Glenn Memorial UMC
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Loving God, Loving Neighbor
Steven Darsey, Director of Music
Steven Darsey holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and has studied musicology with the late Peter LeHuray at Cambridge and conducting with Helmuth Rilling at Stuttgart. Mr. Darsey’s vocation, experience, and education are principally devoted to planning and leading music for the worship of God. His conducting repertoire and experience range from Gregorian chant to the avant-garde and from small ensembles to choral-orchestral groups. He has prepared choirs for Sir David Willcocks and the late Robert Shaw. He lectures and publishes on the history and practice of church music and his work on Georgia’s famous tunebook, The Sacred Harp, led him to establish a series of worship services with Fred Craddock based on Southern folk hymns. His expertise in planning worship led the Association of Disciple Musicians to invite him to plan and administer their daily worship services for their 2005 national conference. Active as a composer, he has written and arranged over 100 works with publications through Lyra Sacra, Lawson-Gould and World Library music publishers. His choral setting of Sidney Lanier’s “Song of the Chattahoochee” was premiered October 20, 2006 by the choirs of the Paideia School under the direction of Katherine Murray. A performance reading of Mr. Darsey’s new setting of Sidney Lanier’s “The Marshes of Glynn” was presented on March 2, 2008 by the Glenn Chancel Choir under his direction. The summer of 2009, during a month's sabbatical on the Georgia coast, he composed new music and completed the orchestration. For his work on Georgia's Ossabaw Island on this composition, he was named the Sandy West Ossabaw Fellow for 2010. Mr. Darsey’s conducting, singing and compositions are available on six CDs and three videos. A lifetime church musician, he has since 1986 been Music Director of the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church.
Timothy A. Albrecht, Organist Laureate
Since 1982 Timothy Albrecht serves as Organist Laureate at Glenn Memorial. He is also Emory University Organist, Professor of Music in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Church Music in the Candler School of Theology. At Emory he heads the graduate organ department. Augsburg Fortress Press in Minneapolis publishes 12 volumes of his hymn-based organ compositions, Grace Notes. His solo compact discs include Grace Notes (1997), Bach Live! (1998) and Grace Notes, Too! (2005) and Timothy Albrecht Performs Bach Live! (2006). Organ concert tours span Alaska to the Andes, Chicago to China. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin and Eastman, he is a life member at Cambridge University in England and is the Washington, D.C. Luther Institute recipient of the Wittenberg Award for his life-long contributions to church music.
Todd Skrabanek, Accompanist
Todd Skrabanek began playing piano at age 4, and received early training from conductor-pianist William Noll. He received his Bachelor of Music from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied under acclaimed pianist Susan Starr. He went on to become pianist for the Choral Guild of Atlanta, the Atlanta Opera, and the Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. He received jazz training from Ted Howe before receiving his Master of Music degree from Georgia State University under Cary Lewis. Presently he is accompanist for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Meridian Chorale and the Glenn Chancel Choir.
Wes Griffin, Associate Director of Music
Born and raised in Atlanta, Wes Griffin holds a B.S. degree from Emory University, a M.M. from Florida State University and an MBA from Georgia State University. He has performed with numerous sacred and secular vocal groups and is currently the Director of Youth Music and Associate Music Director of Glenn Memorial Church. He has built a model classically-based youth music program with strong participation. Wes is also an accomplished tenor soloist. At a previous spring concert, he performed Britten’s virtuosic Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Alexis Lundy, Director of the Covenant Choir and Soprano Soloist
A native of Locust Grove, Georgia, soprano Alexis Lundy is a graduate of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she received her Master of Music degree in voice performance. While at Indiana University, her stage credits included Zdenka in Richard Strauss’ Arabella, Micaëla in Carmen, and Pamina in The Magic Flute. Other roles have included Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Angelina in Trial by Jury, and Edith in Pirates of Penzance. Miss Lundy has been a young artist with Des Moines Metro Opera and a studio artist with Central City Opera. She performed the role of Mimi in Portland Opera’s Opera To Go educational outreach tour of La Bohème. When singing with Portland’s Opera to Go in Oregon, she toured the state performing for and teaching children to encourage an appreciation for opera. She also sang the role of Mimi in concert with the Oregon East Symphony. She was the soprano soloist for Mahler’s Fourth Symphony performed with the Indiana University Festival Orchestra under the baton of conductor Roberto Abbado. Other oratorio credits include Handel’s Messiah, the Mozart Requiem, Camille Saint-Saëns’ Christmas Oratorio and Haydn’s Salve Regina. Miss Lundy has twice been named a winner in the Metropolitan Opera National Council district auditions. She has received first-place awards at National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions at both state and regional levels. She was the winner of the first annual William Knight Performers’ Competition and placed second nationally in the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Voice Competition. She graduated cum laude with honors in music from Shorter College in Rome, GA, where she received bachelor degrees in voice performance and music education. She has directed children’s choirs at Rome First United Methodist Church and Luella Baptist Church where she also directed programs for the adult choir. She has been a staff soloist for churches in Georgia and Indiana. Ms Lundy is a member of the chamber choir Coro Vocati. She currently teaches at Gordon College in Barnesville, Georgia, has a private studio for voice and piano, and is a staff singer at Glenn Memorial.
