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Five vocal alumni return to APSU for Distinguished Vocal Alumni Concert

Five accomplished singers and alumni will return to the campus of Austin Peay State University for the Distinguished Vocal Alumni Concert, held Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall.

Five accomplished singers and alumni will return to the campus of Austin Peay State University for the Distinguished Vocal Alumni Concert, held Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the George and Sharon Mabry Concert Hall.

Since leaving Austin Peay, each performer has achieved regional, national and international acclaim for performances in opera, oratorio, chamber ensembles and recitals. Additionally, all singers are full-time professors at prestigious music schools in the United States.

Dr. Hallie Coppedge Hogan, mezzo-soprano (’84), Dr. Gerald Gray, tenor (’88) and Dr. Laura Storm, soprano (’89) completed their undergraduate degrees in vocal performance at APSU, while Dr. Thomas Rowell, tenor (’92) and Dr. Cory Schantz, baritone (’96), received a Master of Music in vocal performance degree.

Pianists Shinobu Takagi and APSU alumnus Brad Caldwell will also perform as a part of the concert. The varied program includes songs and arias by Mozart, Korngold, Hoiby, Bolcom, Fauré, Poulenc, Debussy, Strauss and others.

All five singers and alumni are former students of both Dr. George Mabry and Dr. Sharon Mabry. George Mabry, professor emeritus, will emcee the event, giving the audience his unique perspective on the connection between each artist and Austin Peay State University.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for general admission and $5 for students without APSU IDs. All proceeds from the concert will be used to establish a special Vocal Alumni Scholarship for vocal majors at the University.

Gerald Gray is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice at the State University of New York at Fredonia and guest conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. Gerald received the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Iowa, after which he spent several years as a professional singer with the Boston Baroque, Emmanuel Music of Boston and the Handel and Haydn Society of Boston, where he sang under the direction of Seiji Ozawa, Christopher Hogwood, Robert Spano and John Harbison.

Hallie Coppedge Hogan, a Clarksville native, is associate professor of Music at Elon University. Hogan has had a varied performance career in the genres of opera, oratorio, solo recital, cabaret and musical theatre. Hogan has performed internationally in a series of American and French art song recitals and as a featured soloist at the Vancouver International Song Institute.  She also participated in “The Songs of Franz Schubert,” a tour of the entire collection of Schubert’s songs accompanied by the world-renowned vocal collaborator, John Wustman. Hogan received the DMA in Voice from the University of Illinois.

Thomas L. Rowell is associate professor of Music at the University of South Alabama, where he serves as Coordinator of Vocal Studies and Director of USA Opera Theatre. In addition to his university duties, Rowell maintains a very active performing schedule as a recitalist, soloist and in roles with regional opera companies. He has appeared as tenor soloist with the Nashville Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Northwest Florida Symphony, Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Choral Society, Mobile Pops, Baldwin Pops, University of South Alabama Symphonic Band, University of Alabama Orchestra and Bluffton University Orchestra.

Laura Storm is an active performer of stage, concert and chamber repertoire. Opera and musical theater highlights include the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Salerno, Italy, as well as leading roles in “Die Fledermaus,” “Falstaff,” “The Turn of the Screw,” “Urinetown,” “A Little Night Music” and “South Pacific.” She has also been a featured soloist in concerts with the Pine Bluff Symphony, the Trujillo (Peru) Symphony and in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Tallahassee Symphony. Storm is a founding member of the Storm Trio, an ensemble specializing in music for soprano, clarinet, and piano. The trio is included on the Arkansas Arts Council Arts on Tour roster, and has performed throughout the United States including concerts in California, Nevada, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Currently, Storm is professor of voice at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Cory Schantz is a versatile baritone with wide dramatic and comedic range. Schantz was most recently seen as Count Ceprano in the Atlanta Opera’s 2015 production of “Rigoletto.” The Baltimore Sun recognized him as an “engaging presence on stage,” following his professional operatic debut as Wagner in Gounod’s “Faust,” a role he reprised in 2014 in his Atlanta Opera debut. Schantz appeared in the Tulsa Opera’s stirring production of Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” a performance hailed by critics as the finest production by the company in a decade. He has also performed principal roles with the Wichita Grand Opera, Springfield Regional Opera, Union Avenue Opera and Winter Opera of St. Louis. Schantz received the DMA in Voice Performance at The University of Oklahoma. He is currently a member of the voice faculty at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia, where he teaches voice and coordinates the opera program.

For more information, contact APSU professor music, Dr. Sharon Mabry at 931-221-7656.