2016 - 2017 Season


CPC 4Oth Anniversary
Gala Celebration
Saturday, October 22, 2016 at 8 PM

Handel: Messiah
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016 at 7:30 PM

A Christmas Noël
with the CPC Chamber Singers
Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 at 7 PM

Music Masters of Eastern Europe
Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 3 pm
First Evangelical Lutheran Church Ellicott City, MD

CELEBRATIONS: COLUMBIA’S 50TH
CPC’S 40TH, JRT’S 20TH!
Sunday, May 14, 2017 at 8 PM
Jim Rouse Theatre, Columbia, MD


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Columbia Pro Cantare
5404 Iron Pen Place
Columbia, MD 21044
410.730.8549
Fax: 410.730.8634

This season's guest artists:

Susan Rider, Trumpet

Originally from Cedar Falls, Iowa, Susan Rider earned her musical degrees from the University of Northern Iowa (B.M.) and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (M.M. and D.M.). Her primary trumpet teachers include Edmund Cord, Charles Gorham, Randy Grabowski, and Keith Johnson.

Ms. Rider has performed as a member of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Iowa, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Owensboro Symphony, Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, Bloomington Pops, Midland/Odessa Symphony, Lone Star Brass Quintet and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. Additionally, she has performed with the New World Symphony, Evansville Philharmonic, Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, Bloomington Symphony and San Angelo Symphony. Since 1997, Ms. Rider has been a member of The President’s Own United States Marine Band, Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Ensembles. In the metropolitan area, she performs regularly with the Columbia Pro Cantare Chamber Orchestra, Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Orchestra and the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Rider has also performed with the Alexandria Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Concert Artists of Baltimore and Manassas Ballet Theater Orchestra.

As a featured soloist, Ms. Rider has appeared at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the College Band Directors National Association Convention in New York City, the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, on the National Mall, and Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia. She performs regularly as a soloist with the Marine Band, and was a featured soloist with the Volga Band in Saratov, Russia in 2009, and the Hannaford Street Silver Brass Band in Toronto in 2010. Most recently, she performed Franz Joseph Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra in Washington, DC.

Other groups with whom Ms. Rider has performed include the Monarch Brass Ensemble, the Snark Ensemble at the 2009 Capital Fringe Festival, and Igor’s Jazz Cowboys at the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival in Iowa. As an educator, she’s been an Associate Instructor at Indiana University, a private trumpet instructor for the Ector County Independent School District in Odessa, Texas, and an adjunct faculty member at Purdue University and Shenandoah University. Currently, she maintains a private trumpet studio in Northern Virginia.

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Rachel Blaustein, Soprano

Praised for "garnering audience approval as a true standout," Rachel Blaustein is known for her stage presence, her distinct artistry, and her willingness and ability to tackle the entire range of classical music from Baroque opera to contemporary compositions. This upcoming Spring, Rachel will be performing the leading role of Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail with the Peabody Conservatory. The performances will be held at the Baltimore Lyric Opera House in March 2015. Previously a Studio Artist with Chautauqua Opera Company (2013), Rachel will be an Apprentice Artist with the Des Moines Metro Opera Company this summer. Opera credits include: Nannetta (cover – Falstaff), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), the Sandman/Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), and the title roles in both Alcina and Princess Ida. Active in concert and competition, Rachel will be making her Kennedy Center debut in February on behalf of The Peabody Institute as a part of the Conservatory Project concert series. Recently, she gave the New York Premiere of a new music composition by composer, Christopher Cresswell, entitled hesheyoumeus. Previously, she has appeared as the soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Amadeus Orchestra and has sung in many concerts with various companies in the area, one being the Maryland Lyric Opera.

In competition, Rachel received an Encouragement Award from the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - D.C. District. She placed Second in the 2014 Sylvia Green Vocal Competition with Peabody Conservatory, was a semi-finalist in the Partner for the Arts Competition (2013), a National Finalist in the Classical Singer Magazine Competition (2012), and won 1st place in New York City's NATS Competition (2011).

