Masterworks Chorale Presents Bach B Minor Mass

The Masterworks Chorale, the Eastern Panhandle's premiere vocal ensemble, presents Johann Sebastian Bach's crowning achievement, his Mass in B Minor on Saturday, April 26th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center Theater.

Intentionally written as a comprehensive thesis on everything he knew about composing music, the Mass in B Minor stands as a testimony to a genius that has never been equaled. Each movement represents the best of one particular style of music from the Baroque to the Renaissance periods. As a whole, the Mass is often considered the greatest work of choral music ever written. The Masterworks Chorale will be joined by soloists Brooke Evers, soprano; Melanie Regan, mezzo-soprano; Joe Regan, tenor; Rob Tudor, baritone and the Shepherd University Chamber Singers in this unforgettable performance.

Soprano Brooke Evers studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Austria, performing in Vienna, Berlin, and Milan before returning to D.C., where she has been heard as a soloist at the Kennedy Center, the Embassy of Austria, the National Cathedral, the National Shrine, the Strathmore Mansion, Schlesinger Center, and most recently, the Chautauqua Institute in New York. A winner of the Vocal Arts Discovery Series Competition and the Baltimore Music Club Recital Competition, Evers was awarded Second Prize in the Russel C. Wonderlic Competition, and the David Gundlach Lied Prize in The Lotte Lehmann Foundation Art Song Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with and a member of the Washington Bach Consort and has performed as a current Young Artist with Opera Lafayette in productions of Armide, Acis and Galatea, and Le Roi et le Fermier. Her solo engagements have included Elijah, the Brahms, Mozart, and Faure Requiems, Handel's Messiah and Creation, and the Bach St. John Passion and B Minor Mass. She has participated in the Ravinia Festival of Chicago, the Franz-Schubert-Institute in Baden-bei-Wien, and masterclasses of Elly Ameling, Renee Fleming, Wolfgang Holzmair, Helmut Deutsch, and others. Under special invitation, Brooke toured Germany as a member of Helmut Rilling's Festival Ensemble Stuttgart. Not limited to classical music, Ms. Evers received recognition for her jazz singing by the city of Baltimore as a semi-finalist in the Billie Holiday Competition, and performed the role of Maria in The Sound of Music with the Vienna Choral Society. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland, from which she received her Master of Music, performing leading roles as a member of the Maryland Opera Studio. She received Bachelor's degrees in Voice and German from Indiana University.

Mezzo-soprano Melanie Zayas Regan studied at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University where she earned both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Voice. Upon completing her Masters degree she took the position of applied voice instructor at St. James School. In the past four years her position has grown to encompass not only applied instruction but also leading choir sectionals, coaching musicals, assisting in the planning of choir tours, and many other tasks that come up along the way. In 2007 she founded the Saint James Boy's Ensemble, a group that specializes in close harmony a cappella works with selections ranging from 18th century polyphony to modern pop. In addition to her role as teacher and private voice instructor, she is an active performer both locally and throughout the eastern region of the U.S.

Tenor Joseph Regan is a successful singer and voice teacher based in the Mid-Atlantic region who has performed all over the Eastern Seaboard. He can be seen on the opera stage where he has performed the roles of Fenton from Verdi's Falstaff, Tamino from Mozart's Magic Flute, Jenik from Smetana's Bartered Bride and many more. He is also an accomplished performer of musical theatre, and has performed Henrik in Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Nicely-Nicely Johnson from Loesser's Guys and Dolls, and in a number of cabaret and recital programs dedicated to the style. In addition to his work in opera and musical theatre, Mr. Regan is well known for his work in the field of oratorio. He has sung Handel, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and is particularly notable for his expertise singing Bach. He has performed the St. John Passion solos on multiple occasions and has performed more than a dozen of Bach's Cantatas. In addition to his work as a soloist, Mr. Regan is also a highly sought after ensemble singer and sings regularly with the Washington National Cathedral, The Countertop Ensemble, with whom he has completed several successful concert tours, and other well respected choral ensembles in the Washington/Baltimore area. Mr. Regan received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts at the University of Maryland.

Baritone Robert Tudor has been praised by The Washington Post for his "powerful singing voice," and "notable acting skills." He has performed opera, musical theatre, cabaret, and concert works throughout the United States. Roles have included Papageno in The Magic Flute, The Lecturer in Dominick Argento's monodramatic opera A Waterbird Talk, Freddy in My Fair Lady, and Murdoch in Titanic - A New Musical. Concert works include the Requiems of Faure and Durufle, Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Schubert's Mass in G, and Saint-Saens's Christmas Oratorio. Robert is a regular guest artist with the Montana Early Music Festival, and artist and instructor at the annual Helena Choral Festival in Helena, Montana. In 2009, Robert joined celebrated soprano Rosa Lamoreaux, pianist Betty Bullock, and bassist David Jernigan for the first in a series of national concert engagements featuring classics from Broadway. A champion of innovative performance practice, Tudor designed thematic art song recitals and concert works employing simultaneous projections of visual media (including paintings and sculpture), inspired by the poetry of the text, and performed them in the Washington, DC area, and in venues in North Florida. He created the role of Gouvenor Morris in Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia's commissioned work Nancy, by Garrison Hull, and premiered an orchestral work for baritone and oboe soloists by Lawrence Moss, entitled Dawn to Dawn - Five Poems of the Tang Dynasty. He received a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park; a Master of Music from the University of Miami, and Bachelor of Music from Stetson University. Awards include a 2003 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, 2004 Artist of the Year from Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, and 2009 Institutional Award for Excellence from Jacksonville University. Dr. Tudor joined Shepherd University in 2012 as Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Vocal Activities.

Director of Choral Activities at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Dr. Erik 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 $20, $18 for faculty, staff and seniors, and $10 for age 18 and under. For more information or to purchase tickets call 304-876-5765 or visit www.sufom.org.