Masterworks Chorale Announces Auditions

The Masterworks Chorale, the Eastern Panhandle's premiere vocal ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Erik Reid Jones, will be holding auditions for the 2010-2011 season. The 100-member vocal ensemble, comprised of Shepherd University vocal students and members from the surrounding community, presents 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. Auditions are open to everyone, and consist of vocal exercises. Singers are not required to prepare a piece in advance.

The Masterworks Chorale meets Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center rehearsal hall. The first concert of the season, Handel's Messiah, with full orchestra and guest soloists, is scheduled for Saturday, November 6 at 8:00 p.m. at St. James. Catholic Church in Charles Town. The program will be repeated on Sunday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the Frank Arts Center Theater in Shepherdstown as part of the Friends of Music Concert Series.

The Chorale will appear at the Annual Holiday Gala Concert at the Frank Arts Center on Saturday, December 4th at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, December 5th at 3:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m. the Masterworks Chorale will perform Joseph Haydn's masterpiece oratorio The Creation, with full orchestra and guest soloists at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town. The program will be repeated on Sunday, May 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Frank Arts Center Theater as part of the Friends of Music Concert Series.

Music director, Dr. Erik Reid Jones, is the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and founder and artistic director of the Master Singers of Virginia. He received his Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in vocal music education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, his Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the University of Cincinnati, and his doctoral degree in choral conducting at the University of Maryland at College Park. Locally, he has taught at Shenandoah Conservatory, Harford Community College, and the University of Maryland. While his conducting takes him all over the Washington, DC region performing music from medieval times onward, he has a particular love for a cappella choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Dr. Jones is a published author and an avid choral composer, with over twenty works to his credit, most of which have been premiered by the Master Singers.

Anyone interested in being part of the group should attend the rehearsal of the ensemble on Monday, August 16th or Monday, August 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Rehearsal Hall in the Frank Arts Center. For more information or to schedule an audition, contact Dr. Erik Reid Jones at 304-876-5371 or email ejones04@shepherd.edu.