A native of Olney, Maryland, Rachel graduated cum laude from Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Science in Vocal Performance and a minor in drama. Rachel is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, where she studies under the direction of Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Stanley Cornett. Her degree at Peabody is supported in part by the Arno and Ruth Drucker Scholarship and the Georgia McEver Endowed Scholarship for Voice.

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Zoe Band, Mezzo Soprano

Mezzo-soprano Zoe Band’s life revolves around music. "My hobby, joy, job, and passion is music. When I’m not listening to it, I’m working to make money to pay for lessons," she says. "When I have time to myself, I practice!"

Born and raised in Toronto, Zoe got her start singing in choir and playing classical guitar. Her guitar teacher’s wife was a singing teacher and "from there it began."

Zoe studied music at the Peabody Conservatory, earning her bachelor and master of music in voice performance. Her roles with Peabody Opera included Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Miss Benson in Lakmé, Ferdinand in Ariel’s Tempest, Betty Parris in The Crucible, Anna in The Trio and Zinnie in Dora. She has also appeared as Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia (HexaCollective); Hansel in Hansel and Gretel (Toronto Summer Opera and Little Patuxtent Opera); and Patricia Hutton in Camelot Requiem (The Figaro Project).

One day, she hopes to add Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro to her repertoire, and she’d especially love to sing the title role Handel’s Ariodante. "What a role!"

If she wasn’t pursuing an opera career, you might find Zoe working in psychology or using her dramatic talents in other ways. "I love entertaining. If I couldn’t sing, I would hope to act."

So what is it about opera that Zoe finds so compelling?

"For me, opera is a bridge between the real and romanticized world. It can be challenging and intellectual, and yet calming and spiritual, expressing the full range of human emotions," she says. "When I’m performing, I feel a freedom to fully express who I am."

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Amy Van Roekel, Soprano

Praised by the Washington Post as a "lovely singer and accomplished actress" with "limpid tone and agile high notes," soprano Amy van Roekel has established herself as a vibrant and captivating performer on both the operatic and concert stage. Ms. van Roekel has received accolades for her performances on both the operatic and concert stage. Her operatic appearances include roles with Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Central City Opera and Chautauqua Opera. She also has a passion for new music and has worked extensively with American Opera Projects, based in Brooklyn, and is called on frequently by composers to premiere their new works. As a soloist she has performed with the Virginia Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She has also been a featured artist with the New York City Ballet, performing American standards under the baton of George Steel and his Gotham City Orchestra in St-Rémy, France.

She has been involved in several exciting premieres including Opera After Hours – a compilation of several short operas woven together by acclaimed director, Christopher Alden at New York City's cutting-edge Zipper Factory Theater; the world premiere of Oresteia, - a multi-media opera by Iannis Xenakis performed in ancient Greek at the Miller Theatre in New York City; and The Machine Awakes, composed by Stephen Andrew Taylor specifically for Ms. van Roekel with a commission by Sinfonia da Camera at the University of Illinois. The Machine Awakes was released on CD in the fall of 2009 on Albany Records. Amy has received many awards and honors that include being a 1st Place winner of the National Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition, a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a two-time award winner in the Washington International Competition for Singers. Also an accomplished pianist, Amy van Roekel holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland. Her website is: http://www.amyvanroekel.com.

