2016 Lenten Recital Series
sponsored by the St. Paul's Chamber Music Society

February 25, 2016 - Cloudburst

 Vocal jazz quartet Cloudburst, hailed as "the next big thing on Houston's Jazz scene"

 Vocal jazz quartet Cloudburst, hailed as "the next big thing on Houston's Jazz scene"

WAYNE ASHLEY - L. Wayne Ashley is a versatile musician known for his charismatic vocal tone and appreciation for many musical genres. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Henderson State University and Masters from the University of Houston Moores School of Music. Wayne is an Academic Advisor for the UH Department of English, and has previously served as an Adjunct Faculty member for the Texas Southern University Music Department. He also sings in the choir at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church- Houston, and the critically-acclaimed Houston Chamber Choir. Wayne has worked extensively as a jazz and contemporary pop singer, leading the NuFusion project and Acoustic Syn during his time at Henderson.

STEVE DUSON - A native Houstonian, Steve began his career in New York, first singing with the Stan Rubin Orchestra and then with other smaller jazz ensembles. After returning to Houston, Steve was offered the job as lead male vocalist with the Glenn Miller Band, but instead helped found several jazz vocal ensembles here in town, including Riff Raff and Bayou Bop. Steve served as assistant music director at St. John the Divine’s 6:00 PM service, and was interim director for Trinity Episcopal Church’s 12:30 jazz service. Steve’s first love has always been vocal jazz ensemble work, but he has done solo shows at clubs in town including Cezanne, Ovations, and Sambuca Jazz Café.

MADELEINE ELMER - Madeleine Elmer was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up surrounded by jazz, blues and R&B.  With a background in choral music and musical theater, her professional music career in Houston began in 1989 when she and Steve Duson formed Riff Raff, a vocal jazz quartet,  which performed at venues around the Texas Gulf Coast such as the Houston International Festival,  Brazosport College Jazz Festival, Ovations and Cezanne, private parties, charitable and corporate events. Their subsequent jazz group, Bayou Bop was formed in 1991 and performed around the Houston area for several years.  More recently, Madeleine and Steve performed with the Trinity Jazz Ensemble at Trinity Episcopal Church and at the Trinity Jazz Festival Mass for several years.

ELISHA JORDAN - Elisha Jordan has called the Houston area home now for over 10 years and besides singing with Cloudburst, currently performs around town as a guest artist and soloist for public and private events. She completed her vocal performance degree with honors at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and continued her education at the University of Houston. Some of her collegiate highlights include singing and playing saxophone with a Downbeat award-winning jazz band, being principal clarinetist in the top symphonic band ensemble, and performing several leading roles in opera and musical theater productions. She is a well-rounded and versatile vocalist being able to adapt with ease and sound at home in many different styles of music, but her heart belongs to the world of jazz. She currently studies with renowned pianist, composer, arranger, and educator, Paul English and Kim Nazarian of the Grammy award winning vocal group, the New York Voices.


March 3, 2016 - Fiammante Piano Quartet

Andrew White (piano), Lauren Hoang (violin), Andrew Lavelle (viola), and Nicholas Perkyns (cello).

Andrew White (piano), Lauren Hoang (violin), Andrew Lavelle (viola), and Nicholas Perkyns (cello).

Hear one of Houston's most exciting young chamber ensembles in St. Paul's resplendent acoustics.

Andrew White, a passionate advocate for and performer of chamber music, has performed on the St. Paul’s Lenten Recital Series (2014), at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and on faculty recital at The Shepherd School of Music premiering Pierre Jalbert’s clarinet trio, Ultraviolet. A student of Brian Connelly, Artist Teacher of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music, Andrew performed in master classes with Robert Roux, Jon Kirmura Parker, Ann Schein, Alessio Bax, and Douglas Humphreys. In January 2015, Andrew was the featured soloist along with the Shepherd School of Music Chamber Orchestra on the Shepherd Society’s Family Concert Series. Twice a finalist for the Interlochen Arts Camp Concerto Competition, Andrew placed 2nd in 2014.  During the summers of 2013 and 2014, Andrew was one of four students selected from the Interlochen Piano Institute to perform on Interlochen Public Radio. Andrew is an alumnus of the Interlochen Arts Camp, Interlochen Piano Institute and the Meadowmount School of Music.

