Bach Akademie Charlotte Announces 2019 Vocal Fellows

Apr 1, 2019 -- Posted by : admin

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Bach Akademie Charlotte is excited to announce the second class of its Vocal Fellows Program as part of its second summer festival dedicated to historically informed performances of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries.   

This June, soprano Chelsea Helm, mezzo-soprano Molly McGuire, tenor Aaron Cates, and baritone Harrison Hintzsche will arrive in Charlotte for a week of rehearsals and concerts. They will join the artists of the BACharlotte Cantata Choir and the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra under the direction of Artistic Director Scott Allen Jarrett, with performances in Charlotte as well as Chapel Hill.

Soprano Chelsea Helm, a Michigan native, holds degrees from Western Michigan University and Rice University.  She is based in New York City and has extensive performing experience with opera companies and choirs from across the country.  

Originally from Bellingham, Washington, mezzo-soprano Molly McGuire recently finished her Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University in Indiana. She has resided in Boston since September, where she performs with a number of choirs and will pursue a master’s degree at Longy School of Music this fall.  

Aaron Cates, tenor, hails from Charleston, South Carolina and is in the second year of his Master’s degree in performance at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In addition to his extensive choral experience, he has sung the role of the Evangelist in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion as well as numerous opera roles.

Baritone Harrison Hintzsche is currently a master’s degree candidate in the Early Music Voice program at Yale University.  Born in DeKalb, Illinois, he has performed as a chorister and soloist internationally and completed his undergraduate studies at St. Olaf College. This summer’s repertoire consists of two Bach cantatas written for the Feast of St. Michael, as well as the monumental St. Matthew Passion.  

As part of the program, the Fellows will be featured as soloists in select cantata movements in addition to filling out the ranks of the choir. The program also offers intensive study opportunities through not only performing in a public ticketed masterclass and receiving coaching from distinguished faculty, but also participating in sessions tailored to the career demands of the modern singer.  

“The opportunities available here for emerging artists to pursue excellence in the company of seasoned professionals are second to none.”

– Elizabeth Eschen, Vocal Fellows Program Director 

This includes topics such as style and interpretation, entrepreneurship and career development, holistic vocal health and yoga. In order to create the most focused learning environment possible for these young musicians, housing, transportation, and meals are underwritten by the generous support of The Maurer Family Foundation.  

“For the performing musician, there is no commodity greater than time dedicated to development of the craft through immersion in the music, and we strive to maximize the potency of their time here,” says Bach Festival Managing Director Adam Romey. The musicians of the Bach Akademie Charlotte, as well as Charlotte’s Bach enthusiasts, eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Vocal Fellows.

“The opportunities available here for emerging artists to pursue excellence in the company of seasoned professionals are second to none,” states Vocal Fellows Program Director Elizabeth Eschen. “The festival truly creates a sense of community around the study of Bach’s music, which energizes the performances. We are thrilled to welcome our Vocal Fellows for what we know will be an inspiring second season of the festival.”


Funding for the 2019 Vocal Fellow Program has been generously provided by:



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