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MaryAnn McCormick, Mezzo

Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano MaryAnn McCormick has been hailed in the press as "charismatic", "spell-binding", and "elegant". Her international credits include Isabella in L’italiana in Algeri at La Scala in Milan, Azucena in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio di Torino, and the title role of Carmen at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma. She has also performed Maddalena in Rigoletto under Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as well as with Seattle Opera, Gluck’s Alceste under Bruno Bartoletti at the Teatro Regio di Parma, and First Maid in Elektra with Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Opéra National de Paris. A frequent interpreter of the role of Carmen, her performances include Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland of which the critics wrote "She acts and sings a wonderful Carmen", along with Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Torino and the Staatsoper Stuttgart among others. Ms. McCormick’s recent operatic engagements have included performances as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at Lyric Opera of Chicago during their 2013-14 season, and the North American premiere of Huang Ruo’s opera Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, sung in Mandarin, in the role of Ni Gui-Zhen for Santa Fe Opera’s 2014 season. Other highlights include performances with the Metropolitan Opera in the role of Grimgerde for their new Robert LaPage production of Die Walküre conducted by James Levine, which was broadcast in HD in theaters internationally and received the Grammy award for Best Classical Album (Feb. 2013) of which she is a recipient. In the 2015-16 season she performed Mahler’s Rückert lieder and selected lieder by Richard Strauss with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ken Lam for a special New Year’s Eve Gala, Bach's St. Matthew Passion with the NY Metamorphoses Orchestra, and also sang performances at the Metropolitan Opera as Giovanna in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Her most recent engagements include performances at the Astoria Music Festival in Oregon singing the role of Azucena in Il Trovatore opposite Angela Meade as Leonora, along with the Portland SummerFest, Oregon in a reprisal of Azucena in Il Trovatore. Upcoming are her debut performances as Erda in Das Rheingold with the North Carolina Opera; Mahler’s 3rd symphony with the Spokane Symphony and a concert of Bach arias with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. McCormick was honored to join the voice faculty of New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in 2015.

In recent seasons MaryAnn McCormick made debuts with both Teatro la Fenice as Waltraute in Die Walküre conducted by Jeffrey Tate and Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Priyamvada in Alfano’s Sakuntala. She can be heard as Tigrana in Puccini’s Edgar in a recording with the Orchestre National de France conducted by Yoël Levi. Ms. McCormick returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2013 to sing again in their production of Die Walküre and as Soeur Mathilde in the critically acclaimed John Dexter production of Dialogues of the Carmelites. In the 2014-2015 season she performed the role of Giovanna in Verdi’s Ernani with the Metropolitan Opera conducted by James Levine and staring Placido Domingo as Carlo, Das Lied von der Erde at Montclair State University, conducted by Ken Lam, and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the New Choral Society in NY. In previous seasons Ms. McCormick sang Act III of Die Walküre at the Tanglewood festival with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Opera Colorado, the role of Nefertiti in Phillip Glass’ Akhnaten with the Atlanta Opera, and performances of Das Lied Von der Erde with the Orchestra Verdi in Milan; a piece she has also performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia to standing ovations. She also created the roles of Grandma Josephine and Mrs. Teavee for the world premiere of Peter Ash’s The Golden Ticket based on the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

With the Metropolitan Opera of New York, MaryAnn McCormick has performed roles in many operas over more than twenty seasons and 112 performances on stage including Die Walküre, Don Carlo, Ernani, Francesca Da Rimini, Carmen, La Traviata, Rigoletto, Die Zauberflöte, L’Enfant et Les Sortileges and the world premiere in 1991 of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles (debut). Ms. McCormick's extensive career also includes performances with The Lyric Opera of Chicago as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Seviglia (debut); The Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the North American premiere of Jonathon Dove's Flight as the Minsk Woman and as Prince Charmant in Cendrillon; The Santa Fe Opera as Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte (debut); Opera Colorado as Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel; Opera Ireland as Olga in Eugene Onegin; and The Boston Lyric Opera as Cenerentola and as Nicklause in the world premiere of the Michael Kaye version of Les Contes D’Hoffman.

