SALISBURY, MD---More than 100 classically trained musicians, many of them young, commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of WSCL at its annual Celebration of Music. The Public Radio Delmarva concert is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1401 Camden Ave.
This year’s festive gala spotlights several vocalists, a brass ensemble, three pianists, two choirs and an organist. They range from professionals who have appeared with nationally known orchestras and opera companies to some of the area’s most talented young musicians.
Performances include bass-baritone Peter Van De Graaff who sings Mozart duets with his wife, Kathleen, a soprano. She also sings a selection by Puccini.
The Easton Choral Arts Society, under the direction of Douglas I. Smith, performs two choruses from the Verdi operas, Nabucco and Il Trovatore. Together, the Asbury United Methodist Chancel Choir, under the direction of Robert Young, and the Salisbury Choral Arts Society, under the direction of William Folger, director of choral activities at Salisbury University, perform “I Was Glad” by Sir Charles Hubert H. Parry.
Asbury organist Robert Young of Salisbury plays one of this year’s instrumental selections, a toccata by Henri Mulet. A graduate of the Westminster Choir College of Princeton, NJ, Young is the founder of the Easton-based choral ensemble “Bach to the Future.”
Pianists participating in the celebration are Ray Brokamp of Salisbury, performing a Brahms rhapsody; the Russian-trained Luba Paskova, playing a Rachmaninoff prelude; and Salisbury native Derek Wu, a student at the Peabody Conservatory, performing a Chopin impromptu.
SU alumna Beth Holder Hallworth, a soprano, sings the spiritual “Give Me Jesus” and “The Flower Duet” from Madama Butterfly. Hallworth is a member of the Easton Choral Arts Society and the Salisbury Chamber Singers.
Leading off the second act is a brass ensemble featuring trumpeter Ron Davis of Westover, MD, and trombonist Lee Knier of SU’s Department of Music. Also performing is his wife, pianist Veronica Knier, of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Contralto Kerry Ann Erickson of Wilmington, DE, performs an aria from La Cenerentola by Rossini. She is accompanied by pianist Mark Blaschke. Soprano Shiloh Wersen, a University of Delaware junior, performs selections from Madama Butterfly and The Tales of Hoffmann.
Baritone Richard Trice of Seaford, DE, has delighted audiences at past celebrations and will sing Valentin’s aria from Faust by Charles Gounod. Another Delaware singer, Michael Thompson of Dover, sings the ever popular “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Founded in connection with WSCL’s 10th anniversary in 1996, the Celebration of Music promotes classical music and regional musicians. This year’s event is designed to thank the audience of Public Radio Delmarva for 20 years of support. The performances will be recorded and broadcast on WSCL 89.5 FM at a later date.
The concert is free and the public is invited. A “Meet the Performers” reception follows in the Fellowship Hall of the church. For more information call 410-543-6985.