Soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh is in demand as a soloist and professional chorister both in the United States and abroad. A passionate proponent of both early music and new music, she regularly performs works by composers from the French, German, English, Spanish, and Dutch Renaissance and Baroque periods as well as music written by contemporary composers. Margaret is co-founder of the French Baroque ensemble L’Académie du Roi Soleil alongside UK-born organist and harpsichordist Nicolas Haigh. In 2015 she made her debut with the Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Moody where she sang David Del Tredici’s An Alice Symphony in the presence of the composer. She regularly sings with Apollo’s Fire: Cleveland Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Jeannette Sorrell, and can be heard on recordings with Apollo’s Fire, Ensemble Vermillian, Quire Cleveland, the Piedmont Baroque Consortium, Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, and the South Dakota Chorale.
Educated as a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College, University of Cambridge, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Margaret’s experience is broad. She holds the M.Mus in Choral Studies from Clare College, where she studied conducting with Stephen Layton; was supervised by Geoffrey Webber; had the privilege of conducting the Choir of King’s College, among others; and regularly sang under Tim Brown, director emeritus of The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Her undergraduate degrees are in voice performance (B.M.) and organ (B.A.) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied voice under Nancy Walker, conducting under Carole Ott, and organ under André Lash and Robert Burns King. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Margaret served as assistant chorus-master to the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus. In 2012, she was selected as a conducting fellow at the Yale Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, CT, where she received tutelage from Simon Carrington; she has also conducted in masterclasses under David Hill (BBC Singers) and Graham Ross (The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge). In 2010, she served as acting associate director of the Keele Bach Choir, Keele Philharmonic Choir, and Keele Philharmonic Orchestra in Keele, Staffordshire (UK).
She is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University, where she studies voice with Ellen Hargis, Aaron Sheehan, and Joan Ellison and Baroque dance with Julie Andrijeski. Current scholarship includes an upcoming lecture recital on florid ornamentation practice in French brunetes, focusing on repertoire by Bénigne de Bacilly and Michel Lambert.