Lenoir Community College

Lenoir Community College and the Community Council for the Arts will present the sixteenth annual performance of Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the LCC Waller Building Auditorium. Carolyn Crossland will serve as the producer and conductor of the performance.

Tickets for the performance are $7. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Crossland joined the LCC faculty in 1992 and currently is the LCC Arts and Sciences Program Chair of Music. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Campbell University and Master of Music degree from East Carolina University. In addition to post graduate work in the United States, Crossland has studied at the Royal School of Church Music in London, England; the Italian Organ Academy in Pistoia, Italy; the Classical Music Seminar in Eisenstadt, Austria; and at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England.  She has done additional postgraduate study in the United States at Westminster Choir College, Illinois State University, Duke University, and Pennsylvania State University.

Previous work experience includes positions on the music faculty at East Carolina University and Mount Olive College.  She has served as Choirmaster-Organist at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Raleigh and Westminster United Methodist Church in Kinston.

Crossland is listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in Business and Professional Women, and Outstanding Women in America: Music.  She has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Leadership Award in the Teaching Profession, LCC President’s Award for Service and Innovation, the Phi Theta Kappa International Paragon Award, and the 2002 Teaching Excellence Award at LCC.

She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Hymn Society of America, National Pastoral Musicians, American Guild of Organists, Royal School of Church Music, and Conductor’s Guild.

Joel Gay is a singer and choral conductor living in the Wilson area.  Gay and his wife, Jennifer, work together as the Music Ministers at the First United Methodist Church in Wilson where he conducts a community youth choir called the Spirit Singers, and also oversees the handbell and contemporary worship ministries.  Mr. Gay received his undergraduate degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA where he studied with Wayne Kompelein.  He completed his graduate studies at East Carolina University with a Masters degree in choral conducting and voice performance.  While at East Carolina he studied with John Kramar and Daniel Bara. He has performed as a soloist throughout Eastern North Carolina, most recently with the Crystal Coast Choral Society, the East Carolina University Religious Arts Festival, and the Lenoir Community College Christmas Chorus.  Besides singing, Gay enjoys playing with his two boys, Billy and Michael, and traveling.

This will be Gay’s tenth performance as bass soloist with the Lenoir Community College’s annual production of “Messiah.”  He will be performing “Thus Saith the Lord of Hosts,”  “But Who May Abide the Day of His Coming,”  “For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth,” and “The People That Walked in Darkness Have Seen A Great Light.” 

Peggy Overton Vaughan is a Voice Instructor at Mount Olive College (Mount Olive campus), and the Conductor of the Pitt Community College Chorale (Greenville).  She serves as the Music Director at Peace Presbyterian Church in Winterville and is also the Choral Director at Roseleaf Academy in Farmville.  She currently maintains a voice studio in Greenville, and formerly served as the General Music and Choral Director at Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston.  An active soloist, she has performed with the Virginia Choral Society, the Greenville Choral Society, the Hickory Choral Society and Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, the East Carolina University Opera Theatre, the East Carolina Religious Arts Festival, and in LCC’s “Broadway and Beyond.” 

She has served as the soloist for performances of Mozart’s “Coronation Mass,” “Requiem,” “Mass in C,” and  “Regina Coeli;” Faure’s “Requiem,” Poulenc’s “Gloria,” and Handel’s “Messiah.”  Her most recent operatic appearances have included the role of Lady Billows in Britten’s “Albert Herring” and Aminta in Mozart’s “Il Re Pastore.” Vaughan is an active member of the Greenville Choral Society’s Adult Chorus, and a past member of their Chamber Chorale.  She received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Meredith College.

This will be Ms. Vaughan’s fifth appearance as soprano soloist for LCC’s annual performance of “Messiah.”  She will perform “And Lo! The Angel of the Lord,” “And Suddenly, There Was with the Angel,” “ There Were Shepherds,” “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion,” and “Come Unto Him.”

A native of North Carolina, mezzo-soprano, Dr. Jami Rhodes is currently Assistant Professor of Voice at East Carolina University in Greenville.  She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance and pedagogy from Louisiana State University, a Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Music in music education from East Carolina University.  Frequently seen on the operatic stage, she holds a number of leading roles to her credit.  Dr. Rhodes is also an active recitalist and performs regularly in oratorio and other concert works. Recent and upcoming appearances include performances of Dominick Argento’s critically acclaimed song cycles “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf” and “Miss Manners on Music,” Rossini’s “Giovanna D’Arco,” Haydn’s “Arianna a Naxos,” Mahler's “Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen,” Britten’s “A Charm of Lullabies,” and mezzo-soprano soloist in Britten’s “Canticle II,” Corigliano’s “Fern Hill,” Handel’s “Messiah,” Bach’s “Magnificat,” Rossini's “Petite Messe Solennelle,” Haydn's “Lord Nelson Mass,” Mozart’s “Requiem,” Brahms’ “Alto Rhapsody,” Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9,” Bruckner’s “Mass in D Minor,” and Michael Tippett’s “A Child of Our Time.”

This will be Dr. Rhodes’ fourth appearance in Lenoir Community College’s performance of “Messiah.”  She will be performing “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings To Zion,” “Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind Be Opened,” and “He Shall Feed His Flock.”

Justin Sturz is a musician from Greenville. In addition to his freelance work, he is the organist/pianist at the First Baptist Church in Farmville, and the pianist for St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Greenville.

He holds undergraduate degrees in English and Organ Performance from East Carolina University. Both degrees were earned Magna Cum Laude. While earning his degree in music, Justin participated in two organ competitions, placing second in the Music Teachers' National Association-Wurlitzer Collegiate Artist National Organ Competition (1993), and third in the National Undergraduate Organ Competition held annually at the First Presbyterian Church in Ottumwa, Iowa (1995).

He is known throughout eastern North Carolina for his accompanying skills and his performances on both the piano and the organ. He has two recording, “Songs of Faith On the Grand Piano” and “Inspirational Favorites.”
This will be Mr. Sturz's twelfth year as rehearsal accompanist and performance pianist for “Messiah.”

In May 2012, Joshua Allen, a native of Hickory completed his Bachelor of Music degree with majors in Vocal Performance and Music Education. While at East Carolina University, he was consistently cast in leading roles for ECU Opera Theatre productions, and was a member of the critically acclaimed ECU Chamber Singers, performing on the group’s CD’s. The son of ministers Steve and Jane Allen, Allen worked for several churches as a singer throughout college, and as both an Assistant Music Director and Music Director. He also assistant-directed the musical “Annie” for the Farmville Arts Council in fall of 2012.  He is currently serving as Interim Music Director at Immanuel Baptist Church in Greenville, directing the Chancel Choir, and serves as organist and pianist. As a teacher on faculty at the Music Academy of Eastern Carolina in Greenville, he teaches students of all ages voice, piano, and music theory, and performs regularly as a tenor soloist across North Carolina. He is pursuing graduate studies in Performance beginning fall 2014.

This will be Allen's debut as lyric tenor soloist for Lenoir Community College’s annual performance of “Messiah.”  He will perform “Comfort Ye My People” and “Every Valley Shall Be Exalted.”