Lauren Hoang has been playing the violin since the age of 3 years old. Since a young age, Lauren participated in many musical programs such as the Houston Symphony, Houston Young Artists' Concert, and the Shepherd School of Music preparatory program. She has also performed as a soloist for the Houston Youth Symphony and the Greater Houston Youth Orchestra. Currently, Lauren attends the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she is concert master of the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber orchestra. Lauren studies under Frank Huang, the concertmaster of the Houston Symphony and the New York Philharmonic. Over the summer, Lauren has attended the Montecito International Music Festival and the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Lauren's passion is playing in chamber ensembles, therefore sheplans on pursuing chamber music performance in college.

Andrew Lavelle is a violist from Houston Texas and currently studies with James Dunham, Professor of viola at Rice University.  A four year Texas Allstate Orchestra performer,  Andrew is the principal violist of the Houston Youth Symphony and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Symphony Orchestra.  After winning 1st prize in their annual concerto competition, he is scheduled to perform solo with the High School for Performing and Visual Arts Symphony Orchestra in May of this year.  In the past three summers he has participated in the Tanglewood, Heifetz, and Aspen music festivals.  He hopes to attend conservatory and pursue chamber music.

Nicholas Perkyns, a junior at The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, Texas, has been studying cello for 11 years under Christopher French, Associate Principal/ Houston Symphony and Lisa Vosdoganes, Shepherd School of Music Preparatory Program.  Musical achievements include 1st chair in the Texas Music Educators Association All-State Symphony Orchestra (2015), first place in the 2016 Houston Civic Symphony and Clear Lake Symphony Concerto Competitions including appearances with each of these orchestras in March, 2016. Summer study has included Texas Summer Cello Academy (2013,) Baylor String Quartet Festival (2015- one of three invited cellist), and Domaine Forget in Quebec, Canada (2015), all with scholarship. Nicholas also enjoys musical theatre and has played in productions both at HSPVA and Theatre Under the Stars in Houston. 


March 10, 2016 - Ken Cowan & Paolo Bordignon, organ Duo

Ken Cowan heads the organ program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and is one of North America’s most sought-after organ recitalists. In this program for four hands – four feet – he and St. Paul’s Music Director Paolo Bordignon explore the full resources of the 84-rank Schantz pipe organ.

Ken Cowan

Ken Cowan

Ken Cowan is one of North America’s finest concert organists.  Praised for his dazzling artistry, impeccable technique and imaginative programming by audiences and critics alike, he maintains a rigorous performing schedule which takes him to major concert venues in America, Canada, Europe, and Asia. 
   Recent feature performances have included appearances at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa California, Philadelphia’s Verizon Hall, Spivey Hall, and Walt Disney Concert Hall, as well as concerts in Germany and Korea.  In addition, Mr. Cowan has been a featured artist in recent years at the national conventions of the American Guild of Organists held in Los Angeles and Minneapolis, has performed at many regional conventions of the AGO, and has been featured at several conventions of the Organ Historical Society and the Royal Canadian College of Organists.
   Numerous critically acclaimed compact disc recordings are available by Mr. Cowan.  His most recent releases areKen Cowan plays The Great Organ (on the Pro Organo Label) which was recorded on the newly-restored organ at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City,  Works of Franz Liszt (on the JAV label), which was recorded on the Michael Quimby organ at First Baptist church in Jackson Mississippi, and Ken Cowan Plays Romantic Masterworks (on the Raven label), which was recorded on the 110-rank Schoenstein organ at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.  In addition to his solo recordings, Mr. Cowan also joined organist Justin Bischof in the world premiere recording of American composer Aaron Miller’s Double Concerto for organ, recorded with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra on the Kleuker organ in the Tonhalle, Zurich, Switzerland (Ethereal Recordings).  Many of Mr. Cowan’s recordings and live performances are regularly featured on the nationally distributed radio show PIPEDREAMS from American Public Media.
   A native of Thorold, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Cowan received the Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, studying organ with Thomas Murray.  Prior to attending Yale, he graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with John Weaver.
   In 2012 Mr. Cowan joined the keyboard faculty of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as Associate Professor and head of the organ program.  Previous positions have included Associate Professor of Organ at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he was awarded the 2008 Rider University Distinguished Teaching Award, and Associate Organist and Artist in Residence at Saint Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.

