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Department of Music to host October 25 Salon Series concert

ISSUED: 12 October 2018
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s 2018-2019 Department of Music Salon Series, sponsored by Jefferson Security Bank, presents “From the Inkwell: a recital of poetry and passion” on Thursday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Frank Center W.H. Shipley Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

Soprano Dr. Rachel Carlson, assistant professor of music, and baritones Dr. Robert Tudor, Department of Music chair, and Dr. Bobb Robinson, adjunct music faculty, will present a recital driven by poetry, exploring themes of passion, forbidden love and longing, family, and justice. The performance will also feature an East Coast premiere of a new work by composer Laurence Guittard, contemporary pieces written for or arranged by the artists, and collaborations with Broadway conductor/pianist Jean Browne and pianist Dr. Yu-Hsuan Liao, associate professor of music.

Carlson conducts the Shepherd Chamber Singers, Camerata, and Masterworks Chorale. She founded and serves as artistic director of Six Degree Singers, a community choir based in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is now in its 10th year. She is assistant conductor of the Washington Master Chorale. In 2014, Carlson was nominated for a Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for best Classical Conductor/Director. She has toured the country and the world as a freelance professional choral singer and soprano soloist with many top professional ensembles, including the Oregon Bach Festival, True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Vox Humana, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Washington Master Chorale, Washington Bach Consort, Conspirare, Manhattan Chorale, and Germany’s Bach Ensemble Helmuth Rilling.

Tudor has been featured annually as guest artist in the Montana Early Music Festival, and returns to Montana often in the summer as an artist and instructor at the Helena Choral Festival, where he directs, teaches, and appears as soloist in recitals and concerts. In 2012, Tudor appeared as a guest artist at “The Art of Argento,” a two-week celebration of the music of contemporary American composer Dominick Argento at the University of Maryland. During his residency at the festival, he performed Argento’s solo work for baritone “The Andree Expedition” and the mono-dramatic opera “A WaterBird Talk.” Awards include an Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council and Artist of the Year from Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia.

Robinson has performed for three presidents and appeared at the Kennedy Center, Washington National Cathedral, and the White House. A 2001 regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Robinson has performed more than 20 operatic roles and recently co-wrote and performed an original cabaret, “Une soireé à l’Olympia,” presented as part of “Paris on the Potomac,” Washington, D.C.’s, yearlong celebration of French art and culture. As a concert soloist, Robinson has performed with the Washington Bach Consort, Denver Bach Society, Montana Early Music Festival, and National Gallery of Art Vocal Ensemble. European recital performances include the Alba Music Festival in Italy and Festival d’Avignon in France. He has been a featured performer on recordings with the choirs of the Washington National Cathedral, as well as the recent Clear Note Records release of Brahms’ vocal chamber music, “Liebestreu.”

Browne began piano lessons at age three and at 16 debuted as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She broke musical ground as the first woman to conduct everywhere she has worked and has had a career as an accompanist, vocal coach, conductor, producer, music copyist, and technology expert. She performs using an iPad as a music reader along with a bluetooth pedal that turns pages. Browne has accompanied soloists at the Helena Choral Week since 2009 and was an accompanist for the Summer Vocal Institute in Graz, Austria, a vocal coach for the opera in Osnabrück, Germany, and associate music director and conductor for the Broadway production and the 42-week national tour of “Peter Pan,” starring Sandy Duncan, becoming the first woman to conduct a hit Broadway show. For two seasons, Browne was the associate music director for both the San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theater and Dallas Summer Musicals.

A native of Taipei, Taiwan, Liao is a piano soloist, collaborative artist, and music educator. She has expanded her repertoire in instrumental, chamber, vocal, and choral music in various styles and periods. Liao worked with American Repertory Ensemble and performed piano solo, chamber, and accompanying vocal music in the company’s performance series. Her solo performance with A.R.E., “Valses Poéticos,” was nominated for best instrumentalist in the Austin Critics Table Award for the 2008-2009 season. Laio gave a piano lecture-recital based on her published book titled “Manuel de Falla’s Cuatro Piezas Españoles: Combinations and Transformations of the Spanish Folk Modes” and a solo piano performance in composers’ new composition concert at the College Music Society conferences. Liao is the district chair of the Eastern Panhandle Music Teachers Association and WVMTA state collaborative performance chair.

For more information about the concert series or other music department events, call 304-876-5555 or visit

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