Named in honor of Bill Monroe, "The Father of Bluegrass Music," Monroe Crossing dazzles audiences with an electrifying blend of classic bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and heartfelt originals. Their airtight harmonies, razor sharp arrangements, and on-stage rapport make them audience favorites across the United States and Canada.
Based in Minnesota, the group plays an average of 125 shows a year at major venues and festivals, frequently for non-bluegrass audiences - and people often comment that they'd never really liked bluegrass music until they attended a Monroe Crossing concert!
Monroe Crossing is made up of five very distinct personalities with differing musical backgrounds and tastes, combining for a very unique ensemble sound. They are Derek Johnson: guitar, lead & harmony vocals; Lisa Fuglie: fiddle, mandolin, lead & harmony vocals; Matt Thompson: mandolin, fiddle, baritone vocals; Mark Anderson: bass & bass vocals; and David Robinson: banjo. Their paths crossed through the music of Bill Monroe so they like to say they had a "Monroe Crossing."
Among their many honors, Monroe Crossing was selected to showcase at the 2007 International Bluegrass Music Association Convention and they were inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2007. The only bluegrass band ever nominated as "Artist of the Year" by the Minnesota Music Academy (MMA), Monroe Crossing won the 2003 MMA "Bluegrass Album of the Year" award. The group also took home four awards - for Female Vocalist, Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo - at the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association's 25th Anniversary Awards Banquet.
Monroe Crossing has recorded 12 CDs to date, releasing not one but two albums in 2011. In honor of the 100th anniversary of Bill Monroe's birth, they recorded an all-Monroe CD, "Monroe Crossing Plays the Music of Bill Monroe." Their most recent release is "Joy Joy Joy" showcasing the band's originality and reverence for the bluegrass Gospel tradition.
Dundee Presbyterian Chancel Choir
College Of Central Florida Patriot Singers
Matthew Bumbach an assistant professor and the director of vocal music at College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida where he teaches classes in voice, musical theatre, aural skills and guitar. He is also artistic director of the Marion Civic Chorale. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Music Education from Stetson University where he studied with Dr. Duncan Couch, and a Masters Degree in Choral Conducting from the University of South Florida where he studied with Dr. Robert Summer and Dr. Richard Zielinski.
Matthew was director of choirs and guitar at Seminole High School, in Pinellas County Florida, from 2007 until 2010 where he led an award winning chorus and taught over 100 guitar students. He has been director of music for the New Apostolic Church, Florida West District since 2002.
Matthew has sung with a number of professional ensembles and community choirs and is an accomplished composer. In 2000, he was a winner of the Southeastern Composers Competition with his choral piece "Alleluia". His choral works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe by such groups at the Orlando Chorale, the Virginia Chorale, and the Fredonia State University Chamber Singers. A recent work, "The Poet and His Song," was premiered in April of 2010 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, NY.
Matthew lives in Ocala, Florida with his wife Melissa who is the current Marion county, Florida teacher of the year.
First Baptist Church of Kernersville Chancel Choir
Barbara L. Geer
The Eastminster Choir
First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir
Dr. Brian Norcross
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Choir
Gold Coast Concert Chorus
As conductor, music director, collaborative pianist, music educator and church musician, Elizabeth Helms plays an integral part in building and sustaining a strong, vibrant musical community in Ventura County, California. She currently works with the Gold Coast Concert Chorus, Ventura College Music Department, California Lutheran University Music Department, Pacific Shores Chorale, and Church of the Foothills. She received her Bachelor of Music from the University of Redlands and a Master of Arts from California Lutheran University in 2005. Ms. Helms' deep belief in the value of music education and her enthusiasm for the collaborative arts makes her a sought after teacher, accompanist and conductor.
The Choral Art Society Singers
Dr. Robert Russell is a professor of music at the University of Southern Maine, and originally from Roanoke, Virginia. He studied music and religion at Wake Forest University, choral music at the University of North Carolina and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in the literature and performance of choral music from the University of Colorado. In 1979, Bob and his wife Linda moved to Portland to begin his work at the University of Souther Naine and je began his tenure as music director at the Choral Art Society.
Greystone Baptist Church Choir
Pepper Choplin is an active composer, conductor and humorist. He has gained a reputation as one of the most creative writers in church music today. Beginning his music training at the age of four, he grew up singing and playing piano, trumpet, guitar and banjo. With a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, he went on to earn a Master of Music degree in composition from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
With a diverse musical background, Choplin composes incorporates varied styles such as folk, Gospel, classical, and jazz. His published work includes over two hundred anthems for church and school choir, ten church cantatas and one book of piano compositions. An original hymn, “Come to the Water” appears in the recent hymnal, Celebrating Grace. His anthems consistently appear in the top seller lists of publishers and distributors. Since 1991, his choral music has sold several million copies. Each week, thousands of singers present his music in churches and schools in the United States and around the world.
He travels to many churches and conferences to share his compositions, to conduct and to entertain. Beyond his choral music, Choplin has produced two humorous CDs and an inspirational recording. In his solo concerts, he moves audiences with his powerful ballads and his zany humor.
Currently, he serves as Minister of Music at Greystone Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he leads worship music and directs choirs for children, students, adults and handbells. There in his hometown, Choplin has conducted several mass performances of his Easter and Christmas cantatas in Meymandi Auditorium (home to the NC Symphony) with over two hundred voices and full orchestra.