Dr. Paolo Bordignon

Dr. Paolo Bordignon

Paolo Bordignon has received critical acclaim for performances ranging from “outstanding... lively and distinctive" interpretations of early music to “compelling" performances of avant-garde repertoire throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. His diverse engagements have included recitals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and St. Eustache in Paris, a performance for New York Fashion Week, and conducting appearances on NBC’s Today Show.
   Paolo was a featured soloist at the inauguration of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, performing the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra. He serves as harpsichordist of the New York Philharmonic and has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Knights, Camerata Pacifica, English Chamber Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's, Ars Nova Copenhagen, as well as a Juilliard Gala performance with Renee Fleming and Wynton Marsalis.
   He has appeared on CNN, NPR, the CBC, and on Korean and Japanese national television with Orpheus and the Sejong string orchestra, performing with Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Kyung-Wha Chung, Cho-Liang Lin, Gil Shaham, Youngok Shin, and Lynn Harrell. As a soloist and chamber musician, he has collaborated with Itzhak Perlman, David Robertson, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Hillier and, in 2008, with Midori on a series of concerts for Lincoln Center’sGreat Performers of Lincoln Center performing Bach and Schnittke.
   A strong advocate of new music, Paolo has worked with composers such as Elliott Carter (performing his Double Concerto for Harpsichord and Piano), David Conte, Jean Guillou, Stephen Hartke, Christopher Theophanides, and Melinda Wagner. As harpsichordist for Jackson Hole’s Grand Teton Music Festival, he was recently a featured soloist with the Festival Orchestra in performances led by Reinhard Goebel, founder of Musica Antiqua Köln. He has participated at festivals in Bruges, Zurich, Aspen, Bridgehampton, Bay Chamber Concerts, at the Bard Music Festival, and at the Aston Magna Academy. He can be heard in recordings on Warner Classics, Universal Music, Tuneful Oasis, Red Bandana, and Eusonia Records.
   He recently presented a series of ten recitals in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Department of Musical Instruments. With the Clarion Music Society, he gave the world première of several newly-rediscovered, unpublished works of Felix Mendelssohn, including a Sonata for Violin and Pianoforte, and the composer’s only surviving song cycle.
   In March 2014, he was appointed director of music and organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, TX., where he directs St. Paul’s Choir (85 members) and oversees a vibrant music program in the Anglican tradition comprising St. Paul’s Choral Scholars (an auditioned high school ensemble), Treble Choir, three children’s choirs, Whitechapel change ringing bells, organ recitals, a chamber music series, choral concerts and residencies in the U.S. and Europe.
   He was previously Associate Director of Music at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, where he helped oversee one of the nation’s preeminent church music programs. He directed the Boy & Girl Choristers, and played the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organs of the Chapel and Church, the latter being one of the world’s largest. Deeply committed to training the next generation of musicians, he served on the planning committee and board of directors of the VOICE Choral Music Charter School in Queens, NY. He has been on the faculty of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J., and is an adjunct lecturer in harpsichord and church music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston.
   Paolo earned Master's and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School. He studied organ with John Weaver, harpsichord with Lionel Party, and is the first person to graduate Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music with a degree in harpsichord (a double major with organ). Doctoral studies brought him to Leipzig and Berlin, where he examined Johann Sebastian Bach's autograph and original performance materials of Cantata No. 67, Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ.
   From 1993 to1996 he was on the roster of associate organists for the Wanamaker Grand Court organ in Philadelphia, the world’s largest operational pipe organ. Paolo is an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, having won the major prizes. Born in Toronto of Italian heritage, Paolo studied organ with John Tuttle and received early musical training at St. Michael's Choir School.


