Spire Chamber Ensembel Bach Motet Project

Page 1



SPIRE FOUNDING PARTNERS Spire will be forever grateful to these visionary individuals who helped found this organization. Paulette Blunt and family Roland and Dolores Boehnke Silvia and Phil Braniff Elizabeth Coleman Larry and Elaine Conrad Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Eric and Lana Hansen Rev. Lee Hovel Eric and Deb Justin Stan and Paula Knocke

Phil and Marilyn Kubler Chris and Laura Pace Juanita Paris Les and Helen Schmidt Terry and Betty Snapp Ben and Stephanie Spalding Eric and Gay Spalding Mark and Nancy Viets Janet Vetter Renee Walker

Donors Thank you to the following for their generous support of Spire Chamber Ensemble for the 2014-2015 Season.

Arch Angels ($10,000+): Anonymous Trinity Lutheran Church and Foundation Angels ($6,000-$10,000): Community of Christ Missouri Arts Council Major Benefactors ($2,500-$5,999) Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation Greg and Carlene Smith Mark and Nancy Viets Benefactors ($1000-$2499): ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council Eric and Lana Hansen Rex and Gloria Garrelts

Martha Lee Cain Tranby Music Enrichment Fund Les and Helen Schmidt Ben and Stephanie Spalding Mark and Nancy Viets Patrons ($500-$999): Kayleigh and Jason Aytes Junia Braby Arthur Butler Kevin and Cindy Dye Cheryl Georgoulis Ashley Hardin George and Caroline Helmkamp Mark Heubsch Amy Holsapple Lee Hovel Frank and Erskine James Deb Justin Eldor Delores Kaiser

Bill Van Keppel Stan Knocke Marilyn Kubler James and Brenda Laney Anthony Maglione Christina Nagal Mary O’Connell Chris and Laura Pace Marilyn Schaefer Iva Schlatter Charlie and Abigail Singleton Nancy Smith Norman and Kathie Smith Terry and Betty Snapp Eric and Gay Spalding Steve and Debbie Spaulding Andy and Jaime Tanner James and Aileen Tichenor Chris and Kiki Vetter Janet Vetter Renee Walker

As of September 15, 2014. We apologize for any errors or omissions.


Friends of Spire Special thanks to our friends who offered their invaluable service, facilities, time, and support.

Mark Ball Terry Barham Elisa Bickers Steve Burke Larry Conrad Timothy Corrao Mark Edwards Kansas Public Radio Jane Gardner Lee Hovel Amy Inderleid KC Baroque Consortium KC Metropolis KC Star KC Studio Gretchen Holman

The 2014-2015 Season is sponsored in part by generous support from:

Jeff Hon Kellie Hour Jan Kraybill Nancy Kramer Tony Maglione Patrick Neas William E. Pfeiffer John L. Schaefer Claudette Schiratti Les and Helen Schmidt Mark Schulz Johnnie Shonkwiler Brenda Williams Visitation Church

Board of Directors Lee Hovel, president Helen Schmidt, secretary

Lana Hansen Gwenda Hawk

Staff Ben A. Spalding Founder and Artistic Director

Margo Stedman General Manager Jan Katterhenry Financial Manager Laura Pace Development Consultant, Capacity Builders

Spire Chamber Ensemble is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization 5601 W. 62nd Street Mission, KS 66202 3


Friday, October 3, 7:30pm | Grace Episcopal Cathedral | Topeka, KS Saturday, October 4, 7:30pm | Trinity Lutheran Church | Mission, KS

Sunday, October 5, 3:00pm | Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral | Kansas City, MO

The Complete Motets of

J.S. Bach (1685-1750) Spire Chamber Ensemble Ben A. Spalding, Founder and Artistic Director

To be selected from the following: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf Jesu, meine Freude F端rchte dich nicht, Ich bin bei dir Komm, Jesu, Komm Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden

BWV 225 BWV 226 BVW 227 BWV 228 BWV 229 BWV 230

Spire Chamber Ensemble Soprano




Sherezade Panthaki soprano I Anne-Marie Dicce soprano II

Jay Carter alto I Reginald L. Mobley alto II

Dann Coakwell tenor I Kyle Stegall tenor II

Paul Max Tipton bass I Brian Ming Chu bass II

Elisa Bickers, organ Katie Rietman, cello Please remember to silence all electronic devices. Recording any part of this performance is prohibited.



