Co-artistic director and host, enjoys a distinguished career as a singer, actor,
choral director, producer, and educator, with undergraduate and graduate
degrees from Southeast Missouri State and the University of Oklahoma
respectively. He has performed nationally in roles including Professor
Harold Hill in The Music Man; Faust in the Gounod opera; and featured
roles in regional productions of Jesus Christ, Superstar; Cabaret; Carousel;
and Big River. A resident of Charleston since 1991, Bill served as Director
of Music for the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and the Diocese of
Charleston for 9 years. He has performed in, conducted and produced numerous theater and
musical events for the Charleston community.
Co-Artistic Director, is an accomplished director, pianist, conductor, vocal
arranger, music therapist and educator with several international and
Broadway credits, including Jerry’s Girls, starring Carol Channing and Leslie
Uggams. Maida has traveled extensively, conducting Aladdin in Jordan
and Peter Pan in the former Soviet Union. She joined the theatre faculty
at the College of Charleston as artist-in-residence in 1994 and, since
2009, has served as Director of Theatre Arts at Ashley Hall School. Along
with husband William Schlitt, she serves as co-founder of The Company
Company, a non-profit arts group which has produced a number of high quality productions
which she has directed, including The Drowsy Chaperone; Into the Woods; Pirates of
Penzance; and The Good Time Variety Hour.
is one of Charleston’s foremost interpreters of gospel spirituals and
the Gullah dialect. She studied under June Bonner of the Metropolitan
Opera and has appeared in Porgy & Bess as well as in Clay Rice’s musical
production Lowcountry Legends. Ann is also an accomplished jazz and
blues singer, having appeared with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra
and Gospel Choir. She is a master of accents, accurately recreating the
tonalities of speech which are important to all genres of music. Ann
appears weekly on Tuesday nights here with The Magnolia Singers
in “Praise House”, a beautiful blend of spirituals infused with fine acoustic harmonies,
percussion instruments, and story-telling.
pianist, is a native of Charleston, SC. He studied at the Charleston
Academy of Music and is currently on a full scholarship at the Curtis
Institute of Music. Even at his young age, Micah has won or placed
in a number of national and international piano competitions and
recently performed to a standing ovation with the Charleston Symphony
Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Hilton Head Symphony
Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra of the Lowcountry. Micah is a guest
soloist with The Sound of Charleston.
was born Hawaii and currently studies with Mr. Volodymyr Vynnytsky and
Dr. Robin Zemp, and at the age of four and won first prize in the Young
Artist level of the 2008 Aloha International Piano Festival Competition
and performed in the Hawaii Theater on Oahu as well as with the
Charleston Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Irwin founded the Chinese
Wushu Cultural Arts Center in Honolulu, a non-profit group aimed at
bringing the community together through education and sharing of
soprano, is a leading interpreter of George Gershwin’s opera Porgy &
Bess, having appeared in numerous productions locally and nationally.
She has performed as a soloist with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra,
Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra, CSO Chorus,The Choraliers, and
numerous other orchestras and ensembles. D’Jaris also serves as Minister
of Music at Covenant Missionary Baptist Church where her husband
serves as Pastor. She has also starred in Charleston Stage Company’s
production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, and recorded “Summertime” for the
100th Anniversary Documentary of George Gershwin.
has been playing traditional American Folk music for over 35 years. He
is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter, performing on banjo,
guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bouzouki, mountain dulcimer and harmonica. He
has recorded four solo albums and provided Civil War period music for
the PBS movie Brother Future and for the Footlight Players production
of Raising Blue. Bart has been the featured musician at Middleton
Plantation’s annual Fall Plantation Days program for 30 years and was
able to learn from master old- time musicians in their nineties, including
Melvin Wine and Ralph Blizzard, who learned.
pianist, was born in Lebanon, and subsequently immigrated to
Canada where he took up the study of piano. An artist at home in any
genre, Ghadi has recently served as the principle keyboardist with the
Charleston and Hilton Head orchestras, and has directed live musicals in
Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Charleston. He plays in any style, planned or
improvised, and collaborates with a multitude of instruments and voices.
Ghadi is the recipient of the top prize from the Pennsylvania MTNA
Young Artists Competition as well as a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence
from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He holds degrees in piano and conducting from
Carnegie Mellon University.
pianist, is a native of Charleston. John’s passion is piano and early jazz
music, an interest inspired by the life and music of his great uncle, Fud
Livingston. He studied piano in high school under George Darden, an
amazing classical pianist and musician. After obtaining a chemistry degree
from Georgetown University, he studied piano and jazz at the Berklee
College of Music in Boston. He has played with various small jazz bands,
including a weekly gig with the Gennaro’s house band for 30 years
running and plays often with saxophonist Lonnie Hamilton..
Lonnie Hamilton, III,
saxophone, is considered the Ambassador of musical goodwill in
Charleston and is a seasoned artist still making wonderful music. He
organized the first band at Bonds Wilson High School and directed the
band for twenty years, receiving numerous awards as the best marching
band in the state. Lonnie earned a bachelor of science degree from South
Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC and a masters in music education
from Vandercook College of Music in Chicago. Mr. Hamilton served as
Chairman of the Charleston County Council and the county’s public
service building is named in his honor. Lonnie appears regularly throughout the Lowcountry,
frequently with pianist John Tecklenburg.
