June 23, 2024

A “Don’t Miss” Experience
Cierra Byrd, mezzo soprano
Dr. Marques L.A. Garrett, guest conductor

in the beautiful sanctuary of First Community Church
3777 Dublin Rd, 43221
4:00 pm

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Our season-closing concert will be one you won’t want to miss!  So much beautiful music in a beautiful setting, with two very special guests make this concert a once-in-a-decade event created for you!

First, we welcome Dr. Marques L.A. Garrett, an avid composer of choral and solo-vocal music whose compositions have been performed to acclaim by high school all-state, collegiate, and professional choirs including Seraphic Fire, the Oakwood University Aeolians, and the National Lutheran Choir. He has selected six pieces to direct, all by African-American composers, ranging from classical to contemporary, including two of his own arrangements of “Don’t Leave Me, Lord” and “Your Hand in Mine”. An educator (assoc professor at Univ of North Texas), vocalist (baritone and counter tenor), conductor (Nebraska Festival Singers), and researcher/author (his anthology of  underperformed music by African-Americans, The Oxford Book of Choral Music by Black Composers, was published in January 2023).

Second, we welcome home Cierra Byrd, mezzo soprano, an Ohio native and graduate of The Ohio State University.  Ms Byrd studied with Denyce Graves at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and recently completed her tenure with the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.  She is appearing currently in Terrence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” at the Met, reprising her role as Bertha, for which she won a Grammy award. Notable accolades include The Legacy Award from the National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey Argento Vocal Competition, being named a finalist in Opera Ebony’s Benjamin Matthews Vocal Competition, and the Peabody Artist Excellence Award. She is an alumna of Des Moines Metro Opera’s apprentice artist program and Opera Saratoga’s young artist program.

Finally, our collaborative pianist/organist for the afternoon is Dr Collin Richardson, a graduate of Morehouse, Emory and Cincinnati Universities and director of choral activities at Columbus Alternative High School. Dr Richardson also serves as accompanist for Capriccio Jubilee Singers and plays locally for many churches, choirs and ensembles.

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