J.S. Bach’s six motets are the only vocal works he composed with an unbroken performance tradition from his death until the present day. The motet form itself (highly varied choral composition on a sacred text) dates back to the late medieval works of Dufay. Their contrapuntal richness demands tremendous skill from performers, particularly the four motets for double choir. Most of Bach’s motets were written as memorials to the recently departed, but the radiant, brilliant, almost celebratory quality of many of them seems to contradict a funereal theme. The Lutheran idea of death as a release from the pains and difficulties of life’s suffering is more easily understood when we examine the lives of those in times, places, or situations other than our own. The 18th-century perspective on death must surely have been affected by the frequency with which it was confronted – Bach himself buried more than ten of his children. It was also likely that during the 18th century Bach’s Motets would have called for instrumental doubling of all the choral parts. While in some ways supportive, the doubling can obscure the text and constrain the flexibility of the singers. Our choice is for continuo accompaniment alone (violoncello and chamber organ) which will allow the rich subtleties of the text to shine through especially with one to a part forces. Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225, is one of the most ambitious of the motets. Constructed like a three-movement concerto for double chorus, it demands 'instrumental' virtuosity of the singers. The outer movements are settings of familiar psalm texts; the middle movement a chorale with freely set contrasting texts. The first movement unfolds on an exceptionally grand scale with countless repetitions of the word 'Singet' [sing!] in one choir embellished with playful motives by the other in quick succession. The effect is of an endless joyous echo! Bach then clears the texture, allowing each chorus to stand alone for the second line of text. After such dazzling counterpoint, the relative simplicity of the second movement is welcome. The beautifully harmonized chorale (‘Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren’, verse 3) sung by chorus II seems almost childlike. The last movement – in two parts – opens with a robust declamation of the text 'Lobet den Herrn' [Praise the Lord] Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, BWV 226, is a taken from the book of Romans. One of Paul’s themes stresses the insignificance of worldly suffering when contrasted with salvation though faith in Christ and is the lightest and most gracious of the motets. The piece opens with feathery cascades of sixteenth notes on the word ‘Geist’[Spirit] that seem intended to surround the listener with the comfort and aid of the ‘Spirit’. Written for double choir, Bach exploits the antiphonal possibilities to both dramatic and virtuosic effects. The second line of text, ‘For we do not know what we should pray,’ is beautifully captured in the staggered entrances of each choir. As the text becomes more confident and affirming, the two choirs become less independent. In the final fugue, Bach dispenses with the double choir idea altogether. It is impossible to imagine this piece without its closing chorale and ravishing harmonization’s that fit the gracious tone of this motet perfectly. Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227, is Bach’s longest and most complex motet and is impressive and unusual in its own right. All six verses of the chorale text are set, interspersed by several verses from Romans. It is the transformative quality of these verses that seem best to explain Bach’s structural framework of the piece which is virtually palindromic: the second movement of the motet 6

