Masterworks Chorale performs Schubert's Mass in G and Faure Requiem

The Masterworks Chorale, the Eastern Panhandle's premiere vocal ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Erik Reid Jones, will present two of the greatest choral works bookending the 19th century, Schubert's Mass in G and the passionate and moving Requiem by Gabriel Faure. These two works demonstrate the beginning and the end of the Romantic period and will be performed with full orchestra and soloists on Saturday, November 10th at 8:00 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church in Charles Town, and Sunday, November 11th at 7:00 p.m. at the Frank Arts Center Theater in Shepherdstown.

Schubert's "Mass in G" will be guest conducted by accomplished maestro Stephen Czarkowski. Professor of cello at Shepherd University, Czarkowski is also on the cello and conducting faculty of Landon School, Bullis School, Montgomery College. He is principal cellist (Jim and Linda Walker Chair) of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. He graduated from The Catholic University of America with a Graduate Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting, after receiving a full scholarship and teaching assistantship, and graduated in the top percentile of his class from the Mannes College, The New School for Music with a Master of Music in cello and conducting. He received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Mannes College, The New School for Music. He is an active member of the Conductors Guild, and serves on the Board of Directors. In demand as a conductor, cellist and educator in the Washington D.C. area and nationally, he serves as Assistant Conductor of the Opera Camerata of Washington DC, as well as orchestra personnel manager and principal cellist. He is conductor of the Apollo Chamber Orchestra and the Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra. He led The National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. as a debut conductor, in conjunction with being selected for the 2003 National Conducting Institute, directed by Music Director Leonard Slatkin. Other guest conducting appearances include Honolulu Symphony, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra and the 2008 The Berlin Airlift Orchestra, in a special Veterans Day performance at St. Matthews Cathedral.

Music director Dr. Erik Reid Jones will conduct the Faure "Requiem." The Director of Choral Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Dr. Jones is also 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.

The Masterworks Chorale, a vocal ensemble with over 130 singers, comprised of Shepherd University vocal students and members from the surrounding community, presents two full-length productions of great masterpieces from the choral literature every year, as well as appearances at Shepherd University's Annual Holiday Gala Concert.

General admission for the Masterworks Chorale is $22 in advance and $27 at the door, $15 for students 18 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets call 304-876-5765 or visit www.sufom.org.