Emmanuel Lutheran Church Pottstown To Host Reading Choral Society Holiday Concert

 Reading Choral Society presents A Celebration of Light

Sunday, December 11, 2011 – 5:00pm

Free Admission – Reception to follow!

 Emmanuel Lutheran Church

150 N. Hanover Street–Pottstown,PA

 Featured soloist: Toni Marie Palmertree

The Reading Choral Society invites you to spend an afternoon enjoying beautiful music of the holiday season.  Featuring a performance of a new setting of the “Magnificat” by American composer Debra Scroggins, the choir will present classic Advent motets and lovely Christmas carol arrangements. The choir is directed by Peter Hopkins, and accompanied by organist Paula Pugh Romanaux. Founded in 1875, the Reading Choral Society is one of America’s oldest musical ensembles and is carrying a proud tradition of choral excellence into its 136th season.   

The Reading Choral Society is very proud to have Mr. Peter Hopkins as its Music Director.  Hopkins is currently the director of Music Ministry and Choirmaster at St. Peter’s Church, Third and Pine Streets, Philadelphia.  His doctoral studies were done at Michigan State University as well as in England and Germany. He is a student of famed conductor Helmuth Rilling, working with him since 1985, and is the only American to guest conduct Rilling’s Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart.  Prior to moving to Philadelphia, Hopkins served as conductor of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Michigan Bach Collegium, the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys, and the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus. He has led performances running the gamut of choral literature; from plainsong and renaissance motets through the major oratorio literature for chorus and orchestra as well as symphonies and concerti.   Every summer Mr. Hopkins prepares the professional chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival as Assistant Chorusmaster.   

Soprano Toni Marie Palmertree is a captivating performer who delights audiences in concert and on the opera stage.  Caryl Huffaker of The Kennett Paper wrote of her performance:  “Toni Marie Palmertree wowed the audience. They appreciated her complete vocal mastery and technique… she had the audience in the palm of her hand. With her technical expertise, personality and powerful but effortless singing, she is a major force”. 

Toni Marie is proud to hold many awards: She recently won first place in the Long Leaf Opera of North Carolina voice competition. Other first place awards include The Kennett Square Symphony Voice Competition, and The Marcella Sembrich competition. She was awarded third place in the James Parkinson Opera Competition and the second place winner of the Sylvia Green Voice Competition. From The Peabody Conservatory, she was granted The Anita Erdman award. At the age of 21, Toni Marie was a finalist in the International Moniuszko Voice Competition in Warsaw,Poland.  Toni Marie studied voice with Ms. Phyllis Bryn Julson at The Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland and currently studies with Metropolitan Opera singer, Gwynne Geyer.

This concert is part of the MUSIC AT EMMANUEL concert series.  For more information about our 2011-12 concert season, please contact us by phone (610-323-4312) or visit us on the web:  www.emmanuelpottstown.org or www.facebook.com/music.at.emmanuel