Holiday Concert Features 4 Guest Soloists
The Fairmont State University-Community Chorus and Orchestra concert planned for Sunday, Dec. 14, will feature four guest soloists - Dr. Nicholas Perna, Rebecca Pitcher, William D. Hostutler and Lily Williams.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, in Colebank Hall, the FSU-Community Chorus and Orchestra will offer works by Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel. The group, comprised of community volunteers, college faculty and the student Collegiate Singers, organizes periodically to perform masterworks with symphony orchestras and guest soloists. Conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Poland, Director of Choral Activities at FSU, the concert will feature Bach's cantata "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" (BWV 140) and Part One of Handel's oratorio "Messiah."
Tickets will be available at the door for $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $6 for children under 12. Proceeds from the concert will benefit a tour to Russia by the Collegiate Singers in May 2009.
Dr. Nicholas Perna
Dr. Nicholas Perna holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Miami's Frost School of Music and a Master of Music degree in Voice from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music. His teachers include baritone David Alt and tenor Joseph Evans along with coaches Russell Young and Joanne Ritacca. Perna apprenticed with the Santa Fe Opera in the summers of 2003 and 2004, giving him opportunities to coach and study with opera professionals such as Nico Castel, Diane Richardson, Mikhail Hallak and Nina Hinson.Â
In the fall of 2008, Perna joined the faculty of West Virginia University. He previously served on the faculty of New World School of the Arts in Miami and Miami Dade College. Since 2005 he has served as voice faculty and production director of the Cultural American Music Program in Marathon, Fla., where since 2006 he has served as artistic-director. In 2007, Perna was awarded a Presser Music Foundation Award and was able to study voice science with Dr. Donald G. Miller utilizing Voce Vista software. Perna has numerous performances on the operatic and concert stage. His awards include the 2003 Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Voice Competition and the 2003 Florida District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Perna can be heard on the Albany label, as Paolo in Luigi Mancinelli's "Paolo e Francesca."
Rebecca Pitcher has performed the role of Christine Daae in "The Phantom of the Opera" over 3,000 times in venues including Broadway, the Third National tour and Singapore. As a lyric coloratura, she has been praised for performances in roles such as Monica in "The Medium," Gretel in "Hansel and Gretel," Johanna in "Sweeney Todd," Rapunzel in "Into the Woods" and Rose in "Street Scene." In addition to her operatic and theatrical performances, Pitcher has appeared as a soloist in "Carmina Burana," "The Mozart Requiem" and Haydn's "The Lord Nelson Mass." She is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace College the Peabody Institute, where she studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson. She is also an alumna of the Pittsburgh Opera Center at Duquesne where she performed Lissette from "La Rondine," Papagena in "The Magic Flute" and Mary Warren in "The Crucible." In 1996 she was a winner in the Columbus Opera Competition and in 1997 was a semi-finalist in the McAlister Awards.
William D. Hostutler
William D. Hostutler began his formal music study at Fairmont State University, where he received the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education degree. While at Fairmont State, he studied voice with Janet Gilmer. He then spent over a year studying voice with Clifford Billions at the University of Akron and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He completed additional graduate work at Kent State University where he studied with John Sikora. At Kent State, Hostutler held a graduate assistantship in the opera department, organized master classes and taught voice lessons for musical theatre students.
Hostutler recently completed the Master of Music in vocal performance at West Virginia University, where he studied with Cyndi Conner Bess. He was awarded second place at the Eastern Regional NATS competition for his performance in a modern opera titled "Test Tube."
Prior to attending West Virginia University, Hostutler was employed full time for six years as the music director at Ravenna Assembly of God in Ravenna, Ohio. While residing in West Virginia, he worked one year as the band director for Wetzel County Schools and for three years at Trinity Christian School in Morgantown. He was also employed by WVU for three years and maintained a successful private voice and piano studio for five years. He is presently employed at Youngstown State University as associate professor of musical theatre. He currently resides in Akron, Ohio.
Lily Williams belongs to a musical family in central New York. She began and continued her music interest in Herkimer schools, studying with John Krause. She now attends Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va., where she is majoring in music education, sings alto in the choirs, plays trombone and horn in instrumental ensembles, and studies voice with Professor Lillian Long. Williams was a winner of the Alderson-Broaddus Concerto Competition in 2007 and was runner-up in the regional MTNA vocal competition in 2008. She will be competing in the Concerto Competition again this year.