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Keuka College Chorale to Sing with University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra

Keuka College Chorale

The Keuka College Chorale will perform with the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel. The program includes the Overture to The Barber of Seville by Rossini; Symphony No. 41, the Jupiter, by Mozart; and Habanera from Georges Bizet’s opera, Carmen.

According to Dr. David Harman, director of orchestral activities and conductor of the University of Rochester River Campus Orchestras, the music for the concert “is a collection of very accessible and popular classical pieces.”

Kelley Hamilton, assistant professor of music and director of music programs is “excited to collaborate with Dr. Harman. He is the consummate musician and an excellent conductor. This concert will give our Keuka College students a rare opportunity to sing with a live orchestra.”

University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra

The University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra’s 40 student musicians perform throughout the Rochester community and tours both in the United States and internationally, including Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Italy, Montreal, and Chile. Performing music from the baroque to the contemporary, the chamber orchestra showcases the versatility of the university’s students.

Harman says the concert at Keuka College will be “very uplifting, and filled with delightful melodies and positive energy. Our students and I are excited to return to Keuka College for another collaboration with Professor Hamilton and her singers. Kelley will be the vocal soloist on Habanera, and it will feature the Keuka College Chorale. The Jupiter is Mozart’s final—and perhaps most brilliant—symphonic work.”

Harman earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University at Sacramento, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. He has also studied at the Aspen Music School, and in Paris as a French Government Scholar.

In addition to his position at the University of Rochester, Harman also serves as music director of the Penfield Symphony Orchestra and music director emeritus of the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

Sharing Culture Through Music

The Keuka College Chorale and the Chinese Choral Society of Rochester (CCSR) will be featured in a concert Sunday, March 16, at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

The concert, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and will be followed by a reception in the Alumni Lounge in Ball Hall. Authentic Chinese food will be served.

“The Chorale is two-thirds Chinese and Vietnamese students, and I was thinking about how hard they have to work to learn, understand, and sing in English,” said Hamilton. “I wondered how our American students would fare learning a piece of music in Chinese.”

Enter CCSR, which promotes the appreciation of Chinese culture through chorus practices and concert performances. The group has been invited to perform in Ottawa, Toronto, and New York City, and has received grants from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester.

“I contacted the choral society and wanted to know if they would come for a combined concert,” said Hamilton. “David Chin, the conductor and music director, thought it was a great idea.”

According to Hamilton, the Chorale will sing three selections, and she will perform a solo. Then, CCSR will take the stage. Their performance will feature Chinese soprano soloist, Ai-Ze Wang. The concert will end with both groups combining on two Chinese pieces—“Moon” and “Rasa Sayang,” conducted by Chin, and the final musical selection “Blessing,” sung in English and conducted by Hamilton.

A native of Beijing, China, Wang received her bachelor’s degree from Coe College, a master’s degree in voice from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in opera from Temple University. She taught voice at Coe College, performed with the Coe Baroque Ensemble, and has studied and performed in Italy. A recording artist, Wang has sung with the Central Opera House of China in Beijing and performed leading roles with the Opera Theatre of Rochester.

David Chin

Chin serves as adjunct professor of music at Roberts Wesleyan College, where he is the director of choral activities and conducts the Roberts Wesleyan Chorale.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in choral and piano performance from Liberty University and was awarded both Outstanding Music Student and Keyboard Student of the Year in 2010. He earned his master of music degree in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and completed his Piano Associate Diploma (ATCL) at Trinity College in London. Chin was awarded the Charles W. Kennett Scholarship and the Herman Genhart Choral Conducting Scholar Award by the Eastman School of Music.

Chin has served as the guest conductor of the International Christian Choral Conductor Society, and conducted the opening concerts of the new Eastman School Bach Cantata Series and the Hong Kong Bach Cantata Lecture Concert. He taught at the World Sacred Music Conferences in Auckland, New Zealand and Medan, Indonesia, and was selected to attend the Sarteano Chamber Music Workshop in Italy and Helmuth Rilling’s Masterclass in Hong Kong.

Recent highlights include conducting performances of Bach’s St. John Passion; Handel’s Messiah; Vivaldi’s Gloria; and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in G, among others. He has also conducted selections by Mendelssohn, Brahms, Duruflé, Sibelius, and Samuel Barber; and recently performed piano works by Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and Debussy.

Currently a member of the renowned Christ Church Schola Cantorum in Rochester, Chin also sings with the Voices ensemble, Eastman Chorale, and Eastman-Rochester Chorus. He has conducted the Eastman Repertory Singers and Eastman Chorale, and served as the accompanist of the Eastman Women’s Chorus.

While the concert is free, donations will be accepted for purchase of new music, instruments, and other items needed for the advancement of the music program.