Kristen Gwaltney, Director of the Carol Choir
Kristen Gwaltney enjoys making music with a variety of organizations around Atlanta. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education, she began teaching elementary school music. During the first years of her career, she completed a Master of Arts in Music. Kristen sings with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus and with the Meridian Chorale. She sang Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and with the Berlin Philharmonic in Berlin, Germany. She has traveled with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chamber Chorus to the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and Carnegie Hall in New York. She was a staff soloist for Peachtree Road United Methodist Church Chancel Choir during their residency with Southwark Cathedral in London and has also served as a staff soloist for Peachtree Christian Church. Kristen currently teaches music at Lilburn Elementary School.
Mary Lindsey Lewis, Director of the Cherub Choir
Mary Lindsey Lewis was born into a musical family and has been involved in musical interests her entire life. She graduated from Furman University with a degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education in 1974. During her years at Furman she sang with the Furman Singers under the direction of Bingham Vick, Jr. Upon returning to Atlanta, she began her teaching career with DeKalb County Schools and earned a Masters Degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Georgia State University. Mary Lindsey has sung with the Collegium Vocale of Emory, the Mercer University Singers – now known as the Michael O’Neal Singers, and the Glenn Memorial Chancel Choir. She regularly attends the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet. She also enjoys gardening, birding, travel and cats.
Bass Jonathan Blanchard received a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music and a Master of Science in Music Education from Tennessee State University. His stage credits include roles as diverse as the Priest in Your Arms too Short to Box with God, Bernardo in Westside Story, Simeon and Potifer in Joseph’s Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Ceasar in Scipio, the Ex-Slave in Do Lord Remember Me, and the Lion in The Wiz. Drawn also to film, he has appeared as an extra in several movie block-busters, done voice-over work for local and national concerns, appeared on Memphis’ WREG – Live at 9 program and most recently been the featured singing artist on the PBS film Underground Railroad – Quilt Code. In conjunction with the Opera Memphis Educational Outreach Program – Black Roots in Opera, Jonathan toured throughout Tennessee’s major metropolitan area to help celebrate the life and artistry of Paul Robeson. His operatic credits include affiliations with the Capital City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Walker Academy of Instrumental and Vocal Excellence and Atlanta Lyric Opera. Oglethorpe College/Americolor Opera Alliance Guild presented him the title role of Solomon, a work written especially for him by critically acclaimed composer Sharon Willis.
Jerry Guest, bass-baritone, has been singing professionally in the Atlanta area for many years. He sang his first adult operatic roles when he was 14 years old: the roles of the Sacristan and the Jailer in Tosca with the Mobile Opera Company in Mobile, Alabama. Innumerable appearances in opera, oratorio and recital have ensued in the almost 50 years since. Jerry holds the life-time honor, Bass Laureate, at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church.
A native of Augusta, Georgia, tenor Timothy Miller earned his B.A. degree from Morehouse College in 2003 and M.M. degree from Mannes College of Music in 2005. He made his operatic debut with the Mannes Opera program performing the roles of Monostatos and First Armored Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote. Timothy has been a participant in both the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy and the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute in San Francisco, California. He has also made appearances with both the Americolor and Capitol City Opera Companies of Atlanta, and is a past winner of the Capitol City Opera Vocal Competition. In February of 2006, he was honored to have been a guest soloist at the funeral services for the late Mrs. Coretta Scott King. In June of 2006 Timothy made his Oakland Opera debut performing the role of Street in Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X. In January 2007, he made his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performing the role of Erster Lakai in a concert version of excerpts from Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier. Timothy has made appearances as a chorister and solo artist with the Atlanta Opera. Recent performances include Un Messaggero in Verdi’s Aida, First Armored Man in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote and Crab Man in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. As a staff singer he has held positions at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, the Riverside Church in New York and here at Glenn Memorial. Timothy has also made appearances as a featured soloist for the Atlanta Braves, as well as guest artist for the 2011 Georgia Gubernatorial Inauguration Ceremony. He is currently on the teaching faculties of Morehouse College and The Lovett School.
