Join us in our
2020-2021 SEASON

A Christmas Noël
with the CPC Chamber Singers
See three videos from their
2019 concert on our
Photos/Current page

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call 410-715-3087

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Columbia Pro Cantare
Studio 17
8510 High Ridge Rd
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Fax: 410.696.2591

This season's guest artists:

Miso Kang, Soprano

Korean Soprano, Miso Kang, is pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory in the studio of Stanley Cornett. Miso performed as the role of Suor Angelica in Puccini's opera Suor Angelica at Friedberg Concert Hall last spring. Ms. Kang is a graduate of Seoul National University with Bachelor of Music and a candidate with Master of Music. She has also participated at Corso di Perfezionamento Professionale operated by Accademia Arena, Italy. As a winner of Music Education News Competion in Korea, Ms. Kang won top prizes at all the major national competitions such as Suri competition. She has appeared in various operas such as L’elisir d’amore, Cavalleria Rusticana, La traviata, and as a soloist in G.F.Händel’s Messiah and W.A.Mozart’s Coronation Mass.

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Randa Melhem, Mezzo

The unequaled power and grandeur of operatic singing was what initially drew Randa Melhem, mezzo, to perform roles like La zia principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Following her own natural dramatic sensibilities, as well as the strength of her rich, mezzo-soprano voice, these sorts of significant, mature characters come naturally to her, even at a young age. From the very beginning, performing such parts as The Gingerbread Witch in Humperdinck’s Hänsel and Gretel or Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, she has shown a precocious aptitude for dramatic roles.

Although many of her roles have allowed her to explore her villainous side, she also relishes the chance to take on more lighthearted roles. Comic characters like La Frugola in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and La Baronne in Massenet’s Chérubin come as easily as the more serious roles she takes on. She also has a passion for early music, oratorio, and sacred music, having performed Handel’s Messiah as well as multiple arias from Bach’s Mass in B minor, Matthäus-Passion, and Johannes-Passion.

In addition to opera, Randa’s work ranges from musical theater to popular music, especially the works of Leonard Bernstein. She has performed scenes from Bernstein’s Candide as Old Lady and was recently a soloist and Street Singer in Mass, conducted by the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Bernstein’s protégé, Marin Alsop. She has also performed experimental music and new works, including vocal jazz with The Radcliffe Pitches, an a cappella group, during her time as an undergraduate student at Harvard University.

Randa will be performing the role of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in the staged premier of Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice in November of 2019. During the 2019-2020 season, she will be pursuing a Graduate Performance Degree in Voice at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University under the instruction of Stanley Cornett.

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Kyle Tomlin, Tenor

Possessing a voice hailed by the Washington Post as "impressively commanding," Kyle Tomlin, tenor, is making a name for himself both on the opera stage and as a concert soloist. He has made appearances with companies across the country including Virginia Opera, Toledo Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Charlottesville Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the National Symphony Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, National Cathedral Choral Society, Handel Choir of Baltimore, and the Washington Bach Consort. Some of his notable roles include Rodolfo (La bohème), Tybalt (Roméo et Juliette), Nemorino (L'elisir d'amore), Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), and the title role in Albert Herring.

While he regularly performs the standard repertoire, Mr. Tomlin is no stranger to new music. As a Gate City Bank Young Artist with Fargo-Moorhead Opera, he covered roles in the world premieres of Buried Alive and Embedded, two operas commissioned by the American Lyric Theatre for the Poe Project. He also originated the role of John in the premiere of Rockland, an opera commissioned by the Pine Mountain Music Festival, where he was a Resident Opera Artist for three years.

Mr. Tomlin sings with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and is a member of the United States Army Chorus.

