Why would anyone want to sing about winter? Because the winter season is a reality in every life, and Austrian Composer Franz Schubert, who faced illness and an early death at age 30, found resonance in poetry about shortened days, cold winds and the other discomforts of winter.
Schubert's comfort was actualized in one of his greatest compositions, "Die Winterreise," which literally means 'the winter journey'. "Die Winterreise," one of the most celebrated song cycles (a song cycle is a collection of songs meant to be performed in a set) of 19th century Germany, is one of the compositions to be performed during a Friday, January 30th Faculty Recital at Catawba College. This recital begins at 7 p.m. in Omwake-Dearborn Chapel on campus and features the voices of baritone Scott MacLeod and mezzo-soprano Martha Bartz, accompanied respectively on the piano by Dr. Julie Chamberlain and Professor Paul E. Oakley. All four performers are members of Catawba College's Music Department faculty.
Juxtaposed to Schubert's "Die Winterreise" is a modern-day companion to it, "December Songs," with text and music by Maury Yeston. This 20th century cycle of songs in English was commissioned for the Centennial Celebration of Carnegie Hall in New York City. "December Songs" was written for mezzo-soprano and piano and frames the same topics as "Die Winterreise" through the eyes of a 20th century woman in Manhattan. Just as "Die Winterreise" was written for salon concert performances in the 19th century, "December Songs" is written in the style of text and music used in more intimate cabaret concerts that are presently quite popular in New York City.
MacLeod will sing "Die Winterreise," while Bartz will sing "December Songs." This unique recital affords listeners an opportunity normally only offered in major city centers — a chance to hear Schubert's great masterpiece and its American companion in the same venue. The chill of winter will be dispelled by the warmth and beauty of the voices of Scott MacLeod and Martha Bartz at an event which is free and open to the public. This is a recital not to be missed.
Martha Bartz is an adjunct instructor for voice and class voice at Catawba College. Besides her teaching schedule, she is in demand as a classical concert soloist and cabaret performer. She recently won the New York National Association of Teachers of Singing 'NATS' audition and very recently, via national audition, she performed in the National Art Song Festival in Cleveland, Ohio. She will return to Carnegie Hall in March of 2009 in the Mozart Requiem and has performed in many prestigious venues including The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City, The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, historic Gusman Hall in Miami, and many others throughout the eastern United States. She has performed with many prominent orchestras, including The New York City Chamber Orchestra, The Pilsen Radio Symphony Orchestra of Czechoslovakia, The Charlotte Symphony, and The Ethos Consortium Chamber Orchestra, The Miami Bach Society Chamber Orchestra, and varied/countless church, synagogue, and civic organizations throughout the Southeast. She is equally comfortable in the classical/oratorio and the cabaret/musical theater genres.
Bartz currently studies voice with Rosa Vento of New York University and coaches with Professor Paul E. Oakley and Dr. Mory S. Ortman. She studied voice with Dr. Susan Boardman while achieving her degree in Music Merchandising, (a double degree in business and music) from the University of Miami school of Music. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Ethos Consortium. The Ethos Consortium, a not-for-profit professional chamber orchestra and choir, is committed to producing the finest professional choral and orchestral music in service of a changing Charlotte community. Each Ethos concert is presented as a dedicated fundraising event in partnership with a selected area nonprofit. The Ethos Consortium selects the finest concert venues and employs the most talented professional musicians, ensuring a performance of unrivaled artistic excellence. The partner nonprofit mobilizes its board, staff, patrons and constituents to sell every available ticket. Ethos underwrites the full expense of each concert, so the nonprofit partner can realize the total revenue from all ticket sales. In this manner, Ethos has raised thousands for regional charity organizations.
Scott MacLeod is an adjunct voice instructor and vocal director for the musical theater program. He maintains an active career as a soloist in regional and national venues. He also serves on study abroad faculty with Michigan State University as a music history instructor in Bregenz, Austria. Member, NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). A diverse and exciting performer, baritone Scott MacLeod has garnered critical praise in opera houses and concert halls across the nation. Media reviews have called him "splendid" (operaonline.us), "impressive" (Pensacola News Journal), "emotional ... equal parts sweetness and swagger" (Mobile Register), and "a voice to enjoy with every note" (Salt Lake Tribune). He has performed over 40 roles with some of the nation's leading regional houses and abroad, including: Opera Omaha, Central City Opera, Opera North, Utah Festival Opera, Mobile Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Greensboro Opera, Long Leaf Opera, Opera on the James, the Florence Masterworks chorale, the Tucson Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, and the National Symphony of Costa Rica.