Mary Ann McCormick has toured Japan with Wolfgang Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra in performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, a work she has also performed with Leonard Slatkin and the Cleveland Orchestra, Sir Neville Mariner and the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Edo De Waart and the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, and The Illinois Symphony, among others. Other concert highlights include Ariadne auf Naxos with Sawallisch and the Philadelphia Orchestra; John Corigliano’s Of Rage and Remembrance with the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Mozart’s Requiem, and Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with the Montreal Symphony: Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony, the Montreal Symphony and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra: Bruch’s Odysseus with the American Symphony Orchestra: Verdi’s Messa di Requiem with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Oratorio Society of New York: El Amor Brujo with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Robert Spano: and the Tanglewood Festival in Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle with Emanuel Ax and Robert Spano accompanying, conducted by Grant Llewellyn. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Ms. McCormick’s notable performances include recitals in New York’s Morgan Library for the George London Foundation, Boston’s Jordan Hall with Robert Spano, The Châtelet in Paris, and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall and Philadelphia’s Academy of Music accompanied by Wolfgang Sawallisch. She has recorded with the Emerson String Quartet in the Grammy-nominated recording of Anton Webern’s Three Pieces for String Quartet, Op. 3, No. 3, on Deutsche-Grammophon, as well as the New York Philharmonic with Kurt Masur and Orchestre National de France, and is featured singing in the Miramax film The Talented Mr. Ripley.

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Charles Reid, Tenor

Praised in Opernwelt for his "marvelous timbre, consistent throughout, well focused, excellently agile voice," Charles Reid is being recognized as one of his generation’s leading lyric tenors. He has sung on many of the most famous international stages, including nine seasons with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the festivals of Bayreuth, Salzburg, Spoleto USA, and Glimmerglass. Upcoming events include Mr. Reid’s debut with the Radio Symphonie Orchester Vienna, singing the Prince of Florence in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie under the baton of Maestro Bertrand de Billy, and Charles’ return to the MET roster where he is responsible for Pylade in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Mr. Reid’s most recent performances include the roles of Alfredo, Duca di Mantua, Macduff, Nemorino, Cassio, Tamino, and Don Ottavio with the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf), Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Stadttheater Gießen, and Theather Wintherthur. Beyond the Germanic countries, Mr. Reid has been heard as Tito under the baton of Adam Fischer in Barcelona and Madrid. Additionally, he performed the little known Mozart opera, Ascanio in Alba, in Mexico City. For his Alfredo, renowned critic Gabor Halasz writes, "Charles Reid gave a vocal and musical performance of Alfredo without any limitations or boundaries, with a shimmering tenor voice, flawless technique, extraordinary feeling for style, and very clear intonation."

Equally at home on the concert stage, recent debuts include Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society singing Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of John Nelson, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Adding three new works to his repertoire, Charles Reid performed Mendelssohn’s Elias, Paulus, and ‘Lobgesang

Mr. Reid’s recent recordings include Haydn’s The Seasons with Amor Artis Baroque Orchestra and a DVD release of Katharina Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with the Bayreuther Festspiele. In addition, Charles can be heard on the Deutsche Grammaphon DVD of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba with the Salzburger Festspiele. Charles is also on Gothic Records singing the tenor solos in Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord with the Master Chorale of Washington.

Mr. Reid is the recipient of prestigious awards from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, Florida Grand Opera YPO Competition, Connecticut Opera Competition, and the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition.

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Lester Lynch, Baritone

Lester Lynch, an established dramatic baritone, is making his mark in some of the world’s leading opera houses. Known for his charismatic portrayals and commanding voice, he is receiving rave reviews as he masters some of the most important baritone roles from Scarpia to Rigoletto to Count di Luna. Opera Today recently enthused, "It was booming baritone Lester Lynch who served notice that he is now in consideration for admittance to the Scarpia Preferred Pantheon - when he needed to pour it on he had the Puccinian fire power and the dramatic heat to raise the hair on the back of your neck." The Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, "Lester Lynch made a superb Macbeth, delivering an authoritative performance with a firm, powerful voice and wonderfully communicating both tragedy and madness."

His most recent performances include Lescaut in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle with the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Crown in Porgy and Bess with the Opéra de Montréal, as Amonasro in Verdi’s Aida with Pittsburgh Opera, as Carbon in Cyrano de Begerac with San Francisco Opera, as Herald in Lohengrin with Lyric Opera of Chicago, as Gérald in Andrea Chénier with the Bregenzer Festspiele, as Nottingham in Roberto Devereaux and Count Di Luna in Il Trovatore with Minnesota Opera. His latest debuts include a back-to-back engagement with the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Portugal where he was featured as Iago in Verdi’s Otello and in the title role of Verdi’s Falstaff.