PROGRAM NOTES speaks of those who are ‘in Christ’, whereas the next to last movement turns the idea around referring to the Spirit of Christ dwelling ‘in you’. Much of the same musical material is utilized in both verses. The work opens and closes with a simple four-part setting of the chorale. The fourth movement is a trio for high voices, the fourth to last, a trio for low voices. The centerpiece is a fugue of exquisite tenderness and lyricism. Fürchte dich nicht, BWV 228, is a double-chorus setting with a curious shape with text chosen from extractions from the book of Isaiah. From the start, there is quick interplay between choruses, often overlapping and reversing directions. The third line of text 'Ich stärke Dich' [I strengthen you] awes rather than comforts with flamboyant solo outbursts surrounded by massive diminished chords from both choruses. The double fugue that follows is almost ungainly in scale. It takes the form of a chorale-prelude and the decision to set two verses of the chorale partially explains its length. The obsessive chromaticism of the lower three parts becomes almost dizzying; the fragmented chorale tune seems hard-pressed to maintain its integrity. The piece ends abruptly with just a few bars of the opening material in sharp contrast to the grandeur of what precedes it. Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229, is a more obviously a funereal motet - at least by modern standards. The words are taken from an eleven-verse sacred song by Johann Shelle with text by Paul Thymich. A striking biblical reference ends the first stanza, John 14:6 – 'I am the way, the truth and the life' – affirming Jesus as the gateway to God. By far, the largest portion of the motet is devoted to these two lines of text. The effect is hypnotic, all the more surprising given the brevity with which the earlier text is dispatched. The motet opens with a pleading, almost stuttering, 'Come, come, come', gaining in confidence as the two choirs trade the phrases. 'Der saure Weg' [the sour path] is musically depicted by a half step followed by a plummeting diminished seventh - introduced contrapuntally beginning with the basses of the second choir. The second stanza is set in simple chorale style with beautiful text painting: the sustained chord on 'bleibt' [remains] and the two-bar melisma on 'Weg' [path]. Lobet dem Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230, is perhaps the most mysterious in terms of its date and occasion of composition. The text comes from Psalm 117:1-2. It is the only motet set for four voice parts and an independent continuo line. The opening text is trumpeted out in an impressive fugue starting with the sopranos and working its way down to the basses. Billowing roulades on the word 'preiset ihn' (praise Him) soften up the edges a bit and one has to listen carefully for the reappearance of the opening line of text buried in the lower three voices. For the third and fourth line of text, Bach chooses first to set them as homophonically, giving way to a gracious fugal writing. An infectious, dancing Alleluia concludes the motet. I hope you enjoy the performance!

Ben Spalding, Founder and Artistic Director 7

TEXT AND TRANSLATIONS Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225

Psalm 149:1-3 (mov't. 1);­"Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren," verse 3: Johann Gramann 1548 (mov’t. 2); Psalm 150:2, 6 (mov't. 3)

1. Chor Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied! Die Gemeine der Heiligen sollen ihn loben, Israel freue sich des, der ihn gemacht hat. Die Kinder Zion sei'n fröhlich über ihrem Könige. Sie sollen loben seinen Namen im Reihen, mit Pauken und Harfen sollen sie ihm spielen. (Psalm 149:1-3)

1. Chorus Sing to the Lord a new song! The congregation of the saints shall praise Him, Israel rejoices in Him, who has created it. Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise His name in dances, with drums and harps let them play to Him.

2. Aria (Chor I) Gott, nimm dich ferner unser an! Denn ohne dich ist nichts getan mit allen unsern Sachen. Drum sei du unser Schirm und Licht, und trügt uns unsre Hoffnung nicht, so wirst du's ferner machen. Wohl dem, der sich nur steif und fest auf dich und deine Huld verläßt!

2. Aria (Chorus I) God, take us to Yourself from now on! For without You we can accomplish nothing with all of our belongings. Therefore be our protection and light, and if our hope does not deceive us, You will make it happen in the future. Happy is the person who strictly and tightly abandons himself to You and Your mercy!

3. Chorale (Chor II) Wie sich ein Vat’r erbarmet Üb’r seine junge Kindlein klein: So tut der Herr uns Armen, So wir ihn kindlich fürchten rein. Er kennt das arme Gemächte, Gott weiß, wir sind nur Staub. Gleichwie das Gras vom Rechen, Ein Blum und fallendes Laub, Der Wind nur drüber wehet, So ist es nimmer da: Also der Mensch vergehet, Sein End, das ist ihm nah. ("Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren," verse 3)

3. Chorale (Chorus II) As a father has mercy upon his young children: so the Lord does with us poor ones, when we fear Him with pure and childlike hearts. He knows his poor creatures, God knows we are but dust. Just as the grass that is mowed, a flower or a falling leaf, the wind only blows over it, and it is no longer there; So also man passes away, his end is near to him.

