Laurie Anne Hunter to lead Rogue Valley Chorale

The Rogue Valley Chorale Association has named Laurie Anne Hunter as its new artistic director after a nationwide search.

Hunter said she plans to select music with broad appeal, present diverse choral literature, motivate young singers by including Rogue Valley Chorale's Youth Choruses in concerts, and collaborate with other local and regional artists and arts organizations, according to a media release. This is the chorale's 41st season.

Hunter is a native of Pasadena, Calif. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Winnipeg and a master's from the Juilliard School in New York. She spent five seasons as assistant conductor and vocal coach with the New York City Opera, becoming the fourth woman ever to conduct there when she made her Lincoln Center debut with Marc Blitzstein's opera "Regina" in 1992.

Her career credits include "Showboat" on Broadway, "Phantom of the Opera" in Toronto, the Metropolitan Opera's Educational Outreach Program in New York, Banff Center's Music Theater Program, the Seattle Opera, Oregon Cabaret Theatre and Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Hunter began playing the harp while earning her certification from the Music for Healing and Transition Program. She has played therapeutic harp music for Providence Cancer Center and Hospice in Medford for the past 12 years. She is on the voice faculty at Southern Oregon University, is the music director at the First Presbyterian Church in Ashland, and she maintains a private teaching studio for harp, voice and piano.

Hunter will present her first Rogue Valley Chorale performance at its annual holiday concert at the Craterian Theater. The concert will include Benjamin Britten's "Cantata Saint Nicolas," a composition for orchestra, chorus and tenor soloist. Regional musicians, guest vocalist Brian Thorsett of San Francisco, and Rogue Valley Children's Chorus will collaborate with the chorale to tell the story of Saint Nicolas.

The Rogue Valley Children's Chorus will join the chorale during the performance in a presentation of carols and other holiday favorites.

The Rogue Valley Chorale's Christmas with the Chorale will begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Craterian. To purchase tickets, see www.roguevalleychorale.org or contact the Craterian Theater Box Office at 541-779-3000.


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