Greenwich Choral Society’s Christmas Concert Christmas Blessings

Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 4:00 and Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 2:30 and 5:00, Paul F. Mueller, Music Director and Conductor, Christ Church Greenwich.

This year’s Greenwich Choral Society Christmas Concert, ‘Christmas Blessings,’ features Bach’s Cantata for the Second Day of Christmas (Part Two of the Christmas Oratorio), Antonio Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus along with the traditional carols and audience participation that mark the beginning of our community’s celebration of this glorious season.

Elena Mullins, soprano, Sarah Nelson Craft, mezzo-soprano, Andrew Fuchs, tenor, and Michael Maliakel, baritone, will be the featured soloists in the Bach and Vivaldi.  The choral society is particularly excited to present these young artists as they are all new to the Greenwich Choral Society, appearing with us in December for the first time.

Elena Mullins is a soprano with wide-ranging interests in the field of early music. In the 2015 summer issue of Early Music America Magazine she was recognized as one of the country’s most promising early music performers. Elena has sung with The Newberry Consort, Apollo’s Fire, Three Notch’d Road, Generation Harmonique, and Quire Cleveland, and has attended the American Bach Soloists Academy, Urbino Early Music, the Madison Early Music Festival and the Vancouver Early Music Festival. Elena takes a scholarly interest in the performance practices of early repertoires, reaching back as far as the twelfth century. In 2013 she co-founded Alkemie, a medieval ensemble, which will present concerts through Gotham Early Music Scene, Capitol Early Music of D.C. and the Baltimore War Memorial Arts Initiative in the spring of 2016. Elena sings with the Schola Dominicana at The Church of Saint Catherine of Siena under the direction of James Wetzel. A student of Ellen Hargis, she holds a DMA in Historical Performance Practice from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music. Elena is an avid performer and teacher of baroque dance.

Mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft’s commanding, versatile voice most recently brought her to France where she participated in Carnegie Hall’s The Song Continues: Paris Residency, performing in recitals and working closely with the legendary Marilyn Horne. In January 2016 Carnegie Hall will present her in a solo “Spotlight Recital” at Weill Recital Hall with pianist Warren Jones.  Last season she was a soloist at Alice Tully Hall in Mozart’s Coronation Mass with the American Classical Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall in Vivaldi’s Gloria with the Masterworks Festival Chorus. Her Lincoln Center debut came in 2012 when she performed in Bach’s Mass in B minor with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall as well as in Handel’s Messiah later that year.  Ms. Craft earned her bachelor’s degree cum laude in Italian and music from Dartmouth College and her master’s degree in vocal performance from theUniversity of North Texas College of Music.

Tenor Andrew Fuchs made his Lincoln Center debut in Bach’s Magnificat with the American Classical Orchestra.  An avid recitalist, Andrew was a finalist in the 2015 Joy In Singing competition, spent two summers as a Vocal Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, was in the Professional Singers program at SongFest, and was a Finalist in the 2013 Liederkranz Competition. Also a sought-after professional ensemble singer, he frequently performs with the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, the Choir of
en and Boys at Saint Thomas Church, the Grammy-nominated ensemble New York Polyphony, the New York Virtuoso Singers, Musica Sacra, and the Clarion Music Society. Andrew completed his DMA at Stony Brook University where he also earned his MM. He received his BM from the University of Kansas. Upcoming performances include appearances with ARTEK, LyricFest (Philadelphia), and at Trinity Wall Street where he is a frequent soloist on their Bach at One weekly concert series.

Baritone Michael Maliakel is quickly gaining recognition for his refined singing and nuanced musicianship. He was praised by the Baltimore Sun for his “smooth singing” as De Brétigny in Massenet’s Manon with the Peabody Opera Theatre. Other recent opera performances include the title role in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Monsieur Presto in Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, and the Shoe Salesman in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco. In concert, Mr. Maliakel recently sang the baritone solos in Handel’s Messiah with the First Presbyterian Church of NYC and members of the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Other concert appearances include Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the Long Island Choral Society, Duruflé’s Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’ with Musica Viva of NY, Fauré’s Requiem, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle, Bach’s Magnificat, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

A native of New Jersey, Mr. Maliakel received his earliest vocal training as a treble in the American Boychoir. His undergraduate studies were at Georgetown University and the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Dr. Stanley Cornett. Mr. Maliakel recently took first place in the National Musical Theater Competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. He won Third Prize from the International Lotte Lenya Competition, received a grant from the Gerda Lissner Lieder/Song Competition, and was a finalist for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Allen M. Greenfield Competition.

As usual, the concert will end with traditional carols, audience participation, and a rousing rendition of the French carol, Il est né (He is Born!), in a new orchestration created for the Greenwich Choral Society.

A cornerstone of the Fairfield County music scene, Greenwich Choral Society, celebrating its 91st season, was founded in 1924 with a complement of 30 singers.  Since then the group has grown to over 120 singers under the leadership of Music Director, Paul F. Mueller.

Greenwich Choral Society gratefully acknowledges support from the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism and Connecticut Arts Endowment Fund.

For additional information regarding concerts, tickets, subscriptions, events and auditions, please visit our website, call 203-622-5136 or email “[email protected]”   Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.