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Anne Gross, soprano, who has been praised for her exquisite tone, excellent breath control and enjoyable stage presence, is a polished performer who delights audiences with her musicality and sense of humor. Dr. Gross holds vocal performance degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (B.M.), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.) and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance (D.M.A.). While completing her doctoral degree, she studied with world-renowned soprano Shirley Verrett and coached extensive song and operatic repertoire with internationally-known collaborative pianist Martin Katz, performing on many of his students’ recitals. She joined with Mr. Katz to record the audio examples for his book The Complete Collaborator: The Pianist as Partner, published by Oxford University Press in May 2009. Dr. Gross began her musical studies as a pianist and often serves as a collaborative pianist for her voice students.
Dr. Gross has presented solo recitals and appeared on various concert series throughout the United States. She is a favorite soloist with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, performing such diverse works there as Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 and Rob Kapilow’s musical settings of Dr. Seuss’ beloved Green Eggs and Ham and Gertrude McFuzz. Dr. Gross has been invited to perform in concert in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Havana, Cuba, where she sang music of Jose Maria Vitier, accompanied by the composer. Among her oratorio performances are numerous cantatas of J. S. Bach as well as the Mass in B Minor, the St. John and St. Matthew Passion, Missa Cubana (Vitier), Brahms’ Requiem, Haydn’s Paukenmesse and Handel’s Messiah. Dr. Gross has also created and performed several solo musical theater cabarets.
Recent performances include the U.S. premiere of Jose Maria Vitier’s Ave Maria por Cuba for soprano, chorus and orchestra in Washington, D.C., and That Sturdy Vine, a cantata by Alice Parker, for soprano, children’s choir, chamber choir and orchestra, based on Mennonite poetry (composer in attendance). Dr. Gross presented a recital of music for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany at the University of Notre Dame and Anderson University in November/December 2012.
Dr. Gross has served on the voice faculties of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University Southeast, Anderson University, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at West Chester University, and Eastern Mennonite University. She is currently a Visiting Senior Lecturer of Voice at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA.
Active as a solo pianist, chamber musician and collaborative performer, Dr. Melissa Loehnig is currently on faculty at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music. Here she has an active piano studio, teaches music history and theory, coaches singers and pianists, and accompanies throughout the department. She has also previously been on faculty at Whitman College, both as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music in the spring of 2009 and as a Lecturer of Music in Piano for the 2005-2006 academic school year.
Dr. Loehnig spends her summers employed as a staff pianist at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria. She will be returning there in the summer of 2013 as well. She has also been chosen from a national field of applicants for the Opera Theatre Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), for the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, and for the highly competitive Songfest Program in Malibu, California.
In February of 2011, Dr. Loehnig received a highly prestigious performing award from Florida State University. From a pool of applicants spanning the entire College of Music, she was selected (along with soprano, Christina Villaverde) by a board of faculty members to represent Florida State University as part of the Promising Artists of the 21st Century program. This program is held as part of a collaboration between Florida State University and the North American Cultural Center in Costa Rica. She was awarded the opportunity to travel and perform throughout the country of Costa Rica. Along with performing, Dr. Loehnig and Dr. Villaverde held several masterclasses at the University of Costa Rica, the Opera de camara de Costa Rica, the Escuela Municiple de Artes Integradas en Santa Ana EMAI, and the Centro Cultural Jose Rigueres in San Ramon. This concert tour also included the first performance of Libby Larsen’s My Antonia outside of the United States.
Dr. Loehnig has performed throughout the United States, including recently with Choral Arts, a semi-professional chorus based in Seattle, with whom she performed the world premiere of William Averitt’s The Dream Keeper, for chorus and piano four hands. This piece is also featured on their recently released CD entitled Mornings Like This on the Gothic Recording Label. She has also been invited to do guest artist work with the University of Washington Chamber Singers performing the same piece. In June of 2012, Dr. Loehnig was a guest artist for the El Paso Summer Music Festival along with conductor and colleague Dr. Jeremy Mims. Together, they held a master class for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in music. Recently, she has been traveling to Kansas City, Missouri to perform with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory Singers. One of these concerts took place in October 2012. The other is scheduled for February 2013 along with a recording scheduled for April 2013.
Dr. Loehnig received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance, graduating with honors from Whitman College. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano from Florida State University and has completed her Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance with a focus on collaborative piano from the same institution. During her time at Florida State University, Dr. Loehnig was awarded graduate fellowships in both opera and studio accompanying.