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Chris Edwards, Baritone

Hailed for his "warm, supple" voice and "unusual sophistication" (San Diego Story), Christopher Edwards, baritone, is an avid opera and concert performer based out of Baltimore, Maryland. During the 2018-19 season, Christopher performed with the Minnesota Orchestra (Christmas Oratorio parts 4-6), Virginia Glee Club (Lord Nelson Mass), and Music of the Baroque in Chicago. Previous concert performance highlights include Ralph Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem (Washington Men’s Camerata) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Symphonicity). His major opera roles include Leporello in Don Giovanni (Opera NEO), Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro (Peabody Opera), Guglielmo in Così fan tutte (The Charleston Symphony and Peabody Opera) and Bartolo in The Barber of Seville (UCSB Opera Theater). In 2016, Christopher won the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Biennial Bach Vocal Competition and has since performed with the choir in their popular Bach at Noon concert series. Christopher is a graduate of the Peabody Institute, and a former Songfest at Colburn Young Artist.

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Amy Van Roekel, Soprano

Praised by the Washington Post as a "lovely singer and accomplished actress" with "limpid tone and agile high notes," soprano Amy van Roekel has established herself as a vibrant and captivating performer on both the operatic and concert stage. Ms. van Roekel has received accolades for her performances on both the operatic and concert stage. Her operatic appearances include roles with Florida Grand Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, Central City Opera and Chautauqua Opera. She also has a passion for new music and has worked extensively with American Opera Projects, based in Brooklyn, and is called on frequently by composers to premiere their new works. As a soloist she has performed with the Virginia Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Santa Fe Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. She has also been a featured artist with the New York City Ballet, performing American standards under the baton of George Steel and his Gotham City Orchestra in St-Rémy, France.

She has been involved in several exciting premieres including Opera After Hours – a compilation of several short operas woven together by acclaimed director, Christopher Alden at New York City's cutting-edge Zipper Factory Theater; the world premiere of Oresteia, - a multi-media opera by Iannis Xenakis performed in ancient Greek at the Miller Theatre in New York City; and The Machine Awakes, composed by Stephen Andrew Taylor specifically for Ms. van Roekel with a commission by Sinfonia da Camera at the University of Illinois. The Machine Awakes was released on CD in the fall of 2009 on Albany Records. Amy has received many awards and honors that include being a 1st Place winner of the National Symphony Orchestra's Concerto Competition, a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a two-time award winner in the Washington International Competition for Singers. Also an accomplished pianist, Amy van Roekel holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland. Her website is:

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Leah Kaye Serr, Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-soprano, Leah Kaye Serr, is establishing herself as a singer and actress of "strength and lyrical beauty." Ms. Serr has performed with Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Knoxville Opera and Central City Opera where she performed the role of Annina in La Traviata and covered the role of Dorothée in Cendrillon. She also had the privilege of participating in the Châteauville Foundation Residency Program for young artists, where she covered the role of Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia conducted by Maestro Lorin Maazel.

As an Apprentice Artist with the Sarasota Opera Company, Ms. Serr performed the role of Mercy Lewis in The Crucible, covered the role of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and had the privilege of singing Giovanna in their mainstage production of Rigoletto. She was also selected as the recipient of the prestigious Sarasota Opera Guild Award. Furthering her career, Ms. Serr won 3rd place in The American Prize National Competition for Vocal Performance in the College and University Art Song Division and won the Middle/East TN District Metropolitan Opera Competition where she was chosen to advance to the Mid-South Region competition in Memphis, TN.

Ms. Serr sang Emma Jones in Street Scene, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre, where she completed her Master's Degree under the vocal direction of renowned mezzo-soprano Lorraine DiSimone. Ms. Serr also performed the mainstage roles of Giovanna in Rigoletto and Kate in The Pirates of Penzance as a member of the Knoxville Opera Studio program. Professionally, she performed Hansel in Knoxville Opera's outreach production of Hansel and Gretel as well as performing the mainstage roles of the Muse and Nicklausse in Les contes d’Hoffmann where she was acclaimed as bringing “...a stylish persona and a powerful mezzo to the dual roles”.

As an undergraduate student at The Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, Ms. Serr studied under the direction of Dr. Stanley Cornett. While at Peabody Ms. Serr performed the roles of Meg Page in Falstaff, Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and Lucretia in The Rape of Lucretia where she was hailed as "lovely and vocally incisive as Lucretia, convincing as she lost her mind after the rape scene."

