The Masterworks Chorale, the Eastern Panhandle’s premiere vocal ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Rachel Carlson, will present Mozart’s Requiem on Saturday, April 23rd, at 8:00 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center Theater. Free with admission is a pre-concert lecture at 7:15 p.m. by Dr. David Gonzol, Director of Music Education at Shepherd University.
Composed in 1791, the Requiem was Mozart’s last composition and is one of his most popular and respected works. It is said to have been composed on his deathbed, so its creation is followed by 200 years of great and fanciful stories. TheMasterworks Chorale production will feature a full orchestra and Shepherd University voice faculty soloists, soprano Brooke Evers Moore, mezzo-soprano Melanie Regan, tenor Dr. Joseph Regan, and baritone Dr. Robert Robinson.
Dr. Rachel Carlson is the Visiting Director of Choral Activities at Shepherd University and conductor of the Shepherd University Chamber Singers, Women’s Camerata, and Masterworks Chorale. In addition to conducting, she teaches choral methods and conducting classes. She founded and serves as Artistic Director of Six Degree Singers, a community choir based in Silver Spring, MD, and serves as Assistant Conductor of the Washington Master Chorale. In 2014, Dr. Carlson was nominated for a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for best Classical Conductor/ Director. Dr. Carlson has toured extensively with professional choirs across the country, appearing as a soprano soloist with the Washington Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Vox Humana, and Washington Revels and as a professional choral singer with Conspirare and the Manhattan Chorale. Carlson holds Bachelor’s degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the University of Maryland, a Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Maryland.
David J. Gonzol is Associate Professor, Director of Music Education at Shepherd University. A New Jersey native, he holds degrees from Messiah College and Temple University, and a PhD is from the University of Maryland at College Park. At the University of St. Thomas, he earned Mastery Certificates in the Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk approaches. He taught music in public schools and at colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Idaho, as well as in Maryland and Minnesota. He has taught Kodaly certification courses at Shepherd and DePaul Universities. In 2009, he was awarded Shepherd University’s first-ever Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award. Gonzol is a frequent clinician, giving presentations to chapters as well as state, regional, and national conferences of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators and the American Orff Schulwerk Association. He is a visiting educator at area schools and libraries, and his research is published in the Philosophy of Music Education Review, Kodaly Envoy, and The Mountain Lake Reader. He is the founder and director of the Shepherd Preparatory Chorus and the Shepherd University Kodaly-Orff Ensemble, and he has directed school and church choirs, as well as choral festivals in the region. In 2005, Schott published a collection of his Orff arrangements, Round the Corner and Away We Go.
The Masterworks Chorale is a 130-member vocal ensemble, comprised of Shepherd University vocal students and members from the surrounding community. They present two full-length concerts per year of great masterpieces from the choral literature as well as appearances at the Annual Holiday Gala and Family Concert.
General admission for Mozart’s Requiem is $15, $10 for faculty, staff, Shepherd alumni, senior citizens, and students 18 and under; and free for Shepherd students with Rambler ID. Admission and seating is first-come, first-serve and there are no advance sales or reservations. Box office opens one hour prior to performance. For information call 304-876-5555.