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"ACDA-PA Conference Concert: Enhancing Ensemble Expression"
Presented By Messiah University
Sunday, July 30th at 7:30pm EST
Online sale ends: 07/30/23 at 7:30pm EST
Grace Pollock Dance Studio, Climenhaga Fine Arts Bldg
Grace Pollock Dance Studio, 600 University Ave
Grantham, PA 17027
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The American Choral Director’s Association of Pennsylvania is proud to present an eclectic choral extravaganza concert,  featuring the Gettysburg Children’s Choir, a professional quartet of soloists performing Schumann’s “Spanisches Liederspiel” and the Parkside Harmony Barbershop Chorus!  

Parkside Harmony Parkside Harmony

Artistic Director - Sean Devine, Music Director - Vince Sandroni

Founded in January of 2015, Parkside Harmony is one of the newest choral ensembles in Hershey, PA, proudly joining an already thriving arts community in The Sweetest Place on Earth!  Welcoming musicians from across the mid-atlantic area, they recognize the importance of community and fellowship, while supporting their mission of encouraging life-long singing! 

Parkside Harmony has performed all over South Central PA, as well as festivals across the US - including Las Vegas, NV, Nashville, TN, and Orlando, FL.  In December of 2019 the group was honored to appear as the opening act for the GRAMMY award-winning Pentatonix, and later that same month were invited to perform at the world famous Carnegie Hall in New York City! 

Bringing a fresh style and diverse repertoire to the Barbershop Harmony Society’s competition stages, they are 5-time Mid-Atlantic District champions and 3-time International bronze medalists (2017, 2018, & 2022).  Learn more at www.parksideharmony.org, and follow their journey on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook!



Sarah Shafer: Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer for her “crystalline sound, perfectly true intonation, glowing warmth, and total presence” and named “remarkable, artistically mature ... a singer to watch” by Opera News, soprano Sarah Shafer actively appears on the leading operatic and concert stages of the world. The 2018–2019 season will see Ms. Shafer make her house and role debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, directed by Stephen Lawless, with San Diego Opera as well as appearances with Harrisburg Symphony singing Poulenc’s Gloria and Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5,Carmina Burana with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra conducted by Francesco Lecce-Chong, Mahler Symphony No 2 with Toledo Symphony, Mozart Requiem with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, St John’s Passion with Louisiana Philharmonic, and Shanan Estreicher’s Songs of Emily Dickinson with Chamber Orchestra of New York. Recital work includes appearances with Chamber Music Society of Detroit and Spivey Hall with Richard Goode, and with Richard Stoltzman and David Deveau, and Five Borough Music Festival with Martin Katz. Highlights of concert work include Carmina Buranawith the San Antonio Symphony conducted by music director Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Mozart’s Requiem with the Omaha Symphony, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with both the Cheyenne and Williamsport Symphony Orchestras, the world premiere of Richard Danielpour’s “Talking to Aphrodite” with the Sejong Soloists at Carnegie Hall. Additional appearances include Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall and Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the New York Youth Symphony. Ms. Shafer has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Mexico, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Wroclaw Symphony Orchestra(Poland), the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, among others. Additional concert repertoire includes Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in Bminor, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of1915, Poulenc’s Gloria, Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables, Fauré’s Requiem, Duet for Soprano and Tenor after Tchaikovsky’s Fantasy-Overture Romeo and Juliet, Strauss’s Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Handel’s Messiah, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4.  Ms. Shafer is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.


Amanda Russo Stante: A lyric mezzo-soprano, Amanda Russo Stante has been recognized for her “highly theatrical, vocally persuasive” performances, which are “nothing short of stunning” (Herald Times – Bloomington, IN). Known for her versatility in both feminine and pants roles, some of Amanda’s most beloved roles performed include the title roles in Handel’s Serse and Massenet’s Cendrillon, Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, and Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri. Equally at home on the concert and recital stage, Amanda’s recent solo concert engagements include Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, Britten’s Canticle II, Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Ravel’s Shéhérazade, Duruflé’s Requiem, Manuel de Falla's Siete canciones populares Españolas and Handel’s Messiah. Most recently, Amanda performed two world premieres, Wilderness Plots and The Good We Do with collaborate pianist Kimberly Carballo. Amanda’s performance experience has taken her to The Glimmerglass Festival, Indiana University Opera Theater, Central City Opera, The Kennedy Center, and concert stages across the United States and Europe. She has appeared as a soloist with the Budapest Concert Orchestra as a soloist with the Robert Page Festival Singers, The Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh, The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Wooster Symphony Orchestra, and the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra of Pittsburgh.


Amanda’s passion for performing complements her commitment to teaching voice. She serves on the music faculty at Susquehanna University as Assistant Professor of Voice. This summer, Amanda will return to New England Music Camp to teach voice and other courses for the second time. Amanda is an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and recently gave her presentation Women in Music: Their Stories and Their Songs at the Fall 2021 Allegheny Mountain Chapter auditions. Prior to her appointment at Susquehanna University, Amanda taught courses at the IU Jacobs School of Music and served on the voice faculty at Indiana State University. She has also been on the voice faculty for the IU Jacob School of Music’s College Audition Preparation Workshop and Carnegie Mellon University’s Pre-College Program. Amanda stage directed for Reimagining Opera for Kids (ROK), a Bloomington-based opera outreach company, for two seasons and continues to serve on their Board of Directors.


A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Amanda began her studies in higher education in her hometown at Carnegie Mellon University. After completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a minor in German, Amanda moved to the Midwest, where she went on to complete her Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her doctoral studies culminated with her lecture recital on Peter Lieberson’s Neruda Songs.


​Amanda lives in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania with her husband, Jon, and their two children.