4. Chor Lobet den Herrn in seinen Taten, loben ihn in seiner großen Herrlichkeit. Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn, Halleluja! (Psalm 150:2, 6)

4. Chorus Praise the Lord in His works, praise Him in his great glory. Everything that has breath, praise the Lord, Hallelujah!


J.S. Bach: Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, BWV 226

Martin Luther 1524 (mov't. 2)

1. Chor Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf. Denn wir wissen nicht, was wir beten sollen, wie sich's gebühret; sondern der Geist selbst vertritt uns aufs beste mit unaussprechlichem Seufzen. Der aber die Herzen forschet, der weiß, was des Geistes Sinn sei, denn er vertritt die Heiligen nach dem, das Gott gefället. (Romans 8:26-27)

1. Chorus The Spirit gives aid to our weakness. For we do not know for what we should pray, what is proper; but the Spirit itself intercedes for us in the best way with unutterable sighs. He, however, who examines hearts, He knows what the Spirit's intention is, since it intercedes for the saints according to that which pleases God.

2. Choral Du heilige Brunst, süßer Trost, Nun hilft uns fröhlich und getrost In dein'm Dienst beständig bleiben, Die Trübsal uns nicht abtreiben! O Herr, durch dein Kraft uns bereit Und stärk des Fleisches Blödigkeit, Daß wir hier ritterlich ringen, Durch Tod und Leben zu dir dringen. Halleluja, halleluja!

2. Chorale You holy fire, sweet comfort, now help us joyfully and confidently to remain constantly in Your service, although trouble is not driven away from us! O Lord, through Your strength prepare us and sharpen the dullness of the flesh, so that we might battle here nobly, pressing towards you through death and life. Hallelujah, hallelujah!

J.S. Bach: Jesu, meine Freude, BVW 227

Johann Franck (movts. 1,3,5,7,9,11); Romans 8:1-2,9-11 (movts. 2,4,6,8,10)

1. Chorale Jesu, meine Freude, meines Herzens Weide, Jesu, meine Zier! Ach wie lang, ach lange, ise dem Herzen bange und verlangt nach dir! Gottes Lamm, mein Bräutigam, außer dir soll mir auf Erden nichts sonst Liebers werden.

1. Chorale Jesus, my joy, my heart's pasture, Jesus, my treasure! Ah, how long, ah long has my heart suffered and longed for you! God's lamb, my bridegroom, besides You on earth nothing shall be dearer to me.

2. Chor Es ist nun nichts Verdammliches an denen, die in Christo Jesu sind, die nicht nach dem Fleische wandeln, sondern nach dem Geist.

2. Chorus Now there is nothing damnable in those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the way of the flesh, but after the way of the Spirit.

3. Choral Unter deinen Schirmen Bin ich für den Stürmen Aller Feinde frei. Laß den Satan wittern, Laß den Feind erbittern, Mir steht Jesus bei. Ob es itzt gleich kracht und blitzt, Ob gleich Sünd und Hölle schrecken, Jesus will mich decken.

3. Chorale Under your protection I am safe from the storms of all enemies. Let Satan rage, let the enemy fume, Jesus stands with me. Whether now it thunders and flashes, whether sin and Hell terrify, Jesus will protect me.


4. Chor Denn das Gesetz des Geistes, der da lebendig machet in Christo Jesu, hat mich frei gemacht von dem Gesetz der Sünde und des Todes.

4. Chorus For the law of the spirit, which gives life in Christ Jesus, has made me free from the law of sin and death.

5. Choral Trotz dem alten Drachen, trotz des Todes Rachen, trotz der Furcht dazu! Tobe, Welt, und springe; ich steh hier und singe in gar sichrer Ruh! Gottes Macht hält mich in acht; Erd und Abgrund muß verstummen, ob sie noch so brummen.

5. Chorale Defiance to the old dragon, defiance to the vengeance of death, defiance to fear as well! Rage, world, and attack; I stand here and sing in entirely secure peace! God's strength holds me in watch; earth and abyss must fall silent, however much they might rumble.

6. Chor Ihr aber seid nicht fleischlich, sondern geistlich, so anders Gottes Geist in euch wohnet. Wer aber Christi Geist nicht hat, der ist nicht sein.

