HEIDI KURTZ, MEZZO-SOPRANO
GARY SEYDELL, TENOR
The St. Louis Dispatch describes Delaware tenor Gary Seydell singing the role of Turiddu, as “captivating; his voice pierced each note and rang with brilliant vibrato,” and he sang “a most impressive Canio. He brought ringing high notes and convincing intensity to the role.”
Gary has performed throughout the United States, Australia, Figi, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Ukraine and has been a soloist and Opera Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy. Mr. Seydell has performed with American orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Newark Symphony, Northern Kentucky Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony. Opera companies where he has performed include Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Opera Delaware, Dayton Opera, Winter Opera of St. Louis, and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Seydell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from the University of Delaware, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma in Opera from The University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where is recipient of the Norman Treigle Memorial Scholarship.
He currently holds the position of Assistant Director of Academic Advising at Wilmington University and has been adjunct professor of voice at the University of Delaware and Visiting Assistant Professor at The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Fredonia. He also taught private voice at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, Delaware. Mr. Seydell performs regularly throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In February and March 2018 Gary sang in Columbia, South Carolina and was a soloist with the Nassau Musical Society in Nassau Bahamas. Gary resides in Newark, Delaware.
MARK MOLITERNO, BASS
Bass-Baritone Mark Moliterno is an artist/educator who enjoys an extensive performing career in Opera, Oratorio, and Concert singing. He has appeared throughout the United Stated, Canada, Great Britain and the Far East in leading operatic roles and is a frequent soloist on the concert stage in a repertoire that covers a wide range of eras and composers. He has appeared in Carnegie Hall as bass-baritone soloist with the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Brahms’ Requiem, and Mozart’s Requiem and C-Minor Mass. He has twice appeared on the New York Philharmonic Chamber Music Series in Merkin Concert Hall, singing Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach and Charles Martin Loeffler’s Songs with Chamber Accompaniment. Known for his compelling and artistic recital singing, Mr Moliterno sang the world premiere of Drum Taps, a song cycle by American composer Richard Pearson Thomas at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He is heard regularly as a recitalist and concert soloist in the New York/Philadelphia area.
Mark Moliterno received the BM and MM degrees in Voice Performance and Opera from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied with the renowned vocal pedagogue, Richard Miller. In addition to his career as a performer and educator, Mark Moliterno is a certified Yoga instructor (RYT-500) and a Comprehensive Yoga Therapist (CYT). Mr. Moliterno has coupled his academic background in vocal pedagogy and performance studies with his expertise in Yoga philosophy and practice to create YogaVoice®, a unique program of Classical Yoga practices for the singing actor/performer (www.theyogavoice.com). He has published articles on topics related to authentic creativity and singing in The Journal of Singing and YogaLiving Magazine, is a co-author of The Musician’s Breath, and is the primary instructor on The Musician’s Breath DVD, an instructional Yoga DVD designed to awaken and develop “authentic breathing” in singers and choral conductors.
Mark Moliterno is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and also maintains an active private voice studio. He is known as a specialist in helping singers to understand and overcome physical and energetic blockages to their authentic voices.
CLAIR H. LEAMAN, CONDUCTOR
Clair received his Bachelor of Music degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was a member of the world-renowned Westminster Choir. He has studied choral conducting with Robert Simpson, Robert Carwithen and Arthur Sjogren. Clair founded the Chester County Christian Chorale in 1976 and has since conducted the group in numerous performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and other choral works. For over 30 years , he has organized and conducted the Messiah Sing-a-longs in Chester and Lancaster Counties.
Carol Stevens is the Deaf Ministry Area Coordinator for the Peninsula-Delaware of the United Methodist Church. She interprets in American Sign Language, has 50 years of experience and has taught many workshops in religious interpreting, as well as performing arts and music interpreting. Her strong background in vocal music performance has enabled her to interpret numerous professional and community theatre performances of musicals, plays and concerts.
Grace McConkie is an aspiring American Sign Language teacher, currently pursuing ASL teaching certification while finishing her bachelor’s degree from Goldey-Beacom College. She has been a substitute ASL teacher in Delaware public schools and has worked at Delaware School for the Deaf. Grace plays the organ and piano for a Delaware congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The players in the orchestra are individually selected to play for this event. Many are current or former players in the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, or Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. In addition to playing with these orchestras, some of them teach privately in the Philadelphia area while others are employed as church organists and choir directors or have full time careers in instrumental performance.
Most of the choir members do not know each other when they come together to sing Messiah. Since there are no rehearsals, there are some individuals who know the music very well (some even have it memorized). Others are less familiar with some parts of it. The one thing they have in common is a love for this great work. Since there are no rehearsals, individuals come from a great distance for this opportunity to participate.