Christina Aguilera And Cee Lo Green Taking ‘Voice’ Hiatus; Shakira And Usher To Fill Their Chairs

You have to hand it to “The Voice. ” Last week, the show added a third Wednesday episode to ruin “The X Factor‘s” big premiere night.  And now, with the new “American Idol” and “X Factor” judges having had hardly any time to bask in their publicity, already “The Voice” is stealing both shows’ thunder once again–with breaking news that two new singularly named superstar judges, Shakira and Usher, will replace Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green for Season 4.  Both Christina and Cee Lo will be back for Season 5 in fall 2013, according to NBC.

Rumors have swirled for months that NBC’s overkill decision to air “The Voice” twice yearly would at least temporarily drive away some or all of the show’s regular judges, causing the lineup to be revamped for the spring 2013 season.  Apparently such is the downside of hiring judges who, you know, are still relevant hitmakers and have other important things to do with their time, like touring and recording, besides sitting on an NBC soundstage six months out of the year. (And this is why talent shows should consider hiring non-celebrity judges, but I digress.)  In fact, just last week when talking to Ryan Seacrest, Christina admitted that she’d first assumed her “Voice” gig would be “kind of like a side project…then it kind of took off, and there goes my free time!”

With Christina getting ready to release her comeback album, Lotus, in November (her new single, “Your Body,” debuted last week to positive reviews), and the ubiquitous Cee Lo working on a Christmas album and a new sitcom, it’s no surprise that they are the first “Voice” judges to take official leaves of absence.

Read more:

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.

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!

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.

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”!

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.