6. Chorus You, however, are not of the flesh, but rather of the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives otherwise in you. Anyone, however, who does not have Christ's Spirit, is not His.

7. Chorale Weg mit allen Schätzen, du bist mein Ergötzen, Jesu, meine Lust! Weg, ihr eitlen Ehren, ich mag euch nicht hören, bleibt mir unbewußt! Elend, Not, Kreuz, Schmach und Tod soll mich, ob ich viel muß leiden, nicht von Jesu scheiden.

7. Chorale Away with all treasures, you are my delight, Jesus, my joy! Away, you vain honors, I don't want to listen to you, remain unknown to me! Misery, want, torture, shame and death shall, although I must suffer much, never part me from Jesus.

8. Chor So aber Christus in euch ist, so ist der Leib zwar tot um der Sünde willen; der Geist aber ist das Leben um der Gerechtigkeit willen.

8. Chorus However if Christ is in you, then the body is dead indeed for the sake of sin; but the spirit is life for the sake of righteousness.

9. Chorale Gute Nacht, o Wesen, Das die Welt erlesen! Mir gefällst du nicht. Gute Nacht, ihr Sünden, Bleibet weit dahinten, Kommt nicht mehr ans Licht! Gute Nacht, du Stolz und Pracht! Dir sei ganz, du Lasterleben, Gute Nacht gegeben!

9. Chorale Good night, existence that cherishes the world! You do not please me. Good night, sins, stay far away, never again come to light! Good night, pride and glory! To you utterly, life of corruption, be good night given!

10. Chor So nun der Geist des, der Jesum von den Toten auferwecket hat, in euch wohnet, so wird auch derselbige, der Christum von den Toten auferwecket hat, eure sterblichen Leiber lebendig machen, um des willen, daß sein Geist in euch wohnet.

10. Chorus Therefore now since the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, that same who raised Christ from the dead will make your mortal bodies living, for the sake of His spirit that dwells in you.


11. Chorale Weicht, ihr Trauergeister, denn mein Freudenmeister, Jesus, tritt herein. Denen, die Gott lieben, muß auch ihr Betrüben lauter Zucker sein. Duld' ich schon hier Spott und Hohn, dennoch bleibst du auch im Leide, Jesu, meine Freude.

11. Chorale Hence, you spirits of sadness, for my Master of joy, Jesus, comes here. For those who love God, even their troubles must be pure sugar. Though I endure mockery and shame here already, nevertheless you stay with me even in sorrow, Jesus, my joy.

J.S. Bach: Fürchte dich nicht, Ich bin bei dir, BWV 228

Isaiah 41:10 (mov't. 1);­Isaiah 43:1 and Paul Gerhardt (mov’t. 2)

1. Chor Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir; weiche nicht, denn ich bin dein Gott; ich stärke dich, ich helfe dir auch, ich erhalte dich durch die rechte Hand meiner Gerechtigkeit. (Isaiah 41:10)

1. Chorus Do not fear, I am with you; do not recoil, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, and help you as well, I sustain you with the right hand of my righteousness.

2. Chor (A,T,B) Fürchte dich nicht, denn ich habe dich erlöset; ich habe dich bei deinem Namen gerufen, du bist mein. (Isaiah 43:1)

2. Chorus (A,T,B) Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine.

3. Chorale (S) Herr, mein Hirt, Brunn aller Freuden! Du bist mein, ich bin dein, niemand kann uns scheiden. Ich bin dein, weil du dein Leben und dein Blut, mir zu gut, in den Tod gegeben. Du bist mein, weil ich dich fasse und dich nicht, o mein Licht, aus dem Herzen lasse! Laß mich, laß mich hingelangen, wo du mich und ich dich lieblich werd umfangen. Fürchte dich nicht, du bist mein.

3. Chorale (S) Lord, my Shepherd, fount of all joy! You are mine, I am Yours, no one can part us. I am Yours, since Your life and Your blood, for my sake, You have given to death. You are mine, since I seize You and do not, O my light, let you out of my heart! Let me, let me arrive there, where You and I will lovingly embrace each other. Do not fear, you are Mine.


