A reprise of our 2015 Handel’s Messiah performances, the Robert Moody Chorale combines twenty of the area’s finest choral and operatic voices into an exciting ensemble that blends power, sensitivity, and agility for this dynamic Baroque score.
Soprano Jodi Burns is recognized as an exciting new voice in opera. Prior to her professional debut with Piedmont Opera as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, Jodi appeared numerous times on the stage of the Stevens Center. Roles include Barbarina (The Marriage of Figaro), the Dew Fairy (Hansel and Gretel), and Ida (Die Fledermaus) — all with conductor Jamie Allbritten. She performed with the Princeton Festival under conductor Richard Tangyuk as Ann Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). Other appearances include Lauretta with Opera Theatre of the Rockies and concert performances with the North Carolina Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Symphony, and with the UNCSA Symphony. She also is the singer/songwriter in the band Judy Barnes. The band performs throughout the state, having had features spots at Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh and Phuzz Phest in Winston-Salem.
Aaron Carlyle is a native of North Carolina where he works as a professional singer, voice teacher, church musician, and realtor. Aaron earned a Bachelor of Music from East Carolina University and a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College. He has been an active choral singer and soloist for 15 years and has sung with many world renowned orchestras including, The New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestras. International choir tours have included cathedral concerts in England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Norway, and Sweden. Aaron currently sings on staff at Duke University Chapel, Brownson Memorial Presbyterian Church, with the Raleigh Bach Soloists, and has sung as a soloist and chorister on the Bach Cantata series at Duke University Chapel.
Hailed for her “clear bright tone” (Cleveland Classical) and described as “fiery, wild, and dangerous” (CVNC), soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh has recently performed as a soloist with the Portland (ME) Symphony, Winston-Salem (NC) Symphony, Oxford Bach Soloists, and Apollo’s Fire. During the 2017-18 season, she looks forward to solo débuts with the Memphis Symphony and the Newberry Consort as well as to performances with Wyoming Baroque, Raleigh Bach Soloists, and Handel and Haydn Society. Alongside Nicolas Haigh, Margaret is co-founder of L’Académie du Roi Soleil, an ensemble specializing in French music from the time of Louis XIV. She was a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College, Cambridge, and holds the DMA in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University. www.margaretcarpenter.org
Liz Doebler is the Assistant Director of Choral Activities at High Point University and the Director of Music and Worship at Trinity Covenant Church in Greensboro. She previously appeared as a soloist with the Winston-Salem Symphony for the 2015 Messiah concert. Doebler is a member and soloist of Bel Canto Company and served as the Assistant Conductor for three years. A Rochester, NY native, she completed her DMA in Choral Conducting in 2014 at UNC-Greensboro, where she also earned her Master’s in Vocal Performance in 2007. She completed her Master’s in Music Education and Bachelor’s in Music Education/Vocal Performance at Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY.
Carl DuPont has appeared internationally on stages in Germany, Austria, Israel, Hong Kong, Mexico as well as numerous opera companies, orchestras, and ensembles throughout America including the Glimmerglass Festival and Opera Carolina. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and currently serves as an assistant professor of voice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Stephanie Foley Davis has appeared in leading roles throughout the US with companies such as Arizona Opera, Nashville Opera, Nightingale Opera Theatre, Orlando Philharmonic and almost every professional opera company in North Carolina, including Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera, North Carolina Opera, and Greensboro Opera. Stephanie will return to the Winston-Salem Symphony in March 2018 to perform the mezzo-soprano solos in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” and Jenkins’ The Armed Man under the baton of Robert Moody, after which they will reprise the concert with the Portland Symphony Orchestra (Maine).
James Franklin is the Director of Choral Activities at East Carolina University where he conducts the internationally renowned ECU Chamber Singers, directs the Men’s Chorus, teaches undergraduate conducting, and directs the graduate program in choral conducting. Recent honors include invitations to perform at the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing in Varna, Bulgaria, SW-ACDA Convention, Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and Duke Chapel in Durham, NC.
Christopher Gilliam is director of choral activities at Davidson College, director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, director of Lake Norman Choral Artists, and director of music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. He has sung professionally with the Winston-Salem and Memphis Symphonies, and as chorister under Simon Carrington and Dale Warland. Gilliam received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas where he studied with conductors Brian Priestman and Simon Carrington.
Mezzo-soprano Mary Gayle Greene is known for her wide vocal range and rich contralto timbre. Her performances have been broadcast on NPR and PBS and she is the mezzo-soprano soloist on the world premiere recording of Kaplan’s K’dusha Symphony with soprano Roberta Peters. Mary Gayle enjoys that her career provides both the opportunity to perform and to teach. She lives in Boone, NC where she is on the voice faculty at the Hayes School of Music.
James R. “Jimmy” Jones has appeared as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor throughout the United States and abroad. His choirs have been heard around the country as well as throughout England, Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague. He is currently in his eighth year as Director of Music for Myers Park United Methodist Church. Under his leadership the music program has grown to over 300 participants. He has led in the commissioning of twelve new works for chorus and/or instrumental ensemble, created a new all-music-ministry Christmas concert, and twice led worship at Duke Chapel in Durham, North Carolina. Mr. Jones also serves as conductor/director of Nova Voce, a professional women’s chorus in Charlotte, and is on the board of the Charlotte Oratorio Society.
Megan Jones, mezzo-soprano, is a resident of Charlotte, NC and a native of Rochester, NY. Following a line of church musicians going back to her great-grandmother, Megan has been singing all her life. Currently she sings with Bach Akademie Charlotte Cantata Choir, Myers Park United Methodist Church Chamber Singers and Chancel Choir, Caritas, Salem Drive, and Nova Voce, of which she serves as President of the Board of Directors. Recent favorite performances have included Bach’s Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme and Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott with Bach Akademie Charlotte, Jenkins’ The Armed Man at Riverside Church in New York, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.
