SALISBURY, MD---When Felix Mendelssohn composed the biblical oratorio Elijah in 1846 as an homage to his idols, J.S. Bach and Handel, a masterpiece was born.
The Salisbury University Chorale and Salisbury Chorale join to present this milestone work during the inauguration of SU’s “The Magic of Music” spring music festival 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 4, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
Conducted by Dr. William Folger, director of choral studies at SU, the concert features some 89 singers and the 38 instrumentalists of the Oratorio Orchestra. Sachi Murasugi is concertmistress. Lee Knier is brass, woodwind and percussion coordinator.
Guest soloists include baritone Reginald Pindell as Elijah, mezzo-soprano Cristy Lynn Brown as Angel and Queen Jezebel, and tenor John Wesley Wright as Obadiah.
With a varied career in opera and concert settings, Pindell has performed roles in La Boheme, Il Tabarro Carmen, The Magic Flute and The Three Penny Opera, and has played the lead in Porgy and Bess with several companies. He created roles in The Life and Times of Malcom X by Anthony Davis and premiered The Sybil by Vincent Persichetti. He has sung in recital at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and with the Shanghai Philharmonic during the Beijing International Music Festival.
Brown has appeared in concert at the Mozart Bicentennial Festival at Lincoln Center. She has performed throughout France and has been featured on North Carolina Public Broadcasting. Her recent performances include Berta in The Barber of Seville, Mother in Tales of Hoffman, Alice in Lucia di Lammermoor and Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana.
Wright, faculty in SU’s Department of Music, has sung throughout the United States, Europe and Japan. He also performed a nationally televised concert for the Belgian Royal Family and appeared with Switzerland’s premiere Baroque ensemble. Wright’s live concert CD, Wade in the Water: Songs of the River, the Lakes, and the Sea, was released in March 2004. In 2000, he was the gold medalist and $10,000 top prize winner of the Savannah Music Festival American Traditions Vocal Competition. He also was featured with the American Spiritual Ensemble in the PBS documentary The Spirituals.
Student, faculty, staff and community soloists include Elaine Prenevile, William Willis, Robert Slangen, Monica Harwood, Kelly Hays, Allison Bewley, Alyssa Mullins, Sarah McCabe, Lynda Hinton, Calvin Robinson, Leigh Usilton, Megan Centineo, Debra Clark, Elisabeth Walker, Nancy Mace, George Hayne, Brian Kuhn, Dr. David Parker, Dr. Arlene White and Anne Binkley.
Sponsored by the Department of Music, admission is $10 at the door. This program is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council, awarded by the Maryland State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information call 410-543-6385 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.