Providence Singers announces Fassett Fellows for the 2017-18 season
Providence Singers members Abby White, Alexandra Nichols, Taylor Conner, and Natalie Hartsfield have been selected as Fassett Fellows for the 2017-18 season. The Fassett Fellowships were created in honor of former Artistic Director Charles K. Fassett to identify, recruit, and support talented young choral singers.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Artistic Director Christine Noel and Executive Director MJ Daly have introduced the Providence Singers Fassett Fellows for the 2017-18: Abby White, Alexandra Nichols, Taylor Conner, and Natalie Hartsfield. All of this year’s Fassett Fellows received early choral training in the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus (RICC).
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 to recent college graduates who have excelled in choral organizations and wish to continue their musical interests. Candidates must be admitted to membership in the Providence Singers through the regular audition process. The Fassett Fellows receive special designation in concert programs and the Fassett Fund pays their Singers fees for the year.
Meet the 2017-18 Fassett Fellows
Soprano Abby White is a junior at East Greenwich High School, where she was a member of her school’s Honor Choir until the choral program was discontinued. She now heads a student-run Chorus Club, leading the club in performances at Town Council meetings and nursing homes. White has sung with RICC for six years and was part of a treble choir on the Providence Singers’ recording of Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living. She also participated in Bill Harley’s upcoming album and sang the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Rhode Island Civic Choral and Orchestra. She participated in the Music Institute at Rhode Island College in 2015 and in the Vocal Institute at Westminster Choir College in 2017. A regular participant in All-State choirs, White was selected to perform a solo aria in the 2017 RIMEA Honors Recital.
Soprano Alexandra Nichols has been studying classical piano and violin for seven years at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. She plays violin in the Philharmonic’s Youth Orchestra, often as concertmaster, and performs with several chamber ensembles. She has also performed violin solos with RICC and other ensembles. Nichols has sung in RICC since she was 8 years old and in the youth and adult choirs at her church, where she is also in training as the assistant organist. She enjoys sharing her music through a volunteer program for special-needs and elderly individuals.
Alto Taylor Conner is a senior at Pilgrim High School in Warwick, R.I. She has been singing in choirs since the fifth grade and studying voice privately since since she was 12. Conner has been a member of her school’s Concert Choir and the Chorale for four years. She also participated in the school’s women’s chorus and jazz choir. She has been a member of Rhode Island All-State choirs for the last three years and was selected for the NAfME 2017 All-Eastern treble ensemble, which took place in Atlantic City her junior year. Conner attended a five-week performance-based program at Berklee College of Music in Boston, studying theory, musicianship, performance, and ensemble skills. She recently became a part of the RICC Honor Choir and Chamber Chorus. She plans to major in music education in college.
Alto Natalie Hartsfield is a senior at Cumberland High School. For the last five years, she has been a member of RICC, singing in the Honor Choir and Chamber ensembles. She is active in her school’s music department with leadership positions in the Select Chorus and the Music Honor Society and has auditioned and performed with the Rhode Island All-State ensembles. Hartsfield intends to continue her interest in music while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute for aerospace engineering in the fall.
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 needed to be more strongly supported, including increased levels of choral music appreciation for performers and audience. The Fassett Fellows program identifies highly talented young singers 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 Orchestra. 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.
Of Sea and Sky — Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11
Music inspired by the power and majesty of the natural world.
A Night at the Opera — Saturday, May 19
A glorious journey through the world of opera, done up in fine formal style as a gala concert to benefit choral education and performance.
Concert information and tickets are available at providencesingers.org or by calling the Providence Singers office at 401-751-5700.