Elizabeth Joyner has performed as a soloist and ensemble member for audiences throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, France, Portugal, Austria, and Brazil. With degrees in piano performance and German from the University of Arkansas (summa cum laude), she studied music in Leipzig, Germany on a Fulbright Scholarship, and completed her Ph.D. in musicology from Duke University. Notable solo appearances have included performances of Handel’s Messiah and Dixit Dominus with the Concert Singers of Cary; Kodaly’s Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem (International Haydn Festival, Vienna, Austria) with the Choral Society of Durham; and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, led by New York Philharmonic chorusmaster Joseph Flummerfelt. Hailed as a “delightful and outstanding” performer (Classical Voice of North Carolina), Elizabeth performs regularly with the Raleigh Bach Soloists, Duke Chapel Evensong Singers, Voices of a New Renaissance, and other small ensembles throughout the Triangle area. She operates a thriving piano studio in Chapel Hill, where she lives with her husband and two young sons.
Elizabeth Johnson Knight, American mezzo soprano, is in demand as both a choral and solo artist, appearing recently with Ars Lyrica, Duke Vespers Ensemble, Sinfonia da Camera, Duke Bach Choir, and Monroe Symphony Orchestra. Elizabeth regularly sings with professional choral ensembles, including the Carmel Bach Festival Chorale, Orpheus Chamber Singers, Tennessee Chamber Chorus, Vox Humana, Kinnara, and the South Dakota Chorale. She has recorded for Gothic, Naxos, Pentatone, MSR Classics, and Affetto Records. Elizabeth has held positions at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, the University of Louisiana Monroe, Murray State University, and the University of North Texas. She is currently on the faculty of the University of Georgia. Elizabeth holds degrees in voice from the University of North Texas, Indiana University, and the University of Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.lizknightmezzo.com.
Adam Reader Lalor lives in Charlotte with his wonderful wife Amy. There, he sings in the choirs at Myers Park UMC and works in a job he struggles to explain even in person. He arrived by way of Furman University (only a few short years after conductor Robert Moody) and the choirs there. Favorite music to sing includes barbershop, chamber, and any piece where the composer has granted the basses a low note at the end.
Bass-baritone Nathan Milholin is a Greensboro native and a fourth-year Resident Artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, with whom he has sung roles in La bohème, L’italiana in Algeri, Die Zauberflöte, Lucia di Lammermoor, Rigoletto, Don Giovanni, Mephistopheles in Faust, and the title role of Gianni Schicchi. Other roles have included Doctor and Servant in Macbeth with the Glimmerglass Festival, José Castro/Billy Jackrabbit (cover) in Fanciulla del west and Lodovico (cover) in Otello, both with the Castleton Festival, and Bertrand (Iolanta), Capellio (I Capuleti e I Montecchi), Junius (The Rape of Lucretia) and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) all with Yale Opera.
Marshall Rollings holds the degree for Master of Music in Voice Performance from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, where he studied with Marjorie Bennett Stephens. He received a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance and minor in Entrepreneurship from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he studied with Dr. Carla LeFevre. Past performances include debuts with Opera Roanoke in the roles of Ruiz and El Remendado. Roles performed with the University of Tennessee include Rodolfo, Male Chorus, Count Almaviva, and Ferrando. Other past performances include tenor soloist in Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and Handel’s Messiah. Marshall is a member of the professional Morning Choir at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, USA, and studies with tenor Jim Doing.
Tenor Daniel Stein, whose voice has been described as “warm and flexible,” began the 2017-2018 season debuting with the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra singing Symphony Number 9 (Beethoven). Other engagements include returning to the Winston-Salem Symphony and debuting with the Springfield Symphony (OH). Previous engagements have seen Stein perform with Arizona MusicFest, Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro Opera, Greensboro Symphony, New York City Chamber Orchestra, Opera Carolina, Opera Columbus, the Portland Symphony, and many others. A member of the voice faculty at Wright State University in Dayton, OH, he currently lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and their three daughters.
Joshua Wald is a recent graduate of Winthrop University, where he earned his Bachelors in Music Education with an Emphasis in Vocal Performance. Since graduating, Wald has performed with Opera Carolina’s Opera Xpress program and Main Stage Productions, as well as with various choral groups throughout the Carolinas. Joshua currently works as a private voice teacher at Clover High School in Clover, SC.
Praised for her dynamic stage presence and warmly expressive vocalism, Sara Womble is a Jane and Steven Akin Emerging Artist at Boston Lyric Opera, where she recently made her mainstage debut as Barbarina/Susanna cover in Le nozze di Figaro. Most recently, she sang the Shepherdess in BLO’s Tosca, Susanna in Point Loma Opera Theater’s Figaro, and Lady Ella in Odyssey Opera’s Patience. Upcoming engagements include Countess Ceprano/Gilda cover in North Carolina Opera’s Rigoletto, Gretel in BLO’s educational production of Hansel and Gretel, and the leading role in BLO’s 2018 world premier of Tod Machover’s Schoenberg in Hollywood.
With a sound that is designed to connect straight to the heart of the listener, spinto soprano Zuri has been described as the “sonic embodiment of love.” Her warm and rich tone combined with an uncanny dramatic sensibility has long made her a favorite among audiences in the Midwest, and recently, in the Charlotte area. Diverse repertoire from Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Dona Nobis Pacem,” and The Countess in “The Marriage of Figaro,” to cabaret and electronica have given her a wide range of audiences and a growing skill set. Zuri was last featured with the Winston-Salem Symphony performing a dramatic interpretation of “He Was Despised” during the 2015 “Messiah” concert.