Jonathan Walker-VanKuren: African American educator and tenor, Jonathan Walker-VanKuren has enjoyed a successful career both on and off the operatic stage performing works of the jazz, musical theatre, art song, and opera repertoires while having taught students from all around the country. His students have continued on to study music at institutions such as Texas A&M, Michigan State University, and Belmont University while then moving on to pursue careers in musical theatre, opera, and popular music in the recording industry. Most recently Mr. Walker-VanKuren was seen as Thamar in Opera Southwest’s revival production of Ali Baba as well as the Witch (Hansel and Gretel), Don Jose (La tragédie de Carmen), Fenton (Falstaff), Nelson (Porgy and Bess), and Beppe (Il Pagliacci).


During the 2019-2020 season Mr. Walker-VanKuren premiered his solo voice recital entitled, “Songs my mother taught me…” which is a celebration of African American History through spirituals sponsored by Fort Worth Opera. As a recitalist, he prides himself on his interpretation of art songs and the stories they portray. Additionally, Mr. Walker-VanKuren loves African American Spirituals and is a strong proponent of their inclusion in classical recitals. As a soloist, Mr. Walker-VanKuren’s performances have included singing the tenor solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Livingston Symphony Orchestra), Haydn’s Paukenmesse, and Carter’s Cantata, among others.


Mr. Walker-VanKuren holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Music degree from Michigan State University, and an Artist Diploma in Voice from Texas Christian University under the tutelage of Dr. James Rodriguez.


Mr. Walker-VanKuren is currently an Assistant Professor of Voice and Artist Teacher of Studio Voice and Music Theatre at Lebanon Valley College while also maintaining an active recital and operatic performing schedule.


Damian Savarino: Dr. Damian Savarino, Bass, is an Associate Professor of Music at Messiah University where he teaches undergraduate voice, diction, as well as Vocal Pedagogy for the graduate conducting program, and is the director of the Messiah University Opera Workshop. Before his appointment to Messiah, he served on the voice faculties of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Dr. Savarino holds degrees from Ithaca College and the New England Conservatory and recently completed the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Vocal Performance at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. As a performer, Dr. Savarino has appeared with opera companies and orchestras across the nation such as Teatro Grattacielo (Lincoln Center), Central City Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Summer Opera Theater Company, Distinguished Concerts International New York (Carnegie Hall), the Handel and Haydn Society, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the Harrisburg Symphony. He has also appeared as a recitalist in Germany, Greece, Sicily and at Penn. State University. He is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the National Opera Association (NOA), and the College Music Society (CMS).


Timothy Shafer: Timothy Shafer has concertized extensively throughout the United States, performing, teaching, and discussing the rich heritage of piano repertoire. He is the recipient of Oberlin Conservatory’s “Rudolf Serkin Outstanding Pianist Award,” Indiana University School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition, and the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association “Teacher of the Year” award.


Shafer has appeared both as a soloist and a chamber musician in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, maintains an active solo recital and chamber music schedule in the United States, and is a frequent soloist with regional orchestras, having appeared in more than 40 concerto performances in his career. As a member of Duo Concertant with violinist James Lyon he has recorded “Outstanding in Our Field,” a CD featuring works for piano and violin by Strauss, Debussy, and Stravinsky. He appears frequently in recital with his daughter, soprano Sarah Shafer.


As professor of piano at Penn State, he has concertized, taught, and adjudicated in South America and Asia. He is also well-known as a frequent masterclass clinician and competition adjudicator throughout the country for professional music organizations and colleges.


Shafer is the co-author ofClass Piano for Adult Beginners,published by Prentice-Hall, and his articles on piano teaching and repertoire have appeared in thePiano Pedagogy Forum, theAmerican Music Teacher, and in both volumes ofThe Pianist’s Craft.Shafer served for many years as the national chair of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Student Committee. He has mostly recently completed a decade of service as the senior music consultant for the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in its publication of the new Trinity Psalter-Hymnal; the volume was just released for publication in May of 2018. Shafer earned degrees in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.


Gettysburg Children’s Choir: The Gettysburg Children's Choir provides access to a choral program of the highest quality for young people in grades three through twelve from all cultural and economic backgrounds. We achieve a level of artistic excellence necessary to perform at various regional and national settings and serve as a model for diverse and quality choral literature and vocal training in the field of children's choral music.  Matt Carlson is Artistic Director of the Gettysburg Children's Choir. Mr. Carlson teaches vocal music in the Bermudian Springs School District (York Springs, PA). He is a graduate of Gettysburg College (B.S. Music Education) and Michigan State University (M.M. Choral Conducting). In his current position at the Bermudian Springs School District, Matt teaches secondary choral music and serves as music director for the spring musical. In 2017, he received the Outstanding Young Conductor award from the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Carlson's compositions and arrangements has been commissioned and performed by the Gettysburg College Choir, Gettysburg Children’s Choir, the Adams County (PA) Junior High Honor Choir, the Frederick County (MD) Elementary Honor Choir, and the Tucson Girls Chorus. His works have been programmed for All-State Choral Festivals in Georgia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. His music is currently published through Santa Barbara Music Publishing and his website

He is an active member of professional music organizations, and serves on executive boards as the Adams County MEA Vice President, the PMEA District 7 Choral Audition Recording Chair, and the ACDA-PA Children's & Community Youth Choir Repertoire & Resources Chair.

Event starts at 7:30pm
Doors open at 7:00pm

General Admission: $15.00

All Ages

Grace Pollock Dance Studio, Climenhaga Fine Arts Bldg<br> Grace Pollock Dance Studio, 600 University Ave<br> Grantham, 17027


717-691-6036, Opt #1


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