Among concert work, Ms. Serr has sung the mezzo solos in Dvorak's Stabat Mater, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli, Mozart’s Requiem, Beach’s Grand Mass in E-flat Maj, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and is excited to join Columbia Pro Cantare again singing Handel’s Messiah.

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Charles Reid, Tenor

Praised in Opernwelt for his "marvelous timbre, consistent throughout, well focused, excellently agile voice," Charles Reid is being recognized as one of his generation’s leading lyric tenors. He has sung on many of the most famous international stages, including nine seasons with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, and the festivals of Bayreuth, Salzburg, Spoleto USA, and Glimmerglass. Upcoming events include Mr. Reid’s debut with the Radio Symphonie Orchester Vienna, singing the Prince of Florence in Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie under the baton of Maestro Bertrand de Billy, and Charles’ return to the MET roster where he is responsible for Pylade in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride.

Mr. Reid’s most recent performances include the roles of Alfredo, Duca di Mantua, Macduff, Nemorino, Cassio, Tamino, and Don Ottavio with the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf), Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Stadttheater Gießen, and Theather Wintherthur. Beyond the Germanic countries, Mr. Reid has been heard as Tito under the baton of Adam Fischer in Barcelona and Madrid. Additionally, he performed the little known Mozart opera, Ascanio in Alba, in Mexico City. For his Alfredo, renowned critic Gabor Halasz writes, "Charles Reid gave a vocal and musical performance of Alfredo without any limitations or boundaries, with a shimmering tenor voice, flawless technique, extraordinary feeling for style, and very clear intonation."

Equally at home on the concert stage, recent debuts include Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society singing Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of John Nelson, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Adding three new works to his repertoire, Charles Reid performed Mendelssohn’s Elias, Paulus, and ‘Lobgesang

Mr. Reid’s recent recordings include Haydn’s The Seasons with Amor Artis Baroque Orchestra and a DVD release of Katharina Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with the Bayreuther Festspiele. In addition, Charles can be heard on the Deutsche Grammaphon DVD of Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba with the Salzburger Festspiele. Charles is also on Gothic Records singing the tenor solos in Alice Parker’s Melodious Accord with the Master Chorale of Washington.

Mr. Reid is the recipient of prestigious awards from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition, Florida Grand Opera YPO Competition, Connecticut Opera Competition, and the Marjorie Lawrence International Vocal Competition.

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Rob McGinness, Baritone

Recognized for his "impressive singing … well-supported tone and supple phrasing," (Baltimore Sun) baritone Robin McGinness's recent venue debuts include Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. This season Mr. McGinness joins Arizona Opera as a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Arizona Opera Studio, performing multiple roles including Schaunard in La Bohème, Harlekin in Ariadne auf Naxos and the lead role in Shining Brow, Darren Hagen’s opera about Frank Lloyd Wright. Other highlights this season include Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.

Often featured portraying opera’s "bad boy," Robin McGinness’ operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La Bohème. Mr. McGinness has made a specialty in Russian repertoire, performing leading roles in Rimski-Krosakov’s Tsar’s Bride, Mozart and Salieri, Snow Maiden, Sadko as well as Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Other famous roles include Enrico in Lucia, Count Almaviva in Lenozze di Figaro, and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, a performance lauded for a "bright baritone and winning jitteriness" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

As a featured soloist, Rob performed Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, the Duruflé Requiem with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, and the Brahms Requiem with Portsmouth Pro Musica. Other concert credits include Carmina Burana with Columbia Pro Cantare and Brahms’s Requiem with The Washington Chorus, where Mr. McGinness’ performance was lauded by the Washington Post for his "warm baritone."

Committed to promoting and performing new works, Mr. McGinness regularly premieres new roles, including Ed Wall in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, and Saul Hodkin/Price in The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree. Rob’s own compositions include vocal, theatrical and orchestral pieces premiered at IngenuityFest, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and by the Windham Orchestra in Vermont.

Rob holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Peabody Institute, and was a young artist with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Teatro Nuovo, and Bel Canto at Caramoor. His awards include first place in the Sylvia Greene Vocal Competition, second place in the Piccola Opera Competition, and the Patricia A. Edwards Award in the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition.

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