Peter Park is the founding conductor and artistic director of Dolce Canto. He received his B.M. in Music Education from The University of Montana and is an active guest conductor and clinician. Peter has conducted the Wyoming All-State Choir, Alaska Region II Honor Choir, Montana Youth Sing Honor Choir, and Big Horn Basin District Honor Choir. As a chorister, he performed as a member of the critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall Workshop Chorus under Robert Shaw, James Conlon, Sir Neville Marriner, and Peter Schreier. He led Missoula's International Choral Festival as Executive Director from 2001-2006 and currently serves on its artistic committee.
Hayes Barton Baptist Church Choir
Presently, Minister of Music, Hayes Barton Baptist, Raleigh, NC. Former Team Leader, Music and Worship Team, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Prior to coming to the Convention, Dan served as Minister of Music for First Baptist Church, Jefferson City, Missouri, Swope Park Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri, and First Baptist Church, Matthews, North Carolina.
Dan is an Instrumental Music Specialist and has been a literary writer for music periodicals. He has participated in mission trips throughout the United States and in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Dan enjoys rehearsing choirs and orchestras. He loves the challenge of building the complete ensemble sound in order to express the meaning of the music and, for instrumentalists, the text on which the music a based.
Leading the congregation in singing is a driving passion. His desire is to help each person engage in the beauty, the power, and the joy of corporate worship through singing and playing instruments.
Dan enjoys directing Handbell Festivals and workshops. He focuses on the ringers enjoying learning the craft of ringing and using their giftedness to worship and lead others in worship and the celebration of musical presentation.
Dan is a native of Clio, Michigan. He is a graduate of Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky
North Raleigh Presbyterian Chancel Choir
Michelle Snead has been the director of the North Raleigh Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir for twenty-two years. Within Raleigh’s premier concert venue, Meymandi Hall, she has participated in several joint performances led by composer Pepper Choplin. Besides her involvement in music, Michelle works as a professional visual artist.
The Marion Civic Chorale
The Marion Civic Chorale is Ocala, Florida's pre-eminent chorus, providing musical entertainment for all of the Central Florida area. The Chorale performs at civic functions, residential community organization gatherings, and with church and high school choirs. In addition, we present concerts for the holiday season and in the spring, each year.
Members of the Chorale come from throughout the area, from a wide variety of backgrounds and musical experience, who all share a common love of music, singing and entertaining.
The Marion Civic Chorale seeks to promote and encourage singing talent in our area young people. Through your generous donations to our group, the Chorale provides Grat L. Rosazza Music Scholarships for deserving high school and college students to pursue further musical education. Winners of Grat L. Rosazza Scholarships are invited to perform at our Holiday or Spring Concert.
The Muscatine Civic Chorale
Tree of Life Lutheran Church Choir
Tree of Life Lutheran Church/Harrisburg, PA is a 950 member congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving the greater Harrisburg community. The choir is a part of the full and vibrant music ministry of the church; they offer a wide range of styles which reflects the diverse talents and gifts of its members. The choir supports both weekly and seasonal services of the church and recently premiered Pepper Choplin's "Joy on the Mountain", which was commissioned in celebration of the church's 25thanniversary year. Approximately half its choir members are representing TLC on the stage tonight.
Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus
St. Armand's Key Lutheran Church
Trinity Baptist Church Adult Choir
For over 25 years, Stephen has been serving Baptist churches in music ministry as a choir and worship leader in Virginia and North Carolina. From his small town of Buena Vista, Virginia, Stephen entered James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA where he studied instrumental and vocal music, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Instrumental Education with a vocal minor. Following a call to ministry, Stephen entered The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, where he graduated and received a Master of Church Music degree. His desire is to help those in the local church discover and use their musical passions in the act of worship and on mission for God. He is married to his wife, Amy, an elementary music teacher. They have one daughter, Hannah, and reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Choir of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul
The semi-professional choir of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul, Minnesota comprises thirty-six singers, of whom four are mature professional singers. Another four singers are choral scholars, vocal majors from local colleges who are preparing for professional careers as singers. The choir sings for all Sunday services throughout the academic year, as well as for Evensongs, Holy Week and Christmas Eve. The choir first sang the bluegrass mass after Evensong in November 2011.
Williamsport Civic Chorus
Vocaré, is a S.A.T.B. choral group, based in Wexford town. Founded and directed by Sue Furlong, a noted musician and composer, the choir held its first rehearsal in September, 2007, and has, in a short space of time, become a committed, noteworthy choral group of excellence. Within a few weeks of its foundation, Vocaré came 2nd in the Lyric FM Carol competition in 2007, and went on to claim much coveted 2nd place in 2008 and 2009 at the National Choir of the Year competition in Navan. May 2008 also saw the choir take 1st place at the New Ross AIMS Choral competition. An invitation to perform on the Late Late show saw Vocaré present at the official opening of Wexford Opera House, in September 2008. Vocaré has so far presented four sell-out concerts: the inaugural concert at White’s Hotel in 2008, “From Baroque to Bluegrass” at Wexford Opera House in May 2009, collaborating with Swedish composer and guitarist, Bo Hansson, Carol Barnett’s ‘The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass’, performed during the 2009 Opera Festival in Wexford, and a Christmas concert in December 2010, with Christmas music from around the world. Vocaré is proud to have been one of the featured choirs in RTÉ Carols for Christmas 2009 which was broadcast on Christmas Eve of that year. At the Cork International Choral festival in 2010, Vocaré achieved first prize in the National Open competition. Returning to the same festival in 2011, Vocaré won the Premier Open Competition, the National Competition for Light, Jazz and Popular music and a special award for a piece in the Irish language. Vocaré present another sell-out concert in May 2012. For further information visit: www.vocare.ie Sue Furlong, Musical Director can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org