Cappella Choir

 
  Soprano I
Aliyah Johnson
Caitlin Kessler
Ashlea Koehl
Erika Reffitt
Holly Rittenhouse *
Cassie Whitaker

Soprano II
Kate Eisenbise
Megan Garner
Courtney Haines
Emilie Hunt
Angelina Jung
Darcy Robins *

Tenor I
Adam Ousley *
Donnie Watkins

Tenor II
Joseph Myers
Levi Smith
Kahler Willits *

Directors
Debra Lynn, conductor
Kelly Iler, student conductor
Jeremiah Sanders, student conductor
Alan Chambers, pianist
Alto I
Madeline Clark
Kelly Iler *
Claire Miller
Karisa Rising
Kandace Terry
Janina Traxler
Miriam Zielinski

Alto II
Ashley Dobrzykowski
Katherine Haff
Aimee Hoffbauer
Britney March *
RaeAnne Schoeffler

Bass I
Andrew Haff
Gabe Hoagland
Caleb Hoffsinger
Jeremiah Sanders *
Derek Self

Bass II
Tarek Al-Zoughbi
Josh Plank
Michael Rueff *
       
 

Manchester Church of the Brethren Ecclesia Choir

 
  Soprano
Kathy Fry-Miller
Jennifer Reichenbach
Carol Streator

Alto
Lana Groombridge
Joy Stiffler

Tenor
Paul Fry-Miller
Eric Reichenbach

Bass
Chris Garber
 
       
 
Cassandra WhitakerCassandra Whitaker is a fifth year senior at Manchester University, soon to graduate with her Bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance. In the last year, Ms. Whitaker has performed with the MSO as the winner of last year's concerto competition and was a feature soloist for Stephen Melillo's David with the Fort Wayne Area Community Band and with the Manchester University Symphonic Band. She also starred as Marion Paroo in Serendipity Production's The Music Man in her home town of Beavercreek, Ohio, last August. Ms. Whitaker is looking forward to a new chapter in her life with her fiancée, Frederick Hockney, and beginning new classes at Wright State University for her teaching license in the fall.



Jeremiah SandersJeremiah Sanders grew up singing in gospel choirs. He was excited when he sang his first solo when he was seven at church. In elementary school, he always said he wanted to be a singer; in fourth grade, he sang his first school solo to "Pizza Love." In middle school he participated in Panther's Choir, Color Guard, McCulloch Middle School's Choir, and Orchestra. At Marion High School, Jeremiah was involved in the 26th Street Innovations Show Choir.

Jeremiah is currently in his junior year at Manchester University, where he is an applied music major in vocal performance. While at MU, he has had success as both a soloist and actor. In 2011, he played The Courier in Stone and Edwards' musical 1776. Jeremiah was the third-place finalist in the 2012 Manchester Symphony Orchestra's Student Concerto Competition. In 2013, he performed the lead role of the mischievous character Gianni Schicchi in the MU Opera Workshop production of Giacomo Puccini's Gianni Schicchi.

Jeremiah remains active on campus by being involved in numerous organizations, and a resident assistant for Schwalm Hall. He hails from Marion, Indiana, and is the son of Jennifer Sanders and Richie King, Sr.
Sarah LeiningerSarah Leininger is a junior at Manchester University from Timberville, Virginia, triple-majoring in Biology-Chemistry, general music, and math. She is a member of the Manchester Symphony Orchestra and the Manchester University Symphonic Band. She was also a runner-up in the 2012 MSO Student Concerto Competition.

Since Sarah began playing the clarinet in sixth grade, she has played in many bands. She was a member of the Broadway High School Wind Symphony and Marching Band, which earned the title of Virginia Honor Band two of her four years there. She was a member of the All-Virginia symphonic band her senior year and the All-Virginia concert band her junior year, in addition to membership in VBODA District V honor bands for six years, including two years as the principal clarinetist in the top band. Sarah is also a member of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Bill Poset from James Madison University.

In addition to her studies at Manchester University, Sarah finds time at college to manage her herd of registered full-blood Boer goats and to coordinate the longest-running Boer goat sale in the state of Virginia. After graduation from Manchester, Sarah plans to go to graduate school to earn a PhD in chemistry, and she will be spending the summer in an undergraduate research program at Texas A&M University.
Kathryn FenstermacherKathryn Fenstermacher began studying classical harp in State College, Pennsylvania, in 2002. During high school, she studied under Nancy O'Brien, Ruth Hunter, and Anne Sullivan. In 2009 she entered Taylor University with a minor in applied music/harp performance and began studying under Elizabeth Richter at the Ball State University harp studio.

As a student, kathryn performed with the State College Area High School Orchestra, Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra, Penn State Symphony Orchestra, Taylor University Symphony Orchestra, and the North Manchester Symphony. She recently performed Debussy's Danses Sacrée et Profane with the Taylor Symphony. She also participated in the pit orchestra for a community stage production of Peter Pan.

