The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


November 10, 2013

Mozart's music | Johnstown Symphony’s ‘A Night With Amadeus’ to feature its chorus, vocal soloists

JOHNSTOWN — The music of Mozart will be the main attraction during “A Night With Amadeus” featuring Johnstown Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

The third concert of the subscription season, “Great Music for a Great City!” will feature Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds,” which will include four symphony woodwind players, and Mozart’s “Requiem,” which will include the Johnstown Symphony Chorus and four soloists.

“Not only will we present four of our talented woodwind players as soloists in the concertante, but we will perform one of the most beloved choral works in the classical repertoire, Mozart’s ‘Requiem,’ ” said music director Maestro Istvan Jaray.

“We will be joined by our own Johnstown Symphony Chorus and feature four outstanding singers. I am convinced that listening to the music of this musical genius will touch the hearts and souls of everyone in the audience.”

The four featured woodwind players are Erin Marion, oboe; Jeanne Frieben, clarinet; Michael Kokus, bassoon; and Dennis Emert, horn.

“Mozart is universally beloved, and this concert has something for all Mozart lovers,” said symphony board president Dennis McNair.

“ ‘Sinfonia Concertante’ highlights the JSO’s wind players and has passages quickly recognized as Mozart. ‘Requiem’ is one of Mozart’s very last works and features the chorus and soloists singing some of the most glorious music ever composed for voice.”

The four vocal soloists performing in “Requiem” are soprano Melissa Jean Chavez; mezzo-soprano Amanda Silliker; tenor Richard Kennedy; and baritone Brent Stater.

Chavez performs as a soloist and recitalist and has been acclaimed by the Washington Post for her voice and exemplary production.

In the 2012-2013 season, she performed as a soprano soloist in Handel’s “Messiah” and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” and Bach’s “Magnificat.”

For the past two years, Chavez has been selected as a young artist at the Castleton Festival.

Silliker, a mezzo-soprano, studied vocal performance at Penn State.

She has performed in Verdi’s “Requiem,” Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” and Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”

Silliker also has performed with Altoona Symphony, the Pennsylvania Chamber Chorale and Orchestra and the Williamsport Symphony, Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra.

In 2010, she performed selections from Bach’s “Weihnachts-Oratorium” with the Martin Luther Choir in Munich.

Silliker regularly works in musical theater and supplements her performing as a private music teacher.

Richard Kennedy, professor of music at Penn State, has sung as soloist with the Boston Symphony, the American Chamber Orchestra, and the Utah, Charlotte, Richmond, Green Bay and Wheeling symphonies.

He also has appeared with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, the Bach Festival Choir in Rochester, N.Y., the Detroit Oratorio Society and the Los Angeles Master Chorale as aria soloist in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion.”

Kennedy has appeared as soloist in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco and given solo recitals in England, Germany, Austria, Italy and Canada.

Stater is known for his stage presence as an actor and singer.

The baritone has originated several roles in international debuts and has performed as a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in operatic duets of Mozart and Puccini.

He also performed as the baritone soloist in Beethoven’s “Mass in C Major” as well as with the Virginia, Canton, Butler, Lehigh and Westmoreland symphony orchestras.

Stater’s oratorio roles include Jesus in Bach’s “St. Matthew Passion” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.”

He moved into the Wagner repertoire with his Kennedy Center concert debut last year and will give his Nevada Opera debut in March.

Stater is a member of the voice faculty at Robert Morris University in Moon Township.

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at


What: “A Night With Amadeus,” featuring Johns-town Symphony Orchestra.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.

Tickets: $37 and $32. Senior citizen and student discounts are available.

Information: 269-7200, 5356738 or


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