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

MUSIC AT EMMANUEL 2011-2012 – Pottstown

Emmanuel Lutheran Church
150 N. Hanover Street Pottstown, PA 29464

Andrew Meade – Minister of Music


Voice – (610) 323-4312

Our 2011-2012 MUSIC AT EMMANUEL season is full of variety, excitement, youth, passion and above all – musical excellence. We are thrilled to present artists that range from our finest regional talent to a pianist from the other side of the world!  Our season will include an organist who studied and teaches at the world famous Julliard School in New York City, an exciting young singer, one of America’s oldest musical ensembles, a choir from the renowned Westminster Choir College, and a Ukrainian pianist who was a stand-out at the Moscow Conservatory. MUSIC AT EMMANUEL is dedicated to bringing the live music of the highest caliber to the Pottstown community.  We are also dedicated to supporting young artists from our region as they develop their performing careers.  All concerts on our 2011-12 season are offered free of charge to the public, and are funded by the generous support of individuals in our church and community who believe that great music has an essential place in our culture and community.  Below you will find a brief description for each of our concerts followed by link to the artist’s website(s) where you can get additional biographical information and photos.  For additional information about the MUSIC AT EMMANUEL concert series please contact Andrew Meade via the information at the top of this page.

Elena Ulyanova, piano
Sunday, October 23, 2011 4:00pm
Hailed by the Moscow Conservatory as one of its most gifted musicians, Ukrainian pianist Elena Ulyanova is described as possessing “great virtuosity, brilliant artistic temperament, unique interpretive expression and a rich sound pallet.”  Roy Gillinson of the Beethoven Society of America said that Ms. Ulyanova is, “a phenomenal, gifted performer”, her style running the gamut of power, strength, and technique to a delicate, floating elegant finesse. From her early piano studies with her mother, she has gone on to be a prize winner in numerous national and international piano competitions. Ms. Ulyanova has performed throughout Europe, Asia and North America and has released two critically acclaimed CDs, the second of which features Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2 with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. www.elena-ulyanova.com

CELEBRATION OF LIGHTReading Choral Society
Sunday, December 11, 2011 5:00pm
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.  Be sure to join us as music director, Peter Hopkins, leads the RCS in a program of glorious Advent and Christmas music that is sure to uplift, inspire, and fill you will the joy of the season!  www.readingchoral.org

PIPE DREAMS – Matthew Lewis, organ
Sunday, February 26, 2012 4:00pm
Dr. Lewis maintains an active career as an organist, conductor and educator.  At The Juilliard School, Matthew Lewis completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree as a student of Jon Gillock.  While earning the Master of Music degree, also at Juilliard, he was the winner of the organ competition, resulting in a performance of Barber’s Toccata Festiva with the Juilliard Symphony in Alice Tully Hall.  Dr. Lewis is the former recipient of a Fulbright Grant and the Annette Kade Fellowship from the Council of International Education for study in Paris where he was a student of organ-virtuoso Marie-Madeleine Duruflé.  In addition to his position as organist and director of music at the Church of the Incarnation in Manhattan, he is artistic director of the St. Georges Choral Society and teaches at The Julliard School and Westminster Choir College. www.rider.edu/faculty/matthew-lewis

MYSTERY OF THE SONG – Megan Durham, mezzo-soprano
Sunday, March 25, 2012 4:00pm
Lyric mezzo-soprano Megan Allison Durham serves on the voice faculties of DeSales University and Lehigh University.  A versatile performer with a particular interest in oratorio and chamber repertoire, she was a 2010 finalist in the Bach Vocal Competition sponsored by the American Bach Society & Bach Choir of Bethlehem.  Her agile instrument and vibrant stage presence lends itself to a wide body of repertoire ranging from Vivaldi to Weil.  Ms. Durham will present an eclectic program entitled: “Mystery of the Song: Music of Passion, Intrigue and Whimsy”!     www.meganallisondurham.com

CHORAL ARTISTRY – Westminster Kantorei
Sunday, April 29, 2012 4:00pm
Our season finale features an outstanding ensemble from the renowned Westminster Choir College. Founded in 2004, Westminster Kantorei is a chamber choir specializing in music of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, with occasional forays into later repertoire – including new works.  Recent seasons have included performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion with the Westminster Choir and the New York Philharmonic, a program of American choral music presented as part of the 1783 Revolutionary Princeton celebration, and “Miracolo d’Amore,” an exploration of works by Claudio Monteverdi, performed in New York City.  Dr. Andrew Megill, the founder and director of this ensemble, is recognized as one of the leading conductors of his generation.  He currently teaches at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and has been a guest conductor and teacher at the Julliard School and Yale University.  In addition to his work as an educator, he is currently the conductor of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Carmel Bach Festival Choir, the early music ensemble Fuma Sacra, and the Masterwork Chorus in NJ.