ACDA Eastern Division 2012 Conference – Providence, RI

Creating a Choral Community – Welcome Concert

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rhode Island Children’s Chorus
Christine Noel, founding conductor

I Cantori – Providence College
T.J. Harper, conductor

Providence Singers
Betsy Burleigh, artistic director and conductor

Rhode Island Children’s Chorus-Chamber Choir

RI Children's ChorusThe Rhode Island Children’s Chorus was founded in 2003 by Christine Noel and its Executive Director, Joyce Wolfe. The Chorus currently serves over 170 singers in four choir levels, offering comprehensive training in music theory, sight-singing, and vocal technique. The RI Children’s Chorus has collaborated with the RI Philharmonic, the Providence Singers, and with the choruses of Boston University and RI College. Recent performances include Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mahler, Symphony No. 3, and John Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls. The Chorus is featured on Bill Harley’s album, I Wanna Play, nominated for a 2007 Grammy Award.

Christine NoelChristine Noel, Director
Founding Artistic Director of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus and Director of Choral Activities at Clark University, Christine Noel recently received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Boston University, where she studied with Ann Howard Jones and David Hoose. Dr. Noel serves as the Executive Secretary for ACDA in RI and is active as festival clinician and adjudicator. She conducted the RI Children’s Chorus at the 2010 ACDA Eastern Division Convention in Philadelphia and at the 2009 MENC Convention in Providence. Dr. Noel studied at the Istituto Italiano in Florence, Italy and completed Italian studies at the University of Florence. She is a graduate of the Kodály Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary. Dr. Noel is currently the Artistic Director of the Carillon Women’s Chorus (RI) and Associate Conductor of the Providence Singers, which she has prepared for performances of Messiah, Carmina Burana and Mahler Symphony No. 3.


I CantoriI Cantori is the elite choral ensemble at Providence College representing some of the finest singers from New England. Specializing in choral music that spans all eras, the group is comprised solely of undergraduate students from the Department of Music and other academic programs within the College. I Cantori performs throughout the academic year on the PC campus and at major venues throughout New England and TJ Harperhas toured extensively the United States and in Europe. This past summer they had the honor of singing High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Sunday, May 22, 2011.

T. J. Harper is the Director of Choral Activities and supervises the Secondary Music Education curriculum at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island. He conducts the college’s three choral ensembles: I Cantori, Concert Chorale and the Women’s Chorus. He also teaches courses in Conducting, Secondary Choral Methods and Applied Voice. Dr. Harper received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California where he graduated with honors. At the USC Thornton School of Music he taught courses in undergraduate and graduate Choral Conducting and conducted the USC Thornton Apollo Choir. He received the Master of Arts in Choral Conducting from California State University, Northridge and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from California State University, Fresno.

Providence Singers

Providence SingersThe Providence Singers is a 100-voice symphonic chorus, conducted by artistic director Betsy Burleigh. The chorus presents an annual concert series, and performs regularly with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Recent collaborators include the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Kronos Quartet at the FirstWorks Festival, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the New Haven Symphony, Newport Baroque Orchestra, Aurea Ensemble, and others. The Providence Singers commissions new choral works with support of its Wachner Fund for New Music, supports emerging talent through the Junior Providence Singers program for high school students, and has produced an educational DVD to support choral programs in our schools. The chorus’ acclaimed recordings of Lukas Foss’ The Prairie and Dominick Argento’s Jonah and the Whale are available on the BMOP/sound label, wherever CDs are sold.

Betsy BurleighBetsy Burleigh, artistic director of the Providence Singers as of July 2011, is also music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, where she prepares the choir for its performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and music director of Chorus pro Musica in Boston. Burleigh is an active guest conductor in choral, orchestral and musical theater repertoire, and sustains a strong academic interest in choral education. Among many career highlights, she conducted the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus on an Emmy award-winning benefit concert for the 9/11 Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. A graduate of Indiana University (B.M.E. with distinction, vocal concentration), Burleigh earned graduate degrees in choral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music (M.Mus with distinction) and Indiana University (D.M.). She was most recently professor of music at Cleveland State University, and served as interim conductor of the Cleveland State Orchestra before moving to Boston in 2010.