J.S. Bach: Komm, Jesu, Komm, BWV 229

Paul Thymich

1. Choral Komm, Jesu, komm, mein Leib ist müde, die Kraft verschwindt je mehr und mehr, ich sehne mich nach deinem Frieden; der saure Weg wird mir zu schwer! Komm, komm, ich will mich dir ergeben, du bist der rechte Weg, die Wahrheit und das Leben.

1. Chorus Come, Jesus, come, my body is weary, my strength wanes more and more, I long for Your peace; the sour path becomes too difficult for me! Come, come, I will yield myself to You, You are the true path, truth and life.

2. Arie Drum schließ ich mich in deine Hände und sage, Welt, zu guter Nacht! Eilt gleich mein Lebenslauf zu Ende, ist doch der Geist wohl angebracht. Er soll bei seinem Schöpfer schweben, weil Jesus ist und bleibt der wahre Weg zum Leben.

2. Aria Therefore I enclose myself in Your Hands and say goodnight to you, world! Even though my lifetime rushes to its end, my spirit is nevertheless prepared. It shall soar with its Savior, since Jesus is and remains the true path to life.

J.S. Bach: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 1. Chor Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, und preiset ihn, alle Völker! Denn seine Gnade und Wahrheit waltet über uns in Ewigkeit. Alleluja! (Psalm 117)

1. Chorus Praise the Lord, all nations, and praise Him, all peoples! For His grace and truth rule over us for eternity. Alleluja!

BIOGRAPHIES About the Ensemble The Spire Chamber Ensemble was founded in 2010 as one of the only regional choral groups bringing together some of the best choral artists from around the United States and Canada to Kansas City for a specific concert. Each choral artist has learned the specific program independently and is exacting in their craft. We also attain our distinct and exquisite sound utilizing countertenors to sing alto parts. With the creative and artistic skills of founder and conductor, Ben A. Spalding, and just a few days of intense rehearsals, a collage of beauty and transformative sound is created. The alchemy of these masterful individuals come together to create the Spire Chamber Ensemble.

With acclaimed organist Jan Kraybill, we focus on repertoire for voices and organ, while balancing out programming with a cappella pieces and period performance chamber oratorios featuring the Spire Baroque Orchestra, constructed of the finest players in the country who also travel to Kansas City for each performance. Concert venues include the Community of Christ Temple (Independence, MO) Trinity Lutheran Church (Mission, KS), the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, and the prestigious Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (Kansas City, MO).


Ben A. Spalding, Founder and Artistic Director Ben A. Spalding is the founder and artistic director of the Spire Chamber Ensemble, which is gaining a national reputation for excellence in choral performances. He received undergraduate degrees in voice and piano from Emporia State University and two Master’s Degrees in conducting and composition from Rowan University. He was a student of renowned conductor and composer Z. Randall Stroope, and has also studied conducting with Terry Barham and Sir David Willcocks in Cambridge. Spalding is up and coming as a professional choral conductor, working with the best choral artists in the country and gaining a reputation as a fine interpreter of both early and contemporary repertoire. He is sought after as a clinician, most recently leading Festivals and Honor Choirs throughout the Midwest. Spalding is also active as a composer, regularly accepting commissions. As an educator, he has held positions at the high school and university levels. In addition to his work with Spire Chamber Ensemble, Spalding is Director of Music and the Arts at Trinity Lutheran Church in Mission, KS, where he has built one of the most prestigious concert series and arts programs in the Kansas City area.

Elisa Bickers, organ

Elisa Williams Bickers is active across the country as a solo and ensemble organist and harpsichordist. She serves at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village Kansas as Principal Organist, and lead musician for The Gathering. She is also organist and harpsichordist with the Bach Aria Soloists chamber ensemble, and has taught at Washburn University and the UMKC Conservatory. Dr. Bickers received first prize and the hymn-playing prize in the graduate division of the 2006 William Hall Competition. She was awarded the Carlin Award for excellence in teaching in 2009, competed in the International Buxtehude Competition in Lübeck, and was a semi-finalist in the 2010 National Young Artists Competition. Dr. Bickers began her organ studies with the Potomac Organ Institute in Washington D.C. She has degrees from Texas Christian University and the University of Kansas.