She has performed with several other Taylor music groups, including the Taylor Sounds, Adoration Chorus, and Wind Ensemble, and was featured in the soundtrack for a student film. Kathryn also played with the American Youth Harp Ensemble and the Ball State University Harp Ensemble. Kathryn participated in master classes and private lessons with a variety of notable harpists, among them Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, Elizabeth Asmus, Faye Seeman, and Diane Evans. She attended the American Youth Harp Ensemble summer program on scholarship in 2007, studying under Lynelle Ediger-Kordzaia.

Additionally, Kathryn has received several accolades for her performances. She won honorable mention in the Centre County Young Artist's Competition in 2009. She also received a talent scholarship at the Central Pennsylvania Outstanding Young Woman Competition in 2008. She was a two-year winner at Pennsylvania GARBC's Talents for Christ competition, placing second and first in their strings division.

Kathryn has worked as a free-lance harpist since 2006, playing for weddings, events, and social functions in the central Pennsylvania and Grant County, Indiana, areas. She has been featured at the Great Room for Taylor University's President and First Lady and their distinguished guests, including Bill Gaither. She recently recorded with the Taylor Sounds and will be featured on their upcoming album. She is a senior at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She will graduate in May with a degree in professional writing and a minor in applied music. She and her husband, Scott, plan to move to Wilmington, Delaware, this summer.
Judy MarlettDr. Judith Marlett, a native of upstate New York, has lived in Nampa, Idaho, since 1996, when she began her collegiate teaching career. Dr. Marlett earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. At Roberts, she studied with Dr. Robert Shewan.

Dr. Marlett continued her education by attending Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. After completing a Master of Music in Music Education, she taught public school in both urban and rural New York state. In addition, she has also taught in Greece.

A Doctor of Arts degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, was awarded to Dr. Marlett upon completion of her dissertation Musicianship, Longevity, Career Choices: Marilyn Horne as a Model of Vocal Success. One highlight of her research was an interview of Ms. Horne in December, 1999.

In 1996, Dr. Marlett accepted a position at Northwest Nazarene University as a professor of voice and choral music. During her tenure at NNU, Marlett has conducted every choir in the music department, and is currently the director of Bella Voce. Her job has expanded over the years to include direction of the music education program, conducting, and supervision of student teachers.

She has appeared in numerous recitals and concerts as a professional soloist and has performed many roles in opera, including Rosina in the world-premiere performance of Thomas Pasatieri's Signor Deluso; La Principessa, Suor Angelica; Suziki, Madama Butterly; Ruth, Pirates of Penzance; and, most recently, Marta, in Gounod's Faust. She has also been a soloist in oratorios, including Messiah, Bach's B Minor Mass, and the Mozart and Rutter Requiems, and has also performed in Broadway shows including West Side Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Oklahoma. Although Marlett is primarily a recitalist who recently produced and sang "Seasons of a Woman's Life," an evening of poetry and music featuring Frauenliebe und Leben, she also made her directing debut in 1999 with NNU's production of Fiddler on the Roof.

Outside of music, Marlett is an avid reader and passionate cook who enjoys crocheting and scrapbooking. She loves to spend time at home and traveling with her husband and two boys.
Debra LynnDebra Lynn is in her fifteenth year at Manchester University where she serves as Chair of the Music Department, and Director of Choral Organizations and Vocal Studies. She teaches applied voice, conducting, vocal pedagogy, opera workshop, and music for stage and film. Choral ensembles under her direction include the A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, and Cantabile Women's Choir. Her ensembles have performed at various locations throughout the U.S., including Carnegie Hall in New York, Sacred Heart Basilica at Notre Dame University, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Her A Cappella Choir has travelled to Italy, Austria, and London. Whether domestic or international, her tours carry a theme of world peace.

Debra holds a Doctor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis in choral conducting and voice performance from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Prior degrees from Truman State University and William Jewell College include emphases in choral conducting, voice performance, and music education. Before moving to North Manchester, Dr. Lynn held teaching and conducting positions at Northeast Missouri State University, William Jewell College, and Mid-America Nazarene College. She has worked with Metropolitan Opera singers Nicholas DiVirgilio and Mgnon Dunn as opera chorus director for Illinois Opera Theatre, based at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Dr. Lynn has studied conducting under the tutelage of maestros Paul Vermel, Paul Crabb, and Arnold Epley. As a composer, Dr. Lynn writes both instrumental and vocal music, and has received several commissions including Lily and Plowshares Foundation requests. She is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician for various composer forums, choral festivals, and voice and conducting master classes. She is married to tubist, Robert Lynn. They reside in North Manchester with their four daughters, Bethany, Abby, and twins Emily and Eryn.