Signature roles include the title role in Gianni Schicchi, Giuseppe in The Gondoliers, Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, the title role in Dallapiccola's Il Prigioniero, and William Clark in Opera Omaha's debut of Dream of the Pacific. He can also be heard in the role of Apollo in the world-premiere recording of John Eccles' Semele. He is a faculty member at Catawba College and serves on faculty with Michigan State University as a study abroad instructor in Bregenz, Austria. In recent months, he performed the Messiah with the National Symphony of Costa Rica, Holiday Pops with the North Carolina Symphony, the Lecturer in the one man opera A Water Bird Talk with Long Leaf Opera, and A Night at the Opera with the Saginaw Bay Symphony. Upcoming performances include Masetto in Don Giovanni with Opera on the James, Schaunard in La Bohème with the Duluth (MN) Festival Opera, and his Carnegie Hall debut as the baritone soloist in Mendelssohn's Elijah with the combined Catawba College choirs.
MacLeod is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a fellowship Master's degree from Florida State University. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with his wife, Rebecca.
Julie Rhyne Chamberlain, an associate professor of music and director of the Catawba College Community Music Program, teaches music theory, private and class piano and serves as coordinator of accompanying. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, cum laude from Wingate University, Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has a Ph.D. in Music Education, from UNC-Greensboro. Chamberlain has additional education certifications including "Orff Schulwerk Level I" from UNC-G and "Education though Movement: Building the Foundation" from Hartt School of Music, Hartford, Connecticut. She has 13 years of experience teaching private and class piano to students of all ages in the Catawba Community Music Program.
She is affiliated with numerous professional organizations including College Music Society, Music Teacher's National Association, Music Educator's National Conference, and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She has served as 2nd Vice-President and Southern District Junior Counselor for the North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs. She serves as adjudicator for piano events and is active as a musician in the community.
Paul E. Oakley, associate professor of music, is the Director of Choral, Vocal and Sacred Music Studies at Catawba College and also serves as the College Organist. He is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Ethos Consortium, a fully professional chamber orchestra and professional chorus in Charlotte, North Carolina. Oakley is the Artistic Director and Conductor for the Northstar Choral Festival and the Manhattan Festival of Sacred Music (both in New York) and the Masterclass Conference on Church Music. He is the editor of a series of new choral compositions and historical editions of choral music for Colla Voce Music, Inc.
Oakley has served as an Artist-in-Residence for the Wake Forest University Divinity School, and has served on the music faculties of the School of Music, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina; The Hartt School - University of Hartford, Connecticut; Atlantic Union College, South Lancaster, Massachusetts, and Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has served as the Minister of Music and/or Organist in prominent congregations in New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, and Massachusetts. Known for his unique level of versatility. He has performed throughout North America and in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, and several Caribbean nations.
As a clinician, Oakley has taught at two National Conventions of ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). He has been a clinician for numerous Divisional Conventions and is a regular headliner at State ACDA and MENC conventions, including: Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas. Additionally, he regularly teaches workshops and performs recitals and hymn festivals for chapters of the American Guild of Organists. He has performed and lectured for AGO regional conventions, and recently performed for a national convention of the American Institute of Organbuilders.
Each year, Oakley conducts numerous All-State High School choirs and festival honor choruses throughout the United States and beyond. He has performed in many widely respected venues, among them: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Washington National Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Coventry Cathedral, The Cathedral of Notre Dame (Paris), Chartres Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral (Dublin), Roy Thompson Hall and the Piccolo-Spoleto Festival. He has prepared choruses and been a coach accompanist for many significant conductors including: Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Roger Norrington, Andrew Parrott, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Edo de Waart, Martin Pearlman, David Agler, Kenneth Kiesler, David Effron and James Paul.
From 1988-98, Oakley was the Music Director and Conductor of the Bach Society of Minnesota and the Sebastian Singers. Under his baton, the choruses of the Bach Society gave highly acclaimed performances in national, divisional, and several state conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. He has prepared choruses for both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and appeared regularly as an organist, pianist, and harpsichordist with the Minnesota Orchestra from 1986-1997.
Oakley holds the Master of Music degree in Conducting from Boston University where he was a Dean’s Scholar in Music and was a student of Dr. Ann Howard Jones. He holds two undergraduate degrees from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, one in Organ Performance and another in Sacred Music (Choral Emphasis). At Friends, he was a Presser Scholar in Music.