Full Steam Ahead for Music Program

With Keuka College’s fall Chorale and Band concert in the books, Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the Chorale, has her sights set on the future of the music program.

And the future starts during the spring 2014 semester, when Hamilton will hold auditions for students who want to join a select choir.

Hamilton envisions the select choir performing at on-campus events, alumni gatherings, and traveling for student recruitment.

“It will be a polished, professional group that will showcase the College and give Keuka students a high-quality music experience,” said Hamilton, who plans to have the choir accompanied by live instrumentalists.

Hamilton, who has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) and other well-known groups, “likes to sing a lot of different genres, and I want to incorporate those genres into the choir.”

With that variety in mind, Hamilton anticipates the choir will sing “mostly pop, R&B, jazz, and Broadway, as well as present some a cappella pieces.”

Chorale member Jakiem Brown ’15, an educational studies major from Rochester, would seem to be a logical candidate for the select choir.

“Many of my best singers and musicians are athletes, and Jakiem is a member of both the men’s volleyball and tennis teams,” said Hamilton. “He plays the saxophone and ukulele, sings, and beat-boxes. He performed a solo during the concert, and is just a great kid who is hungry for more.”

Another athlete who would seem to a logical select choir candidate is Stephanie Havens ’14. The adolescent English major from Unadilla is a forward/midfielder for the women’s soccer team, and has been “singing and playing the trumpet for a long time.

“I liked that I could join Chorale or Band and have private voice lessons,” said Havens. “There is a Mozart piece I am working on that I am excited about, but is nothing I’d have ever considered if not for the voice lessons. I am not afraid to get up and sing in front of people anymore.”

Kelsea Flynn

As the select choir works through its formative stages, the popularity of the Chorale is growing, as evidenced by Kelsea Flynn ’17, a psychology major from Penn Yan. She sang a duet at the concert and “is excited to participate in Chorale next semester.”

“There are a lot of new students registered for Chorale next semester, and I’m excited,” said Hamilton. “There will be some challenges, though. I have several Chinese students registered, and a lot of students can’t read music. But, I hope to incorporate more popular songs into the concerts, and to one day partner with the Arion Players Drama Club and perform a musical.”

Next semester will also bring the formation of a jazz band, private instrumental lessons, and a possible concert with the Chinese Choral Society of Rochester.

“There are many Chinese students in the Keuka College Chorale and I wanted to find an authentic experience for them,” said Hamilton.

Also on tap for next semester will be new music opportunities in the classroom. Hamilton will teach a class on American Music Traditions, which will explore the history of American popular and classical music, including colonial folk music, blues,  jazz, Broadway, rap, and hip hop, among others.

Added Hamilton: “One of the things I hope to do is partner with [Assistant Professor of Art] Melissa Newcomb’s students in her digital photography class and have them design album covers for my students.”

Keuka College Chorale and Band Concert Nov. 17

Kelley Hamilton

Works by Mozart, Rhianna, Van Morrison, and Leonard Bernstein will be among those performed by the Keuka College Chorale and Band at their annual winter concert Sunday, Nov. 17.

The performance, free and open to the public, begins at 3 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Under the direction of Kelley Hamilton, music instructor and director of the chorale, and David Hamilton, adjunct instructor and director of band, the program features a “prism style of music, which means the chorale and band will perform continuously as the concert goes on,” said Kelley Hamilton.

The chorale and band will perform a wide variety of selections, including Hashivenu, a Hebrew folk song; Johnny has Gone for a Soldier, an Irish folk song; Overture from the Magic Flute, by Mozart; Moondance, by Van Morrison; Stay, by Rhianna; Gone and Cups Mash-up, by Anna Kendrick and Phil Phillips; Rhythm of Love, by the Plain White T’s; Please Come Home for Christmas, by Charles Brown; Jubilate Deo, by Jay Althouse; and selections from the musicals Jekyll and Hyde, Wicked, and West Side Story.

The grand finale will be Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, performed by both the chorale and band. Members of the audience are welcome to participate.

Several soloists will featured, including Ariel Scott, a senior organizational communication major from Unadilla; Jonathan Moore, a sophomore political science/history major from Nichols; Trevor Irby, a sophomore exploratory major from Romulus; Ian Wentzel, a junior criminology/criminal justice major from Naples; Arek Olson, a sophomore management major from Wellsville; and Chung “Johnny” Nguyen, a senior management major from Hanoi, Vietnam.

“While the chorale and band are small groups, the students are eager and ready to go, and I think we have an ambitious program,” said Kelley Hamilton. “There are only a few students in the band, so they really have to take ownership of their music and their parts. I am excited for this concert because the students are excited.”

According to Kelley Hamilton, future plans for the music program include “having select vocal and instrumental groups, with eight to 10 students each, which could perform at College events.”

While the concert is free, donations will be accepted for purchase of new music, instruments, and other items needed for the advancement of the music program.