01/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/10/2024 08:49
The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will present mezzo-soprano Gina Morgano as the first Joan Chambers Concert Series performance of the spring semester. The concert, entitled "Songs and Stories," is set for Friday, Jan. 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Hall (150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601). It is free and open to the public.
Morgano, a Pittsburgh native, explores a wide variety of music genres in her performances-all fueled by her passion for using her voice as an instrument of peace. Her sweet spot is that place that bridges classical and popular music, and her repertoire ranges from Handel to Sondheim. She believes that curiosity and storytelling are the floodgates to empathy and compassion-and that, sometimes, the best way to use your voice is to listen.
Her Joan Chambers Concert Series performance will include eight selections ranging from "Près des remparts de Séville" from Carmen (George Bizet, 1838-1875) and "My Funny Valentine" from Babes in Arms (Richard Rodgers, 1902-1979), to "To Build a Home" from The Bridges of Madison County (Jason Robert Brown 1970- ). Pianist Michael Mackey will accompany Morgano.
"January is a time when we all get to turn the page and begin a new chapter in our lives. In this recital, I'm excited to share stories of new beginnings and opportunities through some of my favorite music," said Morgano. "Our program includes opera, art song, musical theatre, and jazz because Dr. Mackey and I are both extremely passionate about embracing and championing a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Everyone has a story to share and a voice that deserves to be heard, and we hope that this evening leaves people feeling inspired about all of the opportunities that the new year brings and excited to write the next page of their story."
Morgano is currently an alto in the professional core of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh where she sings regularly with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall. While living in New York, she was a soloist, chorister, and artist-teacher with National Chorale and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, 54 Below, The Laurie Beechman Theatre, Don't Tell Mama, The Strand, and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Morgano also is an avid recitalist and cabaret artist throughout the country. This past summer, she performed the National Anthem for the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
As an educator, her teaching experience includes the 92nd Street Y School of Music and the Professional Performing Arts School in New York City, as well as Oakland Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. She currently maintains a private online voice studio. She also hosts The Voice Space podcast and Facebook group and is the creator of The Practice Planner.
"During her visit to Pitt-Greensburg, she will meet with members of the campus's Chorale and Chamber Singers to share her expertise in vocal health and vocal confidence," said Chris Bartley, director of music at the campus. "We're looking forward to this opportunity to work with this talented professional."
Through her work with organizations such as Sing for Hope and Vocal Ease, Morgano strives to create a world of beauty for those who cannot easily access live performances. She is also passionate about supporting US military veterans and regularly uses her voice to fundraise for charitable causes she believes in.
Morgano graduated with vocal honors from Northwestern University (B.M., M.S.J.) and San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.).
Michael Mackey, PhD, is the director of Vocal Music and The Masque Drama Society at Central Catholic High School, where he contributes to the Blue Knights Jazz Ensemble as co-director and Campus Ministry as liturgical music director. Mackay earned his doctorate in music from the University of Pittsburgh and his master of music in piano performance from Duquesne University.
Upcoming Music at Pitt-Greensburg Events (These performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center unless marked):
Jan. 26: The Friday Evening Music Club returns to campus with a student recital.
Feb. 29: Music at Pitt-Greensburg presents a faculty recital with performances by Chelsea Ritenour, Chris Bartley, and Matt Klumpp.
Mar. 21 & 22: The Spectrum Concert will feature the Pitt-Greensburg Chorale and Chamber Singers, Seton Hill University's Una Voce, and the Pitt-Greensburg Theatre Company cast of Fun Home (spring musical performance). A third concert will be performed on Mar. 23 at Seton Hill University.
April 11- 14: The Pitt-Greensburg Theatre Company will perform Fun Home, a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel's 2006 graphic memoir, with music by Jeanine Tesori, and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. General admission is $5 for this performance in the Ferguson Theater (Smith Hall).
April 19: The Joan Chambers Concert Series will host the University of Pittsburgh's renowned Heinz Chapel Choir.
About the Joan Chambers Concert Series:
The Joan Chambers Concert Series is possible through the generous support of President Emeritus George F. Chambers. It brings local, national, and international artists to the Pitt-Greensburg campus for performances of the highest professional caliber. It has featured international opera star Andrew Zimmerman, cello/piano duo Antonio Lysy and Patricia Hoy, soprano Julie Wyma, pianist Pablo Amorós, the Swara Sonora Trio, Shana Mashego, North Sea Gas, the Tucson Girls Chorus, thingNY, tenor Chris Carr, and contralto Emily Marvosh. It has proudly presented some of Pennsylvania's finest ensembles and artists, including the Pittsburgh Camerata, Voces Solis, Kassia Ensemble, Heinz Chapel Choir, Pittsburgh Trombone Project, Elizabeth Lins Shonfelt, Skip Napier & Tim Heavner, Blue Mile Jazz, PM Woodwind Project, Zach Rohlwing, and the Penn State Chamber Singers.
The series is named in honor of Joan Chambers, the late wife of President Chambers, who was an ardent supporter and representative of Pitt‐Greensburg in the community for many years. While her interests were widespread, she especially enjoyed participating in book discussion groups, attending cultural events, and hosting themed luncheons at her home. The Children's Literature Collection in Millstein Library, another of her passions, was developed and named in her honor.