March 17, 2016 - Tamer Edlebi, oboe, with Eliza Cheng, piano

Tamer Edlebi

Tamer Edlebi

Tamer Edlebi is currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University as a student of Robert Atherholt. He recently completed a graduate diploma in 2014 at the Cleveland Institute of Music while studying with Frank Rosenwein, principal oboist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and finished his undergraduate studies at Chapman University in 2011 while under the tutelage of Ariana Ghez, principal oboist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
   Mr. Edlebi has performed as a substitute with several major symphony orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Houston Symphony, and regularly performs throughout Harris County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County as a freelance musician and in many community outreach and fund-raising events. He has spent summers at several music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival and School, Kent/Blossom Music Festival, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Le Domaine Forget Music Academie in Quebec, Canada, and the Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley, California. Mr. Edlebi has also studied extensively with Richard Woodhams, principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Elaine Douvas and Nathan Hughes, principal oboists of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Edlebi is a founding member of the Prismatics Woodwind Quintet, bronze medal winners of the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.


February 11, 2016 - Piano Trios from Classical Vienna

Yvonne Chen (piano), Dian Zhang (violin), and Clare Monfredo (cello)

Yvonne Chen (piano), Dian Zhang (violin), and Clare Monfredo (cello)

24-year-old violinist and violist Dian Zhang is a probing musician who is dedicated through performance and education to upholding music’s importance in the 21st century. Dian was the winner of Marbury Competition at Peabody in 2010, the ASTA Competition for the Los Angeles Area in 2006, the 8th Annual Young Artists Concerto Competition sponsored by the Torrance Symphony in 2004, and was a recipient of Fe Bland Scholarship Foundation in 2008, and many others. He has performed, in both solo recitals and chamber music concerts in Los Angeles, Baltimore, and New York, as well as other cities in Canada, Brazil, Spain, and the UK. As an avid chamber musician, he has attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in 2013, Robert Mann String Quartet Seminar, Juilliard Quartet Seminar, Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme, and the Chamber Music Residency for Preformed Ensembles at the Banff Centre in 2014. Dian thoroughly enjoys teaching undergraduate music fundamentals at Rice University as the Mary Hobson Shepherd Teaching Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year.
   Dian was a student of Victor Danchenko at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, where he received BM and MM degrees. Dian is currently pursuing his doctoral degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music where he studies with Cho-Liang Lin.

Clare Monfredo, cello, hails from Mount Desert Island, Maine, and is currently in her final year master’s studies at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas under the tutelage of Norman Fischer. Since 2013 she has been the recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Artist Award. In addition to her work at school, she was recently awarded a Richter Grant for her outreach efforts in the Houston community, and has spearheaded a contemporary music series at the Rice University Art Gallery called “New Art New Music.”
   A passionate chamber musician, Clare has performed alongside artists including Paul Kantor, Ivo Van Der Werff, Norman Fischer, Jan Taglich, Gotlieb Wallisch, Christopher O’Reilly, Joan Kwon and Catherine Cho. She was recently selected to participate in a chamber music exchange with students of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Leipzig, working alongside acclaimed cellist Peter Bruns and performing at the Mendelssohn Haus. This past summer she studied at the Ecoles d'Art Américaines de Fontainebleau where she was the recipient of the festival’s Chamber Music Award and studied cello with Phillip Muller and chamber music with Raphael Merlin of Quartet Ebéne. Other festival experience includes two summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was awarded the Karl Ziese Memorial Cello award and featured on the web series “Tanglewood Tales: Backstage with Rising Stars,” as well as fellowships at Music Academy of the West, Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and a creative residency at the Banff Center. She has studied chamber music with Yo Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Bright Sheng, Cho-Liang Lin, Claude Frank and Pamela Frank, as well as members of the American, Concord, Cleveland, Miro, St. Lawrence, and Tokyo String Quartets.
   In addition to her musical pursuits, Clare graduated with distinction from Yale with a degree in English, and has been a member of the Cum Laude academic society since 2009.

Taiwanese-American pianist Yvonne Chen is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and teacher. A believer in reaching out to as many people as possible, she has concertized in a wide variety of settings, from traditional performance venues to shelters, hospitals, schools, and community centers throughout the country. As a 2012-14 Da Camera Young Artist Fellow, she has performed solo and chamber works at the Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Rothko Chapel. Ms. Chen has attend the Aspen Music Festival and School, Banff Piano Masterclasses, International Holland Music Sessions, and the Orford Arts Center. Last summer, she performed throughout Leipzig with students from the University of Music and Theater “Mendelssohn-Bartholdy” and the Shepherd School of Music as part of an exchange program between the two schools. Other recent projects also include a concert of new American music with two world premieres of commissioned works in Seattle, and, as an organist/pianist at Houston’s St. Michael Catholic Church, a cycle through Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and Goldberg Variations. A teacher since she was 13, Ms. Chen maintains a private studio, and has coached chamber music at the American Festival for the Arts.
   A native of suburban Washington, D.C., Ms. Chen received her B.M. from the Juilliard School, and her M.M. from the Shepherd School of Music. She is currently the Benjamin Armistead Shepherd Teaching Fellow at the Shepherd School, where she is pursuing a D.M.A. under the tutelage of Brian Connelly.