Stephen Ozcomert, Bass-Baritone, is a regular performer in Atlanta area concert halls. He has performed frequently as a soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra including the role of “Figaro” in a performance of the Act II Finale in 2004 from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro under Robert Spano’s direction and was the soloist for a 2006 master season performance of Bach’s Magnificat also under Maestro Spano . Other ASO peformances include several July 4 Holiday Concerts under the direction of Jere Flynt, an assisting soloist in 2007 under the direction of Donald Runnicles in excerpts from Strauss’ Rosenkavalier, the narrator in Copland’s Lincoln Portrait under Alexander Mickelthwaite, soloist in The Lord of the Rings Symphony under Howard Shore, an assisting soloist (“Sergeant”) for 2007 performances and Telarc Digital recording of Puccini’s La Boheme under Robert Spano, and also played the role of a Japanese Envoy in the 2009 ASO performances of Stravinsky’s Nightingale at Symphony Hall as well as at Carnegie Hall. Steve also was an assisting soloist under Robert Shaw for the 1996 performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion both in Atlanta and at Carnegie Hall and has served as soloist in performances of the ASO Chorus and Chamber Chorus on several other occasions under Norman Mackenzie, Yoel Levi, and others. Steve currently serves as a staff soloist at the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church and frequently appears as soloist with the Meridian Chorale conducted by Steven Darsey and with the Emory University Orchestra and Chorus under Eric Nelson and Richard Prior. Steve has also performed as a soloist with the William Baker Festival Singers, Oglethorpe University Chorus, and many churches and civic organizations. Steve’s solo work has been featured several times in radio broadcasts by WABE. Steve has sung performances of a number of operas and operettas and has an extensive repertoire of more than twenty oratorios from Bach Cantatas, the Requiems of Mozart, Faure, Durufle, and Brahms, to Orff’s Carmina Burana. Steve is a student of Elizabeth Colson.
Cynthia Watters Shepherd
A Georgia native, soprano Cynthia Shepherd’s opera and concert credits include: Tina in Jonathan Dove’s Flight (Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Theater of St. Louis), Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Aspen Opera Theater), Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Poppea in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Pamina in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, and Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo (Wolf Trap Opera Company). She has appeared as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. She was a semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mrs. Shepherd received her Bachelor of Music degree at Shorter College and her Masters degree in voice and opera performance at Indiana University. Since moving to Atlanta in 2004, Mrs. Shepherd has performed with the Atlanta Lyric Theater and Onstage Atlanta, the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, the Meridian Chorale, Emory University Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and Piedmont College Orchestra and Chorus. Mrs. Shepherd is a Board member of the Atlanta Opera Guild and the Georgia District Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She is the voice instructor at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta and also maintains a private voice studio.
Carrie Anne Wilson
Peachtree City, Georgia native Carrie Anne Wilson is a regular performer with The Atlanta Opera. She has been a member of chorus since 2004 and has been featured in numerous solos, including the title role in Little Red Riding Hood for the Atlanta Opera Studio. She has also performed leading roles with Portland Opera Repertory Theater, Knoxville Opera Company, and Nashville Opera Association, the Merola Opera Program, Western Opera Theater National Tour, and Opera in the Ozarks. Ms. Wilson’s operatic credits include Clorinda in La Cenerentola, Gretel in Hänsel and Gretel, Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, Alexandra in Regina, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Abigail Williams in The Crucible, Mabel in Pirates of Penzance, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi, and Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring. Oratorio credits include Soprano Soloist in the Rutter Requiem, Mozart’s Missa Brevis in D, Fauré’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Poulenc’s Gloria. She also appeared as Mary in Thompson’s Nativity According to St. Luke. In May 2001, her oratorio experience took her to London to sing as the Soprano Soloist in the Dvorak Te Deum and the Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem with the Virtuosi of London Orchestra. Ms. Wilson has had the honor of working with world renowned singer/stage director Graziella Sciutti and Metropolitan Opera Conductor Scott Bergeson. She has attended and performed in masterclasses with Anna Moffo, Regine Crespin, Warren Jones, John Fisher, Patrick Summers, and Lotfi Mansouri. She has performed Educational Outreach for The Atlanta Opera, Manhattan School of Music, Nashville Opera, Merola Opera Program, and Knoxville Opera Company. Awards include Finalist in the Jensen Foundation Competition, 2nd Place in the National Orpheus Vocal Competition, Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, Semi-Finalist in the Meistersinger Competition and Best Female Performer in a Leading Role. Ms. Wilson recently completed a Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College in Rome, Georgia and her Master of Music degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she was a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio from 1997-1999. Additionally, she studied at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Her voice teachers include Sharon Stevenson, Walter Huff, Cynthia Hoffmann, Andrew Wentzel and Harry Musselwhite. Ms. Wilson enjoys spending free time with her husband Jody, young son Asher and daughter Haven.
Magdalena Wór, mezzo-soprano, is a first place winner of the Marcella Sembrich and Heinz Rehfuss Vocal competitions, a finalist of the Marcello Giordani and Moniuszko International vocal competitions, a Metropolitan Opera Competition national finalist and an alumna of the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Summer Opera Program, Chautauqua Music Institution’s Marlena Malas Voice Program, St. Louis Opera Theatre’s Gerdine Young Artist Program and the Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. Additional performances include the title role in Bizet’s Carmen with Lyric Opera Virginia, Beach’s Grand Mass in E-flat Major and Bach’s Magnificat with the National Philharmonic, Handel’s Messiah with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with the Cathedral Choral Society.