The Artists

Charlene
CHARLENE LEAMAN, SOPRANO
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Charlene has been a resident of the Coatesville area since 1972. She received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Westminster Choir College where she sang with the world-famous Westminster Symphonic Choir, singing under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Roger Wagner, George Lynn and other renowned conductors. Her vocal studies were with the late Joan Monasevitch and Jane Shepard. Charlene has taught classroom and choral music as well as handbells in schools in both the United States and Canada.

HeidiKHEIDI KURTZ, MEZZO-SOPRANO

Heidi Kurtz is a native of Pocomoke City, Maryland. She is a core member of the Philadelphia Singers and recently appeared with them as the soloist in Mozart’s Vesperae Solemnes de Confessore. She has also performed as a soloist with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Singing City and Vox Amadeus. Ms. Kurtz has made several solo appearances at the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival in Harrisonburg, Virginia including Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion and B minor Mass and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Since 1999 she has been a guest artist with the Chester County Christian Chorale in their performances of Handel’s Messiah. She has appeared on several recordings, most recently, The Shattered Mirror, a chamber opera by Michael Udow. She is the soprano soloist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill ( Philadelphia) and has sung solos there in works by Fauré, Mozart and Vaughan-Williams, among others. Ms. Kurtz holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Mennonite University and continued her studies in Temple University’s Vocal Performance Master’s Degree program. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband and two sons.

GaryGARY SEYDELL, TENOR

The St. Louis Dispatch describes Delaware tenor Gary Seydell singing the role of Turridu, 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 in regional opera houses throughout the United States and Italy and has been a soloist with several orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Delaware Symphony Orchestra, Newark Symphony, Northern Kentucky Symphony and the Wheeling Symphony.

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.

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 is a regular soloist for Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia and performs regularly throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Recent performances include the role of Rodolfo in La Boheme with Winter Opera of St. Louis and the Southern Illinois Music Festival. Seydell sang Don Jose in Carmen at the Southern Illinois Music Festival.

Gary, Daniel Cole, Bass, and Ryan Smith, piano recently released Such a Savior:  Songs of Comfort and Consolation. All proceeds from this CD go to support scholarships for Westminster Theological College and Seminary in Kampala, Uganda.  They have travelled and performed recitals to raise money for the seminary.


Mark MoliternoMARK 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.


ClairCLAIR 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 the past twenty-plus years , he has organized and conducted the Messiah Sing-a-longs in Chester and Lancaster Counties.


Choir


Orchestra Players

THE ORCHESTRA

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.


Choir

THE CHOIR

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.

Upcoming 2017 Events
Dec
29
Fri
7:00 pm Chester County Messiah Sing-a-long – Upper Octorara
Chester County Messiah Sing-a-lo…
Dec 29 @ 7:00 pm
Upper Octorara Presbyterian Church 1121 Octorara Trail (1 mile south of Route 30 on Route 10) Parkesburg, PA 19365
Donations Accepted

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