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Shepherd University's Masterworks Chorale performs Haydn and Handel November 9 and 10

ISSUED: 1 November 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Shepherd University's Masterworks Chorale performs Haydn and Handel November 9 and 10)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University's Masterworks Chorale, the Eastern Panhandle's premiere vocal ensemble, will present a Haydn and Handel concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, November 9 at St. Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, and at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 10 at the Frank Center.

Special guest conductor Greg Shook will lead the choir and orchestra in two of Handel's coronation anthems "Zadok the Priest" and "My Heart is Inditing," plus the finale "Hallelujah, Amen" from his oratorio "Judas Maccabeus."

Music director Dr. Erik Jones, director of choral and vocal activities at Shepherd, will lead the ensembles in Haydn's "Lord Nelson" mass.

Shook, a native of Hagerstown, received his bachelor and master of music degrees from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in church music from Shenandoah University with high honors. His teachers have included Farrell Coy, Richard White, Fred Gruenebaum, and Rudy Vrbsky. As a professional oboist, Shook performed with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Washington National Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Washington Bach Consort and in pit orchestras for the National and Warner theaters. He also has presented numerous solo recitals, chamber music programs, and performances with other freelance ensembles throughout the tri-state and Washington, D.C., areas.

Shook has served on the faculty of the Music Academy of State College, Gettysburg College, and Hagerstown Community College. In addition to his career as an oboist, he is cofounder and music/artistic director for Hagerstown Choral Arts, an auditioned choral group of 100 singers. He has held leadership positions in the American Choral Directors Association, American Guild of Organists, and Choristers Guild, and is frequently called on for workshops and as a guest conductor.

Jones is 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. He has taught at Shenandoah Conservatory, Harford Community College, and the University of Maryland. While his conducting takes him all over the Washington, D.C., region performing music from medieval times on, Jones has a particular love for a cappella choral music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He is a published author and an avid choral composer, with more than 20 works to his credit, most of which have been premiered by the Master Singers.

The Masterworks Chorale is a vocal ensemble made up of more than 130 student and community singers. It presents two full-length productions of masterpieces from the choral literature every year and appears in Shepherd's annual holiday gala concert.

Tickets are general admission $20, faculty, staff and seniors $18, and 18 and under $10. For more information or tickets, call 304-876-5765 or go to www.sufom.org.

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