February 18, 2016 - St. Paul's Chamber Choir in Concert

Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Rossini

St. Paul’s Chamber Choir offers a program, in this leap year, celebrating the effusive and joyous music of Gioachino Rossini, born 29 February 1792, and music by Striggio and Chilcott. Directed by Dr. Paolo Bordignon, with Ken Coleman, organ, and guest pianist Wesley Ducote.


Alessandro Striggio:
Congratulamini videte omnes

Gioachino Rossini:
Kyrie from Petite Messe Solenelle
Overture to La Gazza Ladra (arranged for piano 4 hands)
Quartetto Pastorale: L’Asia in Faville
Il Carnevale di Venezia
Toast pour un nouvel an

Bob Chilcott:
Even such is time


The concert opens with “Congratulamini videte omnes” of Alessandro Striggio, famed for writing a Mass for 60 voices. The work is a contrafacta, a madrigal “remade” into a sacred motet. In this case, salacious poetry about amorous conquests has been remodeled into a paean sung to the mother of God: “Mary, virgin and childbearing, for out of you is the rising of light eternal, which sheds light on all the earth.” Striggio died February 29, 1592.

Gioachino Rossini was born February 29, 1792 and, as Rossini scholar Philip Gossett writes, "No composer in the first half of the 19th century enjoyed the measure of prestige, wealth, popular acclaim or artistic influence that belonged to Rossini. His contemporaries recognized him as the greatest Italian composer of his time." His achievements in opera caused the work of his predecessors to be forgotten, his contemporaries, Bellini and Donizetti, worked under his shadow, and even Beethoven, piqued by his international recognition, resorted to snide remarks about him. By the age of 37 Rossini had written over 40 operas and, after completing Guillaume Tell, he retired to Italy, dedicating his life to enjoying food. He composed hardly at all during this period before returning to Paris in 1855. Here his urge to compose returned, and he wrote piano pieces, songs, and small ensembles, including the Petite Messe Solennelle (1863). He referred to them as Péchés de vieillesse (“sins of old age”); they are characterized by wit, parody, grace, and sentiment.

St. Paul’s Chamber Choir will sing the Kyrie from the Petite Messe Solennelle, accompanied by Wesley Ducote (piano) and Ken Coleman (organ). Paolo Bordignon and Wesley Ducote will perform a 4-hand piano arrangement La Gazza Ladra (“The Thieving Magpie”) Overture before the Chamber Choir returns to offer a Pastoral diversion, a lively piece set at the famed Carnival of Venice, and a delightful toast to good living, good times, and good luck.

The program will conclude with “Even such is time,” with poetry of Sir Walter Raleigh set to music by Bob Chilcott. Chilcott received choral training at King’s College, Cambridge, first as a boy chorister (he performed the Pie Jesu of Fauré's Requiem on the 1967 recording under David Willcocks) and then as a choral scholar. He later sang tenor with the King’s Singers for 12 years. He is highly sought-after as a choral conductor, composer, and arranger.

The St. Paul’s Chamber Choir is a small subset of the deep musical talent that makes up the St. Paul’s Choir. The members of the Chamber Choir come from different educational backgrounds and professions, and all share a love of singing great choral music.
   St. Paul’s Choir has earned recognition for its commitment to quality traditional sacred music offered in authentic, liturgical Anglican-influenced worship. In addition to singing weekly Sunday services at 8:30 a.m. and 11:05 a.m., the Choir of 70-plus voices performs services of Choral Evensong several times annually, offers music for special liturgical services and has served as choir-in-residence at Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Exeter Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and others. In addition to a wide array of traditional repertoire ranging from the Renaissance and Baroque eras to the Anglican anthems of Stanford and Howells, the choir regularly performs Anglican Psalter and plainchant.