NEW BUFFALO — The School of American Music (SAM) sponsored “A Valentine Serenade” on Sunday, Feb. 14, at Converge Community Church in New Buffalo.
“A Valentine Serenade,” was organized by Phil Bauman and featured vocalists Kim Jones, Matt Daniel and Bill McMurray accompanied by Lisa Kristina on piano and Charles Steck on trumpet.
“Our versatile singers are fantastic musicians who connect deeply with their audiences,” said Bauman, program director for the School of American Music.
The Valentines Day line-up of romantic serenades included favorites from “La Boehme,” “Magic Flute,” “Porgy and Bess,” “West Side Story,” “South Pacific” and “Les Misérables,” as well as selections from composers ranging from Handel to Bizet to Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, and Leonard Bernstein.
Profiles of the performers follow:
Matthew Daniel, tenor, is in his twelfth season with the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s chorus. He is a co-founding member of Tenors Three.
Kimberly Eileen Jones, soprano, is an alumna of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has worked with conductors such as Riccardo Muti and Leonard Bernstein and has performed in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Philadelphia Academy of Music and the Spoleto Festival in Italy.
Bill McMurray, baritone, has performed more than 40 operatic roles and as a soloist. He has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Arts Orchestra and has worked with many regional orchestras around the U.S.
Charles Steck, trumpet, teaches at Valparaiso and Andrews universities, Lakeshore High school, Portage High School, and Culver Academy. He has been Principal Trumpet with the La Porte County and Elkhart County symphony orchestras, and a featured trumpet and vocal soloist with the St. Joseph (Michigan) Municipal Band, the Tom Milo Big Band, and the North American Brass Company.
Lisa Kristina, piano, has toured internationally and played keyboard for the Chicago Opera Theater, New Philharmonic Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and Northwest Indiana Symphony.
The SAM Family Concert Series is made possible by a grant from The Pokagon Fund, and donations to the School of American Music. The next concert in the 2021 series, “With A Youthful Spirit,” is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 14 at Converge Church. It will feature the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Musical Ensembles.