Upcoming performances include Nabucco with the Welsh National Opera, Amonasro with the Bergen National Opera in Norway, and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice with the Warsaw National Opera. Upcoming recordings include Iago in Verdi’s Otello, Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and a Verissimo French Aria CD to be recorded by Pentatone Classics.

Mr. Lynch has worked with some of the world’s most renowned conductors and directors. Under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, he has sung the role of Crown in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and the Bauer in Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder. He has also appeared with conductors Sir Andrew Davis, Placido Domingo, Larry Foster, Ulf Schirmer, and John DeMain, and performed under eminent directors Sir Richard Eyre, Christopher Alden and Francesca Zambello.

His performance of Crown with San Francisco Opera ‘s production of Porgy and Bess was recently released on DVD. Pentatone Classics has released his recordings of two operas by the contemporary composer Gordon Getty – the title role in Plumpjack, and Cauchon in Joan and the Bells. Another important release is a recording of Mahler’s Symphony No.8 conducted by JoAnn Falletta.

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Laura Whittenberger, Soprano

Praised in the Baltimore Sun for her "impressive voice", soprano Laura Whittenberger sings in opera, musical theater and concert performances. She recently appeared as Beauty in Giannini's Beauty and the Beast with Lyric Opera Baltimore and Rose in Ruddigore with Theater at Monmouth (ME).This January she'll perform as Olympia/Blue Lady in Pinocchio as a Young Artist with Cedar Rapids Opera (IA). She'll also make her NYC recital debut in February with pianist Peyson Moss at the American Irish Historical Society.

Other 2014-15 season highlights have included Amalia in She Loves Me (DE), Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins (TN), and Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (MD), for which she was nominated for  Broadway World's "Best Actress in a Musical" award for the Baltimore region.

Laura made her Baltimore debut as the title role in Lakmé with Peabody Opera Theatre. She has also performed as Susanna (Le Nozze di Figaro), Anna (The King and I), and Adele (Die Fledermaus) in DC area festivals. Other roles have included Constance in Dialogues des Carmelites, Oscar in Un ballo in Maschera, and Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard, in which she "danced her role with grace and style" (Washington Post). In 2014, she also reprised Adele in Die Fledermaus with the Bel Cantanti Opera Company at DC's Singapore Embassy.

In concert, Laura has performed soprano solos in the MessiahCarmina Burana, and Haydn's Kleine Orgelmesse, among others. She has also appeared on FOX Business channel as a soloist for concerts with the VA Medical-Musical Orchestra. In recent seasons she has joined the Columbia Pro Cantare as a soloist for Mozart's Regina Coeli (K127) and Rutter's Requiem. She has also performed as both a soloist and professional chorister with the Emmanuel Episcopal Choir in Baltimore.

Maryland local theater credits have included Julie (Carousel), Rose (Meet Me in St. Louis), Lily (The Secret Garden), and Meg (Little Women), among others. For her role in Little Women, Laura was nominated for a 2013 Readers' Choice Award for "Best Supporting Actress in a Musical" by DC Metro Theater Arts, who described her voice as "almost ethereal in beauty and stunning to hear". An active outreach performer, Laura regularly sings solo recitals for local events.

Laura earned her Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Dr. Stanley Cornett, where she held a full-tuition assistantship for her work with Peabody's ESL and Opera departments. At Peabody, she was awarded as an Outstanding Voice Student and co-directed "13 Roses: An Evening at the Opera". She also taught English Applications class and led several workshops, including a seminar for the Road Scholars Program on "crossover" singers. Laura holds bachelor's degrees in English and Voice from Indiana University, where she studied with Carlos Montané. In addition to singing, Laura is a certified ESL instructor and document editor.

