Dawn Upshaw: Photo by Dario Acosta

Bard’s Conservatory Sundays Continues with “Winter Songfest” featuring Dawn Upshaw

by Editor

Conservatory Sundays continues on Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m. with “Winter Songfest,” a festive holiday celebration with soprano Dawn Upshaw.

Acclaimed soprano Dawn Upshaw and members of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellows, Hudson Valley Brass, and the chorus from the Red Hook Mill Road Elementary School, present a program of festive songs and ensembles to benefit the Scholarship Fund of The Bard College Conservatory of Music. A Winter Songfest will be performed as a family-​​friendly matinée concert on Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. Tickets are $15, 20, and $100. Guests at the $100 level are invited to join Dawn Upshaw and the performers onstage for a postconcert reception in the Sosnoff Theater immediately following the performance. Limited tickets are available for this exclusive opportunity; please reserve early. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 845 – 758-​​7900 or go to fishercenter​.bard​.edu.

Highlights for A Winter Songfest include Grammy Award – winner Upshaw performing Charles Ives’s  “In the Mornin’,” Richard Rodgers’s “Sing for Your Supper,” and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “This Is the Truth Sent from Above.” The program also includes “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,”  “The Christmas Song,” Joni Mitchell’s “I Wish I Had a River,” and many more holiday-​​themed classics.

Bard Winter Songfest

In addition to Upshaw, artists performing include Kayo Iwama, associate director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, piano; Frank Corliss, associate director of The Bard College Conservatory of Music, piano; and Conservatory faculty member Erika Switzer, piano.

Graduate Vocal Arts Program singers performing are sopranos Sophia Burgos ’16, Adanya Dunn ’16, Lucy Fitz Gibbon ’15, Helen Zhibing Huang ’15, Zoe Johnson ’16, Juhye Kim ’16, Laura Soto-​​Bayomi ’15, and Sarah Tuttle ’15; mezzo-​​sopranos Rachael Braunstein ’16, Katherine Maysek ’15, Kelly Newberry ’16, Lizabeth Malanga ’16; tenors Corey Hart ’16, Matt Slipp ’16; baritones Jeremy Hirsch ’15, Michael Hofmann ’15, Chi Xue ’16; and bass Andrew Munn ’16.

Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellows are Julia Hsu, Hyanghyun Lee, Chloe Lo, Eri Nakamura, Rami Sarieddine, and Bálint Zsoldos, with Benedict Sheehan ’16, conductor.

Hudson Valley Brass players include Trygve Butler ’16, trumpet; Szabolcs Koczur, trumpet, Cameron West ’15, horn; János Sutyák ’13, trombone; and Jacob Moore, tuba.

The 44 member chorus of the Mill Road Elementary School in Red Hook, New York appear under the direction of Cara Silvernail.

About the Performers

Soprano Dawn Upshaw has achieved worldwide celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. She is artistic director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at The Bard College Conservatory of Music, and was recently appointed as head of the Vocal Arts Program
at the Tanglewood Music Center. Upshaw’s acclaimed performances on the opera stage comprise the great Mozart roles (Pamina, Ilia, Susanna, Despina) as well as modern works by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Messiaen. From Salzburg, Paris, and Glyndebourne to the Metropolitan Opera, where she began her career in 1984 and has since made nearly 300 appearances, Upshaw has also championed numerous new works created for her including The Great Gatsby by John Harbison; the Grawemeyer Award – winning opera L’Amour de loin and the oratorio La Passion de Simone by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams’s nativity oratorio El Niño; and Osvaldo Golijov’s chamber opera Ainadamar and song cycle Ayre. A five-​​time Grammy Award winner, Dawn Upshaw recently received the 2014 Best Classical Vocal Solo Grammy for Maria Schneider’s Winter Morning Walks. She is featured on more than 50 recordings, including the million-​​selling Symphony No. 3 by Henryk Gorecki for Nonesuch Records. In 2007, she was named a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, and in 2008 she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Graduate Vocal Arts Program of The Bard College Conservatory of Music is a unique master of music program in vocal performance. This two-​​year master of music degree balances a respect for established repertory and expressive techniques with the flexibility and curiosity needed to keep abreast of evolving musical ideas.

Hudson Valley Brass is a brass quintet formed in 2013 at The Bard College Conservatory of Music with a wide repertoire ranging from baroque to jazz. After performing at venues throughout the Hudson Valley — including the Old Dutch Church in Kingston and on the frozen ice of the Hudson River as part of an ice-​​boat gathering — the group presented concerts in Hungary and South Africa in summer 2014.

The Bard College Conservatory of Music is recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States. Founded in 2005, the Conservatory is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-​​year period, a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music.


On Sunday, December 14 at 3 p.m., the Conservatory Orchestra performs Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses, Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, and Serge Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. The orchestra will be conducted by Cristian Măcelaru, winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award and one of the fast-​​rising stars of the conducting world.

The concert is part of the Conservatory Sundays series, and all proceeds will benefit the Scholarship Fund of The Bard College Conservatory of Music. Suggested donations for all Conservatory Sundays programs are $20 (orchestra seating) and $15 (parterre/​first balcony). The minimum donation for orchestra seating is $5. Seating location for tickets reserved without a donation will be assigned by the Box Office. For ticket information contact the Fisher Center box office at fishercenter​.bard​.edu or call 845 – 758-​​7900.

About The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College


Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts — Photo: Peter Aaron ’68/​Esto

Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.

Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, eight weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its 25th year. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-​​night-​​only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.

The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. Live Arts Bard, a residency and commissioning program, is a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects, many of which première at the Fisher Center. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts.

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