Disclaimer: The video interview (below) was conducted by Timothy A. Bennett, owner and publisher of the Cortland Voice. The press release and pictures below were provided by The Arts at Grace.
The Arts at Grace is holding its final two concerts on June 16th and July 23th. June 16th will be a Gala Celebration and will include singers Lynn Craver, Steve Stull, and David Neal, and pianists Richard Montgomery and Blaise Bryski, and members of the Choral Union. Also on the program are 5 young professional string players as well as violinist Anna Cummings, who has played on the series many times. Repertoire will range from works of Schubert and Chopin, to broadway tunes, sea shanties, and the Great American Songbook.
The June 16th concert will take place at the Grace & Holy Spirit Church located on 13 Court St, Cortland, NY 13045 at 7pm.
The Arts at Grace is completing its 19th season of presenting free professional concerts to the community. It has produced close to 100 concerts, from large oratorios to solo recitals, chamber groups, and jazz ensembles. All have been free of charge, and many have also included community members in choral works.
Artistic Director David Neal and Co-Chair Gwen Barbato will talk about the history of the series, and how important the support from the community has been in securing additional funding from granting organizations and in providing a supportive atmosphere for many types of musical programs.
Bios on the artists:
Steven Stull, baritone
A versatile performer, STEVEN STULL has lived and performed in Ithaca since 1986. He has been a soloist in nearly sixty performances with Symphoria and Syracuse Symphony including nine productions with the Syracuse Opera. A frequent performer with the Rochester Philharmonic, he has narrated and sung a variety of pieces including Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait, and the Dr. Seuss stories, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Sneetches, and Gerald McBoing Boing. He also appears regularly with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in Ithaca, the Society for New Music in Syracuse, Arts at Grace in Cortland, and Triphammer Arts in Ithaca. Mr. Stull has been a soloist in nearly eighty performances with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra and can be heard in their recordings Home for the Holidays and Tales from the West Virginia Hills. His other recordings include Boyz in the Wood with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, The Pulse of an Irishman, Opera Cowpokes, and Christmas from the Heart of New York. Steven has appeared with Glimmerglass Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Artpark, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kyrgyz State Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Oswego Opera, Anchorage Festival of Music, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Ithaca, Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, and Norwalk (CT) Symphony. He has sung many world premieres including Cocoa Cantata by Robert Paterson, Tenebrae: The Passion of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Hugh McElyea, Eleanor and Pushed Aside by Persis Vehar, We Wear the Sea Like a Coat by Sally Lamb, Libba: Here This Day by Mark Olivieri. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Oberlin College Conservatory, Steven is also an actor, producer, director, composer, painter and photographer. His numerous recordings are available from operacowpokes.com.
David Neal, bass-baritone and Artistic Director of The Arts at Grace
Bass-baritone David Neal has performed at Carnegie Hall / Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, the DiMenna Center, the TimesCenter, Bargemusic, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and with such companies as the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Baltimore Opera, Lake George Opera, Syracuse Opera, Tri-Cities Opera, Sorg Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, the Kitchen Theatre, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Symphoria, the American Modern Ensemble, the Society for New Music, the Center for Contemporary Opera, and Opera Ithaca. He is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music and Cornell University. World premiere performances include Winter Songs and Night Songs by Robert Paterson, Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening by Lowell Liebermann, and the Cocoa Cantata with an update of J. S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata by Robert Paterson and David Cote. He created the role of The Commissioner in Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent in the Center for Contemporary Opera’s production at the Kaye Playhouse in New York City, with subsequent performances in Szeged, Hungary and Avignon, France. Other performances with CCO include the role of John Henry in William Mayer’s A Death in the Family in Szeged and numerous workshop performances. David has performed frequently with the Society for New Music, in music of Stephen Paulus, Persis Parshall Vehar, Karel Husa, Charles Lupia, and Charles Fussell.
A native of the Finger Lakes region of Central New York, he is the founding Artistic Director of The Arts at Grace, a community-supported concert series in Cortland. David is Professor of Performing Arts at SUNY Cortland, and the Cancel Choir Director at First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca. His recorded performances may be heard on the Albany and AMR labels. www.davidnealbassbaritone.com.
Lynn Craver, soprano
Soprano, Lynn Craver, is a versatile coloratura soprano and actress. She has performed roles including Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Hélène in Une éducation manquée, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Madame Hertz in Der Schauspieldirektor, Marion in The Music Man, Marie in Cendrillon -Viardot, Erste Dame in Die Zauberflote, Laurie in Oklahoma!, Frasquita in Carmen, and Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music among others. An active member of the Ithaca arts community, Lynn is the co-founder and former Artistic Director of Opera Ithaca, served as Development Assistant for the Kitchen Theatre, was Production Coordinator for the former Ithaca Opera, and has performed with community arts organizations including the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Triphammer Arts Inc., Kitchen Theatre Company, and Ithaca Community Orchestra, as well as appearing in recital at various local venues.
Also dedicated to the art of teaching, Lynn is on the voice faculty in the Performing Arts Department at SUNY Cortland, is the Director of the Apprentice Artist program at Opera Ithaca, and teaches a private voice studio in Ithaca, NY.