Rev. Carl Bright & Family
Carl was a professor of gospel music at The University of Pennsylvania,
where he taught gospel music roots and the history of negro spirituals for
eight years. He also served as the musical director for the off Broadway
play Look What a Wonder Jesus Has Done. In the Lowcountry, Carl served
as Minister of Music at the St. James Presbyterian Church. He is now the
minister of Music of the Payne church. Carl & Guinevere are the directors
of The Gift Outreach Community Ministry. Guinevere and daughter
Genesis are also extremely active in ministry and music.
debuted in 2007 singing the role of Pamina (Mozart’s The Magic Flute)
at Chemnitz Stadhalle, Mittelsächsische Theater at Theater Döbeln and
Freiberg, Germany. Mrs. Blanton’s concert credits include Porgy and Bess-
Mittelsächsische Philharmonie and The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,
Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia, Ceremony of Carols, Mozart’s Regina Coeli,
Stravinsky Mass, Poulenc Gloria, Schubert Mass in G, Vivaldi Magnificat,
and Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 with Kammermusik Players of Virginia, and
Puccini selections with Southcoast Symphony. Mrs. Blanton founded Wando
Voice Studio to provide foundational vocal technique lessons to young singers. She teaches,
music directs and coaches young singers all over the Southeast. Jennifer appears on stage and
in concert in the Charleston area.
violinist, graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
with a Master of Music in violin performance. She also completed a
Bachelor of Music Education with high distinction and a Performer
Diploma from Indiana University. Rice has performed throughout the
Midwestern and Southeastern United States as well as Spoleto, Italy.
She is an active freelance musician and regularly plays with the Long Bay
Symphony Orchestra in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and the Charleston
Symphony Orchestra. Rice currently lives in Charleston, where she is a
faculty member at Ashley Hall School and coordinates the school’s Carolina String Academy.
Margaret Kelly Cook,
soprano, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and earned music degrees at
the Oberlin Conservatory and the London Royal College of Music. She
has performed extensively in Europe and in the U.S. in operatic roles
ranging from Monteverdi and Handel to Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti and the
contemporary works of Michael Tippet. On the concert stage, Ms. Cook has
appeared as a guest soloist with numerous groups and festivals including
the City of London Choir, the English Mozart Players, Salzburg Festival,
the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the South Carolina Philharmonic and
Charleston’s own Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Frequently heard in concert and chamber music
locally, she also performs frequently with her husband, countertenor Ricard Bordas.
clarinet, earned degrees at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the
San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After graduation, he became the
principal clarinet of the Augusta Symphony and, in 1998, was appointed
to the Second Clarinet position with the Charleston Symphony, and
in 2005 to the Principal Clarinet position. Charles performs with local,
national, and internationally renowned chamber musicians as well
as for Piccolo Spoleto programs. He has been featured as soloist with
the Charleston Symphony on numerous occasions and serves on the
faculty at the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern University. He has a thriving
private teaching studio, and travels around the area leading master classes and clarinet
sectionals in elementary and high schools.
plays mandolin and provides lead and harmony vocals. Jeff was born
in Niagara Falls, NY and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Jeff spent
many years doing solo gigs on guitar and harmonica. After shaking
hands with Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass, he fell in love with the
mandolin and has been playing it ever since. Jeff played in a various
bluegrass bands before forming YeeHaw Junction in 1999.
There is not much in life that he loves more than playing and listening
to bluegrass music.
is a multi-instrumentalist and singer. Since graduating with her Masters
in Music from the University of Southern California she has enjoyed a
lively career of singing and playing everything from Bach to Bluegrass.
Hazel plays the lute, guitar, banjo and drums and owns and operates
Hungry Monk Music with her husband John Holenko.
soprano, is a native of an idyllic small town in rural Minnesota. She got
her stage legs performing in her hometown playing such roles as Lola
in Damn Yankees, Milly in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and The
Baroness in Sound of Music. Anna’s career changed dramatically as she
ventured to New York City and Manhattan’s School of Music, where she
earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. While studying
there, she performed in many musical theatre, opera, and art song
productions, the roles of Stepmother in Into the Woods, and featured
performer in musical reviews by Bernstein, Gershwin, Kander and Ebb. Anna now teaches
school in Beaufort, South Carolina, and is a guest soloist with The Sound of Charleston.
was born and raised in Mount Pleasant, SC and began singing in the Sun
Beam Choir at his church. He attended the College of Charleston where
he studied with Deanna McBroom, and was a member of the Concert
Choir, Gospel Choir, and Opera Theatre Workshop. Brandon played the
role of Porgy in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Dock Street
Theatre, and has performed a leading role in the musical Power Kingdom
and Glory written and composed by Pastor Carl Bright for Piccolo Spoleto.
Brandon also played the role of Balthazaar in Menotti’s Amahl and
the Night Visitors at First Scotts Presbyterian Church.
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