A Quiet Alleluia, Kenton Coe
HISTORY OF THE CAROLINA CONCERT CHOIR, 1979-2013
The Carolina Concert Choir, formerly the Carolina Chamber Singers, began in 1979 as a madrigal group of ten to twelve voices directed by Dr. Robert Barrow, retired head of the Music Department at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Beverly Ward, who was dean of the Western North Carolina Chapter of the Guild of Organists, directed the growing ensemble from 1980 to 1996. The group performed classical and contemporary pieces, including some composed by Ward. Several guest conductors directed the Choir during the 1996-2002 seasons -- Dr. Carl Gilmer, John Semingson, Dr. Joy Berg, Anne Rhymer and Ward Scott
In the fall of 2002 Bradford Gee assumed the role of director. Under his leadership the Carolina Chamber Singers grew to 60 voices and changed its name to the Carolina Concert Choir. It celebrated its 25th anniversary season in May 2004 with a concert featuring the Rutter Requiem, accompanied by full orchestra, as well as works by Handel, Mendelssohn, Fauré and Vaughan Williams.
The Carolina Concert Choir is associated closely with Blue Ridge Community College and uses a portion of the proceeds from its annual Christmas concert to fund a music scholarship. The College reciprocates by granting academic credit to music students who sing in the Choir.
The Choir is comprised of rich and diverse voices from Hendersonville, Asheville, and upstate South Carolina. In June 2005, May 2006, June 2007 and May 2009 the Choir performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC; performances were held in either St. Philips Episcopal Church or the historic First Baptist Church, in downtown Charleston.
For the 2007-2008 season Mr. Gee directed the Choir in its inaugural Holiday Concert on December 16, 2007, in the presitigious, 700-seat Scott Concert Hall of The Porter Center in Brevard NC, with full Baroque orchestra and the renowned Pastyme, an a cappella octet from Asheville. The Choir closed out the season with a performance of its Spring Concert on May 4, 2008, again at The Porter Center.
The Choir opened its 30th-anniversary season, 2008-2009, with a Holiday Concert on December 20, 2008, again at The Porter Center. The concert featured the Choir, a full orchestra and three soloists in a beautiful performance of Vivaldi's Gloria, a real crowd-pleaser. A review of the concert in the Classical Voice of North Carolina lauded both Mr. Gee and the Choir:
“The conduct of the choristers approaches a choral director’s dream. They hold their music high, maintain good eye contact with the director, and listen carefully to the group blending. The choir was technically close to flawless.”
Bradford Gee is recognized as one of the leading choral musicians in the Carolinas. He is currently in his eleventh year as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Carolina Concert Choir and is also the Director of Music and Organist at St. James Episcopal Church in Hendersonville, NC where he conducts the Parish Choir, plays the organ for services, and oversees a multi-faceted music program.
Under his leadership the Carolina Concert Choir has grown into an exceptional, auditioned-only choir of 40 voices. The choir has sung at the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC and thrills audiences with their diverse repertoire, command of foreign languages, and warmth and beauty of their choral sound.
Classical Voice of North Carolina said of Mr. Gee: "... a decidedly superior choral conductor... well known for the efficiency of his use of rehearsal time as well as his direction" and, "The choir was technically close to flawless...an exemplar of crispness and precision."
Mr. Gee pursued doctoral studies in choral conducting and organ performance at Indiana University and received his master's degree from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. He is a member of Chorus America and the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda.
KATHERINE MENEFEE PRICE
Katherine Menefee Price, in addition to being a highly accomplished flutist with solo and concert credits at major New York venues, is also a skilled and experienced collaborative pianist. She began to study piano when she was five years old, flute at age ten, and in high school was active as a pianist and flutist, and accompanist for choirs.
Educated at Stetson University, the Brevard Music Center, the Juilliard School,and the Dalcroze School of Music, Ms. Price has had many accompanying opportunities. These included playing for flute juries during her years at Juilliard, Music Director for the Triangle Theatre Company in Durham, NC; accompanist for the 92 Street YMHA.
Professional Children's Theater Company; choral accompanying at schools in Long Beach, NY; Blair Academy, and the Kent Place School in NJ, and extensive experience as a pianist and flutist for instrumental and chamber music recitals. She also worked on the artistic and administrative staff of the NJ Youth Symphony, and the NJ Youth Orchestra.
Ms. Price is the pianist, choir director, and Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, and maintains a private teaching studio.
Composer in Residence
The Carolina Concert Choir is proud to announce Kenton Coe as its “Composer in Residence”. His association with the choir is truly a collaborative effort. During the choir’s Spring 2009 concert, Mr. Coe’s first commissioned piece for the Carolina Concert Choir was premiered, “The Architects of Heaven”. At that same concert, the choir performed another Coe work entitled “A Quiet Alleluia”, which has been adopted as an encore piece for every concert since.
A native of Johnson City Tennessee, Kenton Coe began his musical training at the Cadek Conservatory in Chattanooga and continued his studies in Knoxville before attending Sewanee Academy. He attended Hobart College in upstate New York before entering Yale University from which he graduated as a History of Music major. He studied composition with Paul Hindemith and Quincy Porter. He worked privately for three years in Paris with Nadia Boulanger both at the Paris Conservatory and the American School at Fontainebleau and received two French Government scholarships at her request.
Among Kenton Coe’s abundance of musical compositions and scores, he was sponsored by Aaron Copland and received two fellowships from the MacDowell Colony where he began his first full length opera, “South”, which premiered in 1965 by the Opera of Marseilles under the direction of conductor Jean-Pierre Marty. A new production of “South’ was given by the Paris Opera with an opening night Gala in the presence of President and Madame Pompidou. A studio recording by the French Radio of his opera was given as part of their American Bicentennial celebration and has been rebroadcast most recently in 1989.
In addition to his numerous stage credits, Mr. Coe has scores of Choral, Instrumental, Orchestral, and published songs. For more detail of his expansive resume and history visit: http://www.ageefilms.org/coe.html .
Most recently, he wrote the musical score for the PBS documentary: “APPALACHIA: A History of Mountains and People” which is the first environmental history series ever made of the Appalachian region. An all-star cast, narrated by Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek, also includes Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist E.O. Wilson and best-selling novelist Barbara Kingsolver, explores the intersection of natural history and human history in one of America’s grandest treasures. http://www.appalachiafilm.org/
The Carolina Concert Choir is honored to include Mr. Kenton Coe as a valued friend and it’s Composer in Residence.