Bach Akademie Charlotte's Emerging Artist Program is an advanced summer program for emerging classical singers with interest in Baroque music and Historically Informed Performance Practice.
Tenor Blake Beckemeyer specializes in Historical Performance both as a soloist and chorister. After performances in Charlotte this summer, in his chorister work Blake heads to Oregon Bach Festival for Mendelssohn’s Elijah and a new work by Richard Danielpour. He closes the summer in Weimar, singing cantatas with Helmuth Rilling and Kathy Romey. In the fall, Blake heads to Indiana University to begin his M.M. in Historical Performance with Steven Rickards. He is currently finishing his B.M. in Voice and a B.A. in Mathematics at DePauw with Caroline Smith.
Blake began his love for collaboration in choirs with touring, with performances at La Madeleine and Notre Dame in Paris and Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati. His work there encouraged him to seek out the Weimar Bach Cantata Academy last summer and performances of the Christmas Oratorio in the winter with Helmuth Rilling, a cantata concert with John Harbison, and as a soloist and ensemble member in King Arthur at the Amherst Early Music Festival.
As a soloist, this spring Blake sang with the DePauw Symphony with the aria from BWV 65 and a second production as Basilio/Le Nozze di Figaro. Blake has also sang roles such as Grimoaldo/Rodelinda, Laurie/Little Women, Abraham/Street Scene, and the First Soldier & Lucano/L’incoronazione di Poppea. He has also appeared in Mozart’s two one-act operas as Bastien and Herr Engel. His work with Libby Larsen resulted in providing her three reference recordings for her website.
Olivia Miller is a soprano hailing from northern Illinois, who recently moved to Boston for its renowned early music community. Since settling there in fall 2015, she has regularly performed in the choruses of Emmanuel Music and Boston Baroque. She has also appeared with Handel + Haydn Society, Newton Baroque, and Vox Futura. Later in summer 2018, she will sing with the Berwick Chorus at Oregon Bach Festival, and will return to Germany for a second consecutive summer experience singing Bach cantatas under the baton of Helmuth Rilling in the Thomaskirche, Georgenkirche, and Herderkirche (Fourth/Fifth Weimar Bach Academy).
She made her professional solo debut with CONCORA and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, singing the soprano aria in BWV 147 under the direction of Charles Bruffy. Other solo concert appearances include BWV 17 with the Emmanuel Music orchestra at the Nahant Music Festival, Charpentier Mass for Double Choir at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, and performances of BWV 49, 106, 115, and 199 at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford. As an opera performer, she reveled in her first villain role as Phèdre in Hippolyte et Aricie by Rameau at the historic Woodhouse Copse in the idyllic English countryside. She also enjoyed her first pants role, portraying Vertumnus in the US premiere of Pomona by Reinhard Keiser at the Amherst Early Music Festival. Other opera performances include Girl in Trio in Trouble in Tahiti, Titania in scenes from The Fairy Queen, and Giunone in scenes from L’ercole amante.
Mezzo-soprano Lauren Russell from Asheville, North Carolina is a recent graduate of Wingate University. Earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with an emphasis in voice performance, Ms. Russell has performed leading roles in Menotti’s Help, Help, the Globolinks!, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, as well as supporting roles in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and various opera scenes performed by Wingate Opera under the direction of Dr. Jessie Wright-Martin. Ms. Russell has been a featured soloist in Wingate University’s performances of J.S. Bach’s Mass in b minor and St. John Passion, and Mozart’s Coronation Mass under the direction of Dr. Kenney Potter. In 2016, Ms. Russell internationally toured with the Wingate University Singers to Vienna, Prague, and Salzburg. Ms. Russell is ecstatic to be working with the Bach Akademie’s Emerging Artist Program.
Known for his full and lyric baritone, William Marshall is passionate about the study and vocal performance of Renaissance and Baroque repertoires. Despite acting as a specialist in the field of early music, he also performs traditional operatic and art song repertoire. This spring, he sang as a finalist in the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers as part of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Bach Festival and traveled to Indiana to participate in Early Music America’s Young Performers Festival with The Baltimore Bach Ensemble. William will finish the season as a participant in the American Bach Soloists Academy in San Francisco.
This year William made his debut as Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Peabody Opera Theatre and sang the role of Cold Genius in Purcell’s King Arthur with the Baltimore Baroque Band.
In previous seasons William has portrayed characters in various operas ranging from Mozart to Rossini. Other opera company engagements include Rowan Opera Company, OperaDelaware, and Amherst Early Music. On the concert stage he has acted as baritone soloist for Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Messiah, and Carissimi’s Jephte. William is a two-time winner of the New Jersey State NATS Competition and a winner of the Rowan University Soloist Competition.
William Marshall is currently based in Baltimore, MD pursuing a Master of Music in Historical Performance at the Peabody Conservatory studying with baritone Bill Sharp. He received a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Rowan University.
Elizabeth Eschen - Director, Emerging Artist Program
Scott Allen Jarrett - Artistic Director, Bach Akademie Charlotte
Margaret Carpenter Haigh - Soprano, Artistic Staff
Bryon Grohman - tenor
Additional Faculty to be announced.
Designed for singers on the cusp of professional careers, the Emerging Artist Program provides opportunities for education and career advancement within the context of Bach Akademie’s annual Charlotte Bach Festival. Emerging Artists rehearse and perform two cantatas and the Mass in b minor alongside their professional colleagues, in addition to individual coachings and masterclasses with distinguished faculty and soloists. Specific sessions unique to the Emerging Artist program include "Meet & Greet" luncheons covering such topics as style interpretation, entrepreneurship, vocal function & health, voice and yoga.
Emerging Artists are underwritten by the generous contribution of Bach Akademie Charlotte sponsors. Housing, transportation, and a per diem are included in the Emerging Artist contract.