We acknowledge the following artists for their various artistic contributions to our programs:Jane Bloodworth - Mezzo Soprano
James Fitzpatrick - Piano
Terrance Johns - Tenor
Jon Kalbfleisch - Piano, Maestro
Timothy McReynolds - Tenor
Tracy Olivera - Mezzo
Eric Seay - String Bass
Otice Sircy - Cello
Adam Smith - Tenor
Bryan Stenson - Tenor
Alex Tang - Pianist
Jerod Tate - Composer
Deborah Turner - Violin
Jennifer Wade - violin
Paul Zolandz - Baritone
Equally comfortable on the concert and recital stage, Melissa Coombs has performed throughout the Eastern United States as well as in Europe. Her concert appearances have included works such as Bach’s B-minor Mass, Händel’s “Alexander’s Feast” and Mozart’s Requiem. Ms. Coombs has been a featured soloist at the Maryland Händel Festival, presenting the North American premier of Maurice Greene’s cantata Duristanti’s Farewell. She has also been a soloist at the Händel Festspiel in Halle, Germany.
As a recitalist, she has performed extensively as a soloist and with chamber ensembles. Most recently Ms. Coombs presented performances of Bach’s Cantata 51 “Jauchzett Gott in Allen Landen” and Scarlatti’s Arie for Soprano and Trumpet in Maryland, Virginia and Washington DC. She was the soprano soloist for the National Trumpet Competition, Historic Division, held at George Mason University. Ms. Coombs presented the world premier performances of both Emily Dickinson Songs and Days and Nights (a set of songs composed for her) by Lori Laitman at the Sumner School in Washington, D.C. Recent performances include Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walzer with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center.
Mezzo Soprano Kyle Engler has been praised for her extreme versatility in both operatic and chamber music. The Baltimore Sun has called her “… a virtuoso of a high order” and “dramatic and visceral.” As a performer on the operatic stage, she has sung the roles of the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with the Washington Opera, Charlotte in Werther, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia, Mercedes in Carmen, Indiana Elliott in The Mother of Us All, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro among others. Engler has also participated in the world premiers of several new operas. In January, 2005 she performed to great reviews when cast by Placido Domingo to premier the role of Lydia Dudley in Washington National Opera’s production of Democracy, An American Comedy by Scott Wheeler. She was also invited to perform in Augusta Read-Thomas’ opera Ligeia, commissioned and conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, at the Recontres musicales d’Evian in Evian, France.
Engler has been an Apprentice Artist with the Lake George Opera Festival and the Sarasota Opera Festival, and has toured and performed throughout Europe with the Ravel Trio and The Pennsylvania Academy of Music. She has been featured with several orchestras throughout North America performing works such as Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Berlioz’s Les Nuit d’Été, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. She has also performed with longtime collaborator Daniel Lau in solo recitals at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Recent performances and releases include solo recitals and concerts throughout the United States and Europe.
An advocate of contemporary works and an active chamber musician, audiences have enjoyed her performances of Berio’s Circles and Folksongs, the United States premier of Ann Boyd’s My Name is Tian, Crumb’s Night of the Four Moons, Federico’s Little Songs for Children, and John Harbison’s Mirabai Songs. Engler is a member of the Morpheus Trio along with pianist Daniel Lau and hornist Larry Williams and Director of Vocal Studies at McDaniel College.
From innovative performances of Mozart and Handel to the contemporary American concert and stage repertoire, baritone William Heim continues to attract critical attention and acclaim. The Baltimore Sun hailed him as “[one] of the most engaging vocalists based in the area.” The Washington Post declared Mr. Heim “an exemplary Count” (Le Nozze di Figaro), “…clearly chosen for his acting skills as much as vocal ability, with gratifying results.” Recent engagements for Mr. Heim include Sam in Berstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Murullo in Verdi’s Rigolelo and Stravinsky’s Renard with Opera Vivente, as well as Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro with the In Series (Washington, DC).
In Spring 2009 he appeared as Vicar Gedge with Opera Vivente in their production of Albert Herring. Mr. Heim made his role début with Baltimore Opera in their production of La Traviata and Dead Man Walking. Other stage highlights include Taddeo (An Italian Girl in Algiers), Strephon (Iolanthe), Nardo (La santa Giardiniera), Danilo (Merry Widow) and Falke (Die Fledermaus). Mr. Heim also made his New York début in 2004 at the Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process series, as part of the premier of John Musto’s critically acclaimed opera Volpone with Wolf Trap Opera Company.
This season we are welcoming Joseph Regan, tenor, to the ensemble. A member of the voice faculty at Bowie State, Joe holds a DMA in voice from the University of Maryland. Upcoming performances for Joe include the role of Pinkerton in the Loudoun Lyric Opera Production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
Virginia Rice Sircy was Professor of Music at Cameron University (Lawton, Oklahoma). Before coming to Cameron, she taught at Mississippi College, Clinton MS, and William Woods College, Fulton MO. Dr. Sircy holds three degrees in piano performance. She has been soloist for two piano premieres, the Sonata of Charles Knox and the Mirror Etudes of Vincent Persichetti. The Mirror Etudes were commissioned for the dedication of the Louise D. McMahon Fine Arts Complex at Cameron University and were performed on that occasion. She made her fifth solo appearance with the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra in November 2006, in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue under the baton of Jon Kalbfleisch, LPO conductor. Virginia Sircy has been an active chamber music performer, including collaborations with Eudice Shapiro, violin; Gilbert Reese, cellist; Richard Lalli, baritone; and artists from the Joan Riley Agency. While at Cameron, she was a founding member of Trio Southwest and the St. Andrew’s Trio. In the fall of 2007, Dr. Sircy conducted two performances of Haydn’s Mass in Time of War in Great Falls and McLean VA. In May 2008, she served as music director and conductor for four performances of Benjamin Britten’s opera, Noye’s Fludde, a production that was co-produced by St. Francis Episcopal Church and Great Falls United Methodist and Revels Washington DC.
Dr. Sircy was most recently Music Director and Choirmaster/Organist at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls VA. Under her direction, the choir performed the Faure Requiem, Mozart Requiem and Solemn Vespers, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, the Peaceable Kingdom by Randall Thompson, and the Vivaldi Gloria. In December 2011, she led the choir and orchestra at St Francis Episcopal church in a performance of Bach’s Magnificat. She has recently completed her twenty-sixth year as a member of the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute faculty. The institute offers a fine arts program for talented Oklahoma high school students who are selected through a statewide competitive audition process for a two-week, intensive arts academy every summer.