Jay Carter, countertenor

Jay Carter is quickly gaining recognition as one of the nation’s finest, lauded for his luminous tone and stylish interpretations especially in the music of Bach, Bernstein, Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi. Equally at home in the modern recital repertoire, he has gained acclaim for programs of modern classics typically outside the standard countertenor repertory. Carter is a featured soloist on recordings of Bach’s Magnificat in D, Mendelssohn’s Magnificat, on Le Stagioni: Italian Virtuoso Madrigals with Gravitacion, and on Handel and Caldara Cantatas.

Mr. Carter received a Masters from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, and his undergraduate degree from William Jewell College. He lives in Liberty, Missouri with his wife and two children, and serves as Artist-in-residence at William Jewell College.

Dann Coakwell, tenor

Dann Coakwell, tenor, has performed as a soloist internationally and nationally under such acclaimed conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, William Christie, Nicholas McGegan, Matthew Halls, John Scott, and Craig Hella Johnson. He has performed multiple times in New York’s Carnegie Hall, and he made his Lincoln Center New York solo debuts at both Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fisher Hall to critical acclaim in 2014. He has appeared as a soloist with organizations such as Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Germany, Bach Collegium Japan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Oregon Bach Festival, and Conspirare. Coakwell can be heard as a soloist on the 2009 Grammy-nominated album, Conspirare: A Company of Voices, and on Conspirare’s February 2014 release, The Sacred Spirit of Russia (Harmonia Mundi). www.danncoakwell.com

Brian Ming Chu, baritone

Baritone Brian Ming Chu has garnered critical acclaim for his interpretive versatility in music from the Baroque to the 21st century. Oratorio soloist with The King’s Noyse, Brandywine Baroque,


Cathedral Choral Society, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, The Dryden Ensemble, Piffaro, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Carmel Bach Festival. Repeat appearances in the title role of Elijah, the Bach Passions, Haydn’s Creation and Die Jahreszeiten, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and this season, the Verdi Requiem in Philly. Signature roles with opera companies from New York to Dallas, including Marcello in La Bohème, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role of Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Mr. Chu is an adjunct professor of voice at Muhlenberg College (PA) and Rowan University (NJ).

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano

Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success has been fueled by “deeply expressive” musicianship (The New York Times), collaborating with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Simon Carrington, John Scott, Mark Morris, Matthew Halls, and Masaaki Suzuki, with whom she made her 2013 New York Philharmonic debut. Highlights of recent seasons include performances with Bach Collegium Japan (Tokyo), Philharmonia Baroque Anne-Marie Dicce, soprano (San Francisco), the Mark Morris Dance Group; National Anne-Marie Dicce has performed as Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center), Tafelmusik a soloist throughout North America Baroque Orchestra (Toronto), Radio Kamer Filharmonie and Europe and appears regularly Holland), and the Houston Symphony. Born and raised with such ensembles and festivals as in India, Ms. Panthaki holds an Artist Diploma from the the Bach Collegium San Diego, Yale School of Music and the Yale Institute of Sacred Oregon Bach Festival, Festival Music, and a Masters degree from the University of Ensemble Stuttgart, IRCAM Festival Illinois. in Paris, among others. Anne-Marie was recently invited to be on the core roster of Conspirare's Company of Katie Rietman, cello Voices based in Austin, TX, and was also invited to be a Katie Rietman has performed as a core member of the Berwick Chorus of the Oregon Bach baroque cellist on over 45 CD Festival. Anne-Marie received her Doctor of Musical Arts recordings and numerous concerts and Masters degrees from the University of California, and radio broadcasts with notable San Diego, maintains an active voice studio in San baroque and classical period Diego and serves on the Board of Directors of the instrument ensembles worldwide. National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) San Her performing career has taken her Diego Chapter. to 19 countries in Europe, North America and South America. Currently residing in New York City, she Reginald L. Mobley, performs there regularly with ensembles such as the countertenor Clarion Society, Rebel, Concert Royal, the Trinity Choir Countertenor Reginald Mobley fully and St. Thomas Boys Choir. Other American groups that intended to speak his art through she regularly works with are the Boston Early Music watercolors and oil pastels until Festival Orchestra, Musica Angelica, Philadelphia’s circumstance demanded that his own Buxtehude Consort, Tempesta di Mare, Aradia, and the voice should speak for itself. Since Toronto Chamber Orchestra. She has coached baroque reducing his visual color palette to and modern string players at Yale University, Bard the black and white of a score, he has endeavored to College, Catholic University of Peru, and University of open a wider spectrum onstage. Particularly noted for Alabama. Katie Rietman plays a cello made in London in 1790 by his “crystalline diction and pure, evenly produced tone” (Miami Herald), as well as “elaborate and inventive William Forster II, also known as the Royal Forster because of his instruments made for the Prince of Wales ornamentation” (South Florida Classical Review), the "Barn-burning, […] phenomenal" (Knoxville Metro Pulse) (later to become George IV) which are decorated with gold Reggie is rapidly making a name for himself in Baroque, paint. Classical, and modern repertoire. His natural and preferred habitat is within the works of Bach, Handel, Purcell, as well as other known Baroque mainstays. Not to be undone by a strict diet of the baroque, Reggie finds himself equally comfortable in other periods and genres. Not just in Medieval and Renaissance, but also a literacy in Jazz, Gospel, Musical Theatre, and Barbershop singing. www.reginaldmobley.com