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Rob McGinness, Baritone

Lyric Baritone Rob McGinness is an enterprising musician, singing Mozart to Musto and creating works in collaboration with varied groups such as NASA and children's theaters. Currently based in the Baltimore area, Rob performs with ensembles and opera companies in the United States and Europe. Rob performs regularly with local ensembles Concert Artists of Baltimore, Baltimore Musicales, and Bel Cantanti Opera.

Rob is known for his authentic and moving performances in both operatic and recital repertoire. His operatic roles include Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a role lauded for his "bright baritone and winning jitteriness." Other recent performances include Le chat, and L'horloge comtoise in Ravel's L'enfant et les sortilèges, Jules Goddard in A Wedding by William Bolcom and Don Quijote in De Falla's puppet opera El retablo de maese Pedro. Rob's concert credits include the baritone Solo in Durufle's Requiem with Oberlin College's Musical Union, and the bass solo in Schubert's Mass in G, with Concert Artists of Baltimore, a performance praised by the Baltimore Sun's Tim Smith for its "poetic warmth."

Rob is deeply invested in bringing new and engaging music to audiences, premiering both his own and other new works. A composer himself, he created and premiered Apollo, an 11-part multimedia song cycle based on the Apollo 11 mission, in collaboration with NASA. Apollo was premiered at IngenuityFest 2013 in Cleveland OH. He has written vocal, orchestral, theatrical and choral works, including Dick Tracy for Andy's Summer Playhouse in Wilton NH, and The Tragedians an orchestral work performed by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.

Rob has had the honor of working in master classes with Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, and John Musto. He graduated from Oberlin Conservatory in 2013, winning several awards including the Ruth Cogan Memorial Scholarship and the Margot Bos Stambler Award. Rob currently studies with Stanley Cornett in Baltimore.

Rob's upcoming performances include the bass solo in Handel's Dixit Dominus with Concert artists of Baltimore, and Mizgir in Bel Cantanti's performance of Rimsky–Korsakov's Snow Maiden.

When he is not rehearsing or performing, Rob is an eclectic cook who also enjoys brewing his own beer and cider.

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Jacqueline Pollauf, Harpist

Jacqueline Pollauf, solo harpist, has been praised for playing with "transcendent ability" (The Sybaritic Singer), and a "steady and most satisfying elegance" (The Toledo Blade). Jacqueline frequently creates her own arrangements, and audiences are intrigued and delighted by the variety of sounds and styles to be found in her sensitive playing.

Jacqueline has given solo performances throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including on Vivre Musicale's Se la Musique Series; at the Academy Art Museum of Easton, Maryland; and at the Windup Space in Baltimore. In 2014, Jacqueline was honored with an Individual Artist's Award from the Maryland State Arts Council.

Jacqueline made her solo debut at age sixteen with the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra (Perrysburg, OH). Recording credits include Music from Three Continents with the Scottish Voices ensemble of Glasgow, Scotland; Howard Hanson: Organ Concerto with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra; and a solo recording, Bouquet.

In the world of contemporary classical music, Jacqueline collaborated with saxophonist Noah Getz in the duo Pictures on Silence from 2009-2014. Together they released an album of avant-garde classical music, Voyage, featuring several of their more than twenty commissions. The duo performed at the 2011 World Harp Congress (Vancouver, Canada) and have been recognized with numerous awards and grants, including a Chamber Music America Commissioning Grant, and a Yellow Barn Artist Residency.

Jacqueline has explored a variety of styles of music, including an appearance on the Washington Women in Jazz Festival at Bohemian Caverns, performances with hip hop artists as part of the Baltimore Boom Bap Society, and free improv in the Out of Your Head Collective.

Jacqueline is on the faculties of American University, the Baltimore School for the Arts, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Goucher College, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and is the founder and director of the Baltimore Harp Camp. Jacqueline holds Master and Bachelor of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory.

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Lester Lynch is the featured artist in the May 2017 concert.