Soprano Melissa Sumner will perform art songs, operatic arias and musical theater favorites in a concert Sunday, April 5, at Tusculum College.
Sumner will perform at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Annie Hogan Byrd Fine Arts Building on the Tusculum College campus. The concert is part of Tusculum Arts Outreach’s Acts, Arts, Academia 2008-09 performance and lecture series.
The performance will include selections by Bach, Mozart and Debussy as well as tunes from the Cole Porter musical “Kiss Me Kate” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” Sumner will also perform pieces from “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” by Samuel Barber and “A Word on My Ear” by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann.
Sumner made her operatic debut as Edith in Knoxville Opera’s production of “Pirates of Penzance.” She has performed at Brevard Music Center, the Bay Area Summer Opera Theatre Institute, and Ashlawn Opera Festival, where she also served as an artist-in-residence.
As a guest artist at the University of Virginia, Sumner performed Puccini’s “Suor Angelica,” a role she also performed in Rome, Italy. She recently made her Wagnerian debut as Gerhilde in “Die Walküre” with the Wagner Opera Theatre in New York under the baton of David Gilbert. A MACCO competition winner, Sumner has performed with the Waynesboro Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Choral Society, and Schola Cantorum. Recent and future engagements as a recitalist and master-class clinician include performances at Emory and Henry College and Radford University.
Sumner maintains a vocal studio Mary Baldwin College, where she serves as the coordinator of vocal studies. She has served as the director of opera at the University of Virginia, and directed the first opera workshop at Mary Baldwin College last May. As an educator, she recently received recognition from the Virginia Governor’s School of the Arts for her commitment to excellence in music education. Sumner received a bachelor of arts from Emory and Henry College, a master of music from the University of Tennessee, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at James Madison University. She also maintains a private vocal studio in the Shenandoah Valley, where she resides with her husband, Shawn Swisher.
Sumner will be accompanied on piano by Tonya Menard, a nationally certified teacher of music through Music Teachers National Association. She has taught privately and in the public schools, and has served as a church music and youth director.
Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 years of age and older, and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, please call Tusculum College Arts Outreach at 423-798-1620 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acts, Arts, Academia is a program of Tusculum College Arts Outreach and is supported by Dr. Sam Miller in memory of Mary Agnes Ault Miller, Hearts for the Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, Society of Cicero, and Arts Outreach.