Soprano Jessica Gondwe will join the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra (GCO) at its opening concert on September 12 at 4pm in the Gettysburg Seminary Chapel. Mozart and Brahms are included in this concert, which opens the “Music”, the 30th anniversary season of Gettysburg. Gondwe will perform a range of music, including opera arias and popular songs by Gershwin and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
With this concert, GCO enters its 14th year, and the directors are Norman and Carolyn Nunamaker, Norman is in charge of the musical aspects of the band, and Carolyn is the CFO.
Jessica Gonda was born in Manitoba, Canada when her late father taught at the University of Manitoba. When Derrick Gondwe joined the faculty of Gettysburg College as a professor of economics, the family moved to the community, where Jessica received early education. Jessica graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1994 and in those early years spent many hours pursuing her first love of dance. She continued to dance locally and regionally and received formal training at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She discovered an unusual singing talent when she worked as a dancer on Broadway productions in the area. She studied with members of the vocal faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, as well as with Dr. Nathan Carter, former director of the choir at Morgan State University, a group well known to the Gettysburg public.
Dr. Carter granted Jessica a scholarship to continue her vocal training, and she was a member of this famous choir for several years. She was a soloist at the Theater of Sight and Sound in Lancaster, and also starred in the production of “Battle Scream”, which was performed in Gettysburg in the summer of 2008. New York became the director of this Broadway musical. -a team consisting of Gabriel Berry and composer Paul God. Those of you who heard Jessica sing at the Gettysburg Heritage Festival in 2008 have remembered the huge response to her performance.
Gandwe sings a number of opera arias, as well as some of the more popular songs by Gershwin and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The arias by Puccini, Verdi, Catalan and Bizet will be joined by “Summertime” and “My Man’s Gone Now” from “Porgy and Bess”, “Think of Me” and “All I Ask of You”, from “The Phantom of the Opera”.
The GCO will present the always popular overtures to Mozart’s “Magic Flute” and “Egmont”, as well as to the famous Hungarian dances of Brahms № 1, 5 and 6 and the giant “Roman Pines” written by Ottarini. Respigi. This latest work will be one of the most grandiose works ever performed by a local orchestra, and requires large wind, wind and percussion sections, as well as harp and piano. According to conductor Norman Nunamaker, the whole stage of the band will be filled with musicians, and that during the last movement of “Pine” the roof of the band may somehow shift a few inches!
The Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra is a local professional ensemble whose members come from Baltimore, Washington, Harrisburg, York and many other places. But most of the musicians come from the Gettysburg community, with many players from the Gettysburg public school system and from the Sanderman Conservatory at Gettysburg College. One of the GCO’s missions is to include as many local musicians as possible as members or as soloists. Many graduates of local schools traveled to New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington, but were returned to Gettysburg to solo with the local orchestra. Jessica Gondwe will join the full list of local musicians who have been the band’s soloists.
This Sunday, September 12, the play is free and open to the public. This concert opens the 2010-2011 season of Music, Gettysburg !, the premiere series of free concerts featuring the best regional, national and international musicians hosted by the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gothenburg. The Seminary Chapel is located at 147 Seminary Ridge on the western outskirts of Gettysburg. For more information on this and other concerts left in Music, Gettysburg! schedule, call 334-6286, ext. 2197 or by email
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