Providence Singers announces 2016-17 Fassett Fellows
Tenors Nathaniel de Vries and Jake Kane and sopranos Marykate McCutcheon and Danielle Plouffe have been named Fassett Fellows for the 2016-17 season of the Providence Singers. The Fassett Fellowships honor former Artistic Director Charles K. Fassett by identifying and supporting talented young choral singers.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — On Tuesday evening, Sept. 7, at the first rehearsal of the Providence Singers’ 45th season, Artistic Director Christine Noel and Executive Director MJ Daly introduced the group’s 2016-17 Fassett Fellows: Nathaniel de Vries, Jake Kane, Marykate McCutcheon, and Danielle Plouffe. Established in 1995, the Fassett Fellowships honor the late Charles K. Fassett, who served the group as artistic director for 21 years.
Fellowships are awarded to high school or college students or recent college graduates who have excelled in choral organizations and wish to continue their musical interests. Candidates must be admitted to active membership in the Providence Singers through the regular audition process. As fellows, their first year’s dues are paid by the Fassett Fund and they receive special designation in concert programs
Meet the 2016-17 Fassett Fellows
Nathaniel de Vries
Tenor Nathaniel de Vries, from Uxbridge, Mass., is a freshman at Worcester State University with a major in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. Throughout his high school career, de Vries participated in several choirs. As a member of a student-led advanced a cappella choir for three years, he arranged choral pieces for the group and served as the primary voice percussionist. As a drummer and guitarist, he has performed with groups in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. De Vries also writes original folk compositions, which he performs in coffeehouses and cafes in the area. In his senior year, de Vries was a member of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus Advanced High School Honor Choir. He currently serves as senior staff for that choir.
Tenor Jake Kane, of Seekonk Mass., is a junior at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, R.I. He began his vocal training seven years ago with the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus and continues as a member of its High School Honor Choir. By special invitation, Kane rehearsed with the Providence Singers last spring and sang in the performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Kane participated in the Singers annual Young Men’s Choral Festivals in 2014 and 2015, the Southeastern Massachusetts School Bandmaster Association and Southeast Massachusetts Music Educators senior festivals, and performed solos at St. Andrew’s School graduation and sports awards. He has also done several studio recordings and has recorded with two-time Grammy Award-winning artist Bill Harley.
A music major, soprano Marykate McCutcheon earned her Bachelor of Arts from Rhode Island College in May 2016 with a concentration in music history and vocal performance. She has performed with the Rhode Island College Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Early Music Ensemble, serving as the soprano section leader and chorus president. McCutcheon has also been a member of two Rhode Island College Touring Ensembles to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Italy. In October of 2015, she sang the “Youth” solo in Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. McCutcheon was a member of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus for six years prior to college, performing Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Providence Singers and Rhode Island Philharmonic. She also sang with the Chamber Chorus at the American Choral Directors Association conferences in Philadelphia (2010) and Providence (2012). She is currently the soprano soloist at All Saints Memorial Church in Attleboro, Mass., and teaches private piano and voice lessons at White’s Music Education Center in North Attleboro.
Soprano Danielle Plouffe is a senior at Burrillville High School in Harrisville, R.I., where she sings with her school choir and plays clarinet in the band. As a member of the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus entering her ninth year, Plouffe has performed at the Harvard Women’s Choir Festival and at the ACDA conference in Baltimore, and has performed twice with the Providence Singers. A member of Rhode Island All-State ensembles for five consecutive years, Plouffe will travel to Grapevine, Texas, in November to perform in the All-National Mixed Choir. This summer she was selected to sing in the honors recital at the Summer Youth Music School at the University of New Hampshire. After high school, Plouffe intends to study vocal performance and music. She is a member of the National Honor Society, captain of her high school tennis team, and enjoys camping and hiking with her family.
The Charles K. Fassett Fund
The Providence Singers established the Charles K. Fassett Fund in May 1995 as a permanent tribute to Charles Fassett’s 21 seasons as the group’s artistic director. As a conductor, music educator, and long-time director of choral activities at Wheaton College, Fassett often expressed his concern that general musical literacy and musicianship be sustained, including choral music appreciation for performers and audience alike. The Fassett Fellows program identifies highly talented young singers, often recent college graduates, who have participated in choral organizations and are looking for an organization through which to continue their interests.
The Providence Singers
Established in 1971, the Providence Singers is one of the leading choral performance organizations serving southern New England. Led by Artistic Director Christine Noel, the 100-voice auditioned chorus presents an annual concert series and makes frequent guest appearances throughout the region, including annual concerts with the Rhode Island Philharmonic. The chorus has also performed with the Kronos Quartet at the FirstWorks Providence Festival, with the Dave Brubeck Quartet at Lincoln Center and the Newport Jazz Festival, with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and with the New Bedford Symphony.
Michael Galib, assistant conductor, and John Black, pianist, assist with concert preparation.
The Providence Singers commissions and performs new works with support from its Wachner Fund for New Music. It receives general operating support from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.
2016-17 Providence Singers Performances
- Mozart Requiem, October 14-15, 2016, with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Bramwell Tovey conducting
- Messiah, December 10, 2016, with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Christine Noel conducting
- Music for Chorus and Percussion, March 11-12, 2017
- Northern Voices, May 13-14, 2017
Concert information and tickets are available online or by calling the Providence Singers office at 401-751-5700.