Kyle Stegall, tenor

Kyle Stegall enjoys a career spanning concert, opera, recital and chamber repertoire. In recent seasons he appeared as soloist with William Christie, Joseph Flummerfelt, Masaaki Suzuki, and Nicholas McGegan, among others. Admired for his “lovely tone and ardent expression,” (NY Times), Kyle looks forward to performing works of Handel, Mozart, Britten, and many others this season. Engaged frequently as a concert soloist, recent appearances have included works such as Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Bach’s passions, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Esther, and Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings among others. Last season, Kyle made his Lincoln Center debut singing the evangelist in Bach’s St. John Passion under the direction of Masaaki Suzuki. Kyle holds degrees in music from the Universities of Missouri, Michigan, and Yale.

Paul Max Tipton, baritone

Described by the Atlanta JournalConstitution as a dignified and beautiful singer, Paul Max Tipton enjoys an active career in opera, oratorio, and chamber music and has performed and recorded throughout North America and Europe. A versatile singer, Mr. Tipton’s repertoire ranges from Schütz and Monteverdi to Britten and Bolcom, with his interpretations of the Bach Passions being acclaimed in particular for their strength and sensitivity. He has recently appeared with the symphonies of San Antonio, Grand Rapids, Lincoln, Stamford, CT, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and has performed with the New York Philharmonic as part of their first-ever Bach Festival. Mr. Tipton trained on full fellowship at the University of Michigan School of Music in Ann Arbor. He is a 2010 graduate of the Yale University Institute of Sacred Music in Oratorio & Early Music, studying with tenor James Taylor. Based in Boston, he was made a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music in 2012. www.paulmaxtipton.com


Become more involved! Since the beginning, Spire’s mission has been to give inspired performances that change lives. We make the music, but you—our friends and fellow music lovers—make the music happen.

We want to invite you to partner with Spire to continue to bring great music to our community. Beyond just attending performances, there are many opportunities for you to be involved. Some are listed below, but don’t let this list limit your creativity or involvement!

Become the core sponsor of a specific Spire program or Artist during the Season.

Have extra Reward Points? Consider gifting them to Spire to help cover travel and housing costs for Artists.

Get to know Spire's talented Artists better! Consider hosting them in your home, or taking them out for a meal.

More information at www.SpireChamberEnsemble.org/donate

Spire is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization. To make a contribution, please mail a check to: Spire Chamber Ensemble, 5601 West 62nd Street, Mission, KS 66202 16

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.