Choral Union to present Messiah

Monday November 22 2010


The Lynchburg College Choral Union and Chamber Orchestra will present the eighth annual performance of Handel's Messiah on Friday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Baptist Church.

Dr. Jong Kim, professor of music and director of choral activities/vocal studies, will conduct the performance, which will feature guest soloists Yunah Lee, soprano; Tara Bouknight, mezzo soprano; Robert Bracey, tenor; and Wayne Kompelien, bass.

Tickets for the performance are $10 and are available at the Lynchburg College Bookstore, Givens Books, and Aylor's Farm and Garden.

Yunah Lee, is scheduled to reprise the title role in Puccini's Madama Butterfly this year with the New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Kentucky Opera, St. Gallen Opera in Switzerland, and Central City Opera in Colorado. She has performed extensively on four continents and as soloist in such venues as New York's Carnegie Hall, Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and in Tokyo, Shanghai, Brazil, and Seoul. Her recording credits include "Four seasons of Korea" with I Musici, released on the Arcadia label. Born in Daegu, Korea, Lee is a former member of Juilliard Opera Center and earned her master's degree at The Juilliard School and bachelor's degree at Hanyang University as a full- scholarship student. She also studied at the New England Conservatory of Music, and she has received First Prize in the Mario Lanza Competition and in the Verismo Opera Competition. She was a finalist at the Belvedere Competition in Vienna, Austria.

Tara Bouknight's oratorio experience includes Mozart's Requiem, Faure's Requiem, Bach's St. John Passion and Magnificat, Durufle's Requiem, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Haydn's Mass in Time of War, among others. She made her debut with The Roanoke Symphony last season as the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah. On the operatic stage she has performed roles including the title role in Carmen, Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and Maddalena in Rigoletto. She directs the Franklin County Children's Choir, maintains a private voice studio at her home in Wirtz, Virginia, and is an adjunct voice instructor at Lynchburg College. Bouknight earned a master of music education at Indiana University and a master's degree in performance at the University of Tennessee.

Robert Bracey has performed throughout the United States and made appearances in Canada, Russia, Europe, India, and Japan. In 2002, he was awarded first place in the Oratorio Society of New York's Annual International Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall. He made his Detroit Symphony debut at Orchestra Hall and his Kennedy Center debut in Washington, D.C., with the Choral Arts Society of Washington. An oratorio specialist, he has worked with such well-known conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Simon Preston, and Sir Philip Ledger. Bracey earned both a doctor of musical arts in voice performance and a master of music from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor of music in music education at Michigan State University. He has served on the faculties at Bowling Green State University and Michigan State University and taught on the voice faculty of the Michigan All-State program at the Interlochen Arts Camp for 12 summers. He currently serves as associate head of the Department of Music Performance and director of vocal studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Wayne Kompelien earned a doctor of musical arts in vocal performance in 1987 at the University of Kansas, where he was featured in numerous opera and oratorio productions. His portrayal of Olin Blitch in the Carlisle Floyd opera, Susannah, received national acclaim, and the production received second place in a national collegiate opera competition. Kompelien also placed twice in the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in Kansas City. He has been featured in many Opera Roanoke productions, and he recently performed the role of Friar Laurence in Gounod's Romeo and Juliet. In 1986, he accepted a teaching position at Liberty University, where he began the opera program in 1989, directing and producing 18 operas and stage works including La Bohéme, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, Cosi fan Tutte, Pagliacci, and The Pirates of Penzance. Since 1988, he has served as director of the Chamber Singers, recognized as one of the Virginia's premier chorale ensembles, earning the opportunity to perform in the 1989 Virginia Music Educators Convention in Richmond.