Main Menu

Salon Series presents ‘From Baroque to Bolena’ November 12

ISSUED: 31 October 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Soprano Natalie Conte, adjunct professor of music at Shepherd University, together with Dr. David Gonzol, associate professor of music, on recorder, and Dr. Laura Renninger, dean of teaching and learning, on keyboard, will present “From Baroque to Bolena,” the third concert of the Shepherd University Department of Music’s Salon Series at 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 12 in the W.H. Shipley Recital Hall, Frank Center.

The program is an eclectic mix of rarely performed recorder music from the Baroque era and song from the Classical era, including excerpts from Donizetti’s opera “Anna Bolena.”

Conte is a performer in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area and has performed with the Baltimore Concert Opera singing the role of Fiordiligi. She most frequently appears as a soloist in outreach programs for the Lyric Opera House of Baltimore. She also has performed at the Russian Embassy, the Baltimore Vocal Arts Foundation, the Young Victorian Theatre Company, Live Arts Maryland, the State Department, and Opera Lancaster.

In addition to recitals, her opera and oratorio credits include the roles of Fiordiligi in “Cosi fan tutte,” Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni,” Rosina in “Il barbiere di Siviglia,” Musetta in “La Boheme,” Rosalinde in “Die Fledermaus,” Casilda in “The Gondoliers,” Alice Ford in Verdi’s “Falstaff,”the Countess in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” and the soprano soloist in Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.”

Beyond the local stage, she has performed in her hometown Detroit, Michigan, as well as internationally in Rome, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.

Conte has taught at Shepherd since 2008 and also teaches voice privately. She is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University where she earned master and bachelor of music degrees. While there she won awards for excellence in both performance and academics and studied with John Shirley-Quirk and Phyllis Bryn-Julson. She won second prize in the Russell C. Wonderlic Memorial Competition in 2011.

In addition to teaching music at Shepherd, Gonzol is also the director of music education and graduate program coordinator for the master of music, music education degree at Shepherd. He is a New Jersey native and holds degrees from Messiah College and Temple University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park. He has mastery certificates in the Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk approaches from the University of St. Thomas. He taught music in public schools in Pennsylvania and Idaho, and at colleges and universities there, as well as in Maryland and Minnesota. He has taught Kodaly certification courses at Shepherd and DePaul University. He was awarded Shepherd’s first-ever Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award in 2009. He has directed school and church choirs and choral festivals in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia and is the founder and director of the Shepherd Preparatory Chorus and the Shepherd University Kodaly-Orff Ensemble.

Renninger received her bachelor of music degree in performance from Miami University and her master of music and Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is an accomplished musician with a diverse range of musical experiences and has won several awards including the Toledo Ohio Young Artist Award. She has performed numerous times as a soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and has worked for several years as a rehearsal accompanist, chamber musician, and church organist. She is the accompanist for the Shepherd Three wind trio.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call 304-876-5555 or go to

— 30 —