Cleveland School of the Arts Choirs – William B. Woods, director
Carter-Woods Chorale (CSA Alumni) – Angelo D. Johnson, director
Program to include songs of Schubert, R. Strauss, Bachelet, Mark Fax, Leslie Adams and choral works of Jeffery Ames, R. Nathaniel Dett and Moses Hogan.
Kisma Jordan, soprano, a native of Detroit, is emerging as one of the country’s most luminous vocal talents. On the opera stage as well as in concert and recital, she has been recognized for her soul-stirring communicative ability and “shimmering soprano voice,” as noted by New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini. She has won top prizes in The Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Vocal Competition, The Belcanto Vocal Scholarship, The Baltimore Music Club, The National Association of Teachers of Singing, and as a semi-finalist of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, she has been privileged to receive gracious Education Fund Awards from the Met. In 2011, Ms. Jordan was awarded the A. Grace Lee Mims Vocal Scholarship by the Cleveland Foundation. She also made solo debuts with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra as part of their Masterworks Series, followed by the Louisiana Philharmonic. Her most recent performances include Nedda in Repertory Opera Theatre of Washington’s production of Pagliacci, and Anne Trulove in the Baltimore Lyric Opera production of The Rake’s Progress, of which Tim Smith of The Baltimore Sun expressed, “Kisma Jordan steals the show, vocally, as Anne Trulove with her truly lovely soprano. She sounds wonderful in the house, the tone ripe and well-supported, the phrasing lively, the diction superb. I can’t prove any great powers of prognostication, but I sure do feel there’s a good chance we could all be hearing more from this singer in time.” As winner of the Sylvia L. Green Voice Competition, this fall Ms. Jordan performed Strauss’s Vier letze Lieder (Four Last Songs) with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra. She is also set to make her solo debut with the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, followed by a return home for performances with the Detroit Symphony in their annual Home for the Holidays Concert Series. Ms. Jordan began her undergraduate studies at Kentucky State University, where she was awarded a full academic and vocal music scholarship. Although not a vocal performance major upon entering KSU, her love of music, private vocal studies, opera theatre involvement and concert choir activities proved too strong a passion to ignore. She earned the Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2004, and now holds graduate degrees in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University and most recently, Peabody Conservatory.
A native of Seoul, Korea, YunKyung Choo graduated from Yewon Middle School and the Seoul Arts High School where she studied with renowned Choong-mo Kang and Hye-jeon Lee. At the age of 12, she gave her debut public solo recital at the prestigious Kum-ho Arts Hall as part of the Prodigy Concert series. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Dae-gu Philharmonic Orchestra, the Korea National University of Arts Orchestra, and the Kang-nam Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Choo has appeared in the Young Musicians Concert series in Seoul. Ms. Choo has received many international awards from esteemed competitions in South Korea and the U.S. Most Recently, Ms. Choo made her U.S. debut at the Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center with the Juilliard Orchestra under maestro James Colon. Ms. Choo holds a Bachelor and Master of Music from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio. Currently, she is pursuing post-graduate studies with Yong Hi Moon at the Peabody Conservatory (Baltimore, MD).
William B. Woods, director of vocal music, conducts the Intermediate Concert Choir, JazzArt Ensemble and the R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir at the Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA). He is originally from Gadsden, Alabama, and received his training from Tennessee State University and Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve University). His distinguished career spans more than four decades, during which time he has become one of the most respected choral directors in this country. The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) conferred upon him the Honorary Doctorate of Music degree at its 74th Commencement Ceremony in 1999. The Dett Choir enjoys national recognition and has enhanced the reputation of the school by establishing a model of excellence in performance. This accomplishment motivated the Women’s City Club of Cleveland to name Cleveland School of the Arts the sole recipient of the prestigious 1996 Cleveland Arts Prize, breaking a 35- year tradition of honoring individual artists in various disciplines. Local church performances by the choirs include Church of the Covenant, Trinity Cathedral, First Unitarian Church of Shaker Heights, St. John’s Cathedral and Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ (ART concert series). Additionally, the choirs have performed in Saitima (Japan), Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck (Austria), Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Allegheny College (Meadville, PA), Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College and several times in Severance Hall.
Joanne Poderis, piano, serves as accompanist for the CSA choirs and instrumentalists. In addition to her duties at CSA, she serves as Executive Director/Accompanist for the Western Reserve Chorale, and is the accompanist for the Choral Arts Society and Chagrin Valley Choral Union. Ms. Poderis is also organist at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Angelo D. Johnson, Jr., director, Carter-Woods Chorale, is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts Vocal Music department. He has performed with various vocal ensembles and orchestras nationally and internationally, which include the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Baltimore Symphony Chorus. He has also performed with various opera companies but most recently, The Opera Company of Philadelphia and The Dayton Opera. Johnson toured and performed as a bass soloist and chorister with the late Moses Hogan and his internationally acclaimed Moses Hogan Chorale. Angelo holds his Bachelor of Arts in voice from Wilberforce University and is currently finishing the Master of Arts degree in voice from Morgan State University.
ABOUT CLEVELAND SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
Andrew Koonce, principal | Kendra Holloway, assistant principal | Tony Sias, artistic director
Cleveland School of the Arts (CSA), of the Cleveland Municipal School District (CMSD), offers pre-professional training in the arts, as well as college-preparatory academic instruction, to students in grades 6 – 12. CSA is striving to become a national leader among public schools that offer specialized training in the arts. In 2001, CSA was one of only five schools nationwide to receive a $1.25 million grant under the Talented Students in the Arts Initiative, a collaboration of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Surdna Foundation. In 2005, Friends of Cleveland School of the Arts (FCSA) completed a five-year matching campaign that established a $1.5 million endowment to support CSA programs.
The Friends of CSA (FCSA) is a [501 (c) (3)] non-profit organization in partnership with the Cleveland Municipal School District to support the bold vision of a premier 21st century creative, visual and performing arts school of choice in University Circle – Cleveland, Ohio. Simply stated, our goal is a new facility in University Circle.
Here are several components of the new arts school project:
- achieve an award winning teaching and learning design model
- utilize state-of-the-art technology and leverage University Circle resources/assets
- create an integrated design equal to, or exceeding, the top five specialty public ‘arts and design’ schools in the United States
This year we must raise $1.5 million to maintain current programming for students and to have the necessary planning funds to launch the new school campaign. Students are admitted to CSA by ‘live’ audition. CSA currently occupies the former Harry E. Davis Jr. High School building (10700 Churchill Rd., Cleveland). To arrange a tour, or obtain additional information regarding admission or membership in FCSA, please call (216) 791.2496, or (216) 421.7690; or e-mail: clevelandschoolofthearts.org.