Honoring the Dead April 3, 2016

Colorado Chamber Orchestra

Thomas A. Blomster, Music Director

Voices West

Michael Todd Krueger, Music Director

Program: Honoring the Dead

In Memoriam (2014) by Richard Burchard (Colorado premiere)

Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Our last concert of the year features a heavy double-hitter lineup: Mozart’s enduring Requiem plus the west of the Mississippi premier of Richard Burchard’s “In Memoriam”, a modern mass with sacred text from the traditional Latin as well as poems by Christina Rosetti and Rainer Maria Rilke. Mr. Burchard is in increasing demand for commissions and workshops domestically and abroad; an all Burchard concert is slated for a Carnegie Hall premier in 2017. Colorado audiences have the opportunity to experience the music of this extraordinary self-taught composer ahead of audiences in New York City.

WHEN: Sunday, April 3, 2016, 2:00 PM

WHERE: Main Stage Theatre, Arvada Center for the Arts, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd, Arvada, Colorado 80003-9985

TICKETS: $30 Reserved Seating. http://arvadacenter.org/on-stage/cco-honoring-the-dead-2016. Student tickets (with ID): $12.00, not available for online purchase, please call the Box Office at 720-898-7200 to purchase. Please call for group sales.


AmyMaplesAmy is a Tennessee native who currently resides in Denver, CO, with her new husband and furry child. Quickly gaining a reputation for her crystalline coloratura, relentless high notes, and witty theatrics, Amy compels audiences with her fearless artistry and attention to detail. Performing with such orchestras as the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Brevard Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra Kentucky, among others, Amy is making her mark as a respected concert soloist as much as an operatic performer. On the opera stage, Amy performs leading roles with Opera Theatre of the Rockies, Opera Colorado, Loveland Opera Theatre, Boulder Opera, Flatirons Opera, and The Ohio Light Opera. Possessing a special talent for all things florid, her favorite roles include Cunegonde in Candide, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Thérèse in Les Mamelles de Tiresias, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Dorinda in Orlando, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Tuptim in The King and I, Cosette in Les Miserables, and Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Of her performance as Irma/Musette in the Ohio Light Opera’s revival of Herbert’s The Fortune Teller, Todd B. Solis of Opera News said: “A star vehicle needs a star, and Ohio Light Opera has one in Amy Maples. Maples’ soprano is supple and rich, her pitch true, her dictation and comic timing spot-on.” An extremely versatile performer, Amy was named a semifinalist in the 2012 American Traditions Competition after dazzling audiences and judges with selections from the jazz, gospel, pop, opera, musical theater, and art song repertory. Other recent honors include performing as a Regional Finalist in the 2012 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Amy placed 5th in the Denver Lyric Opera Guild 2015 Annual Competition and was the 2014 recipient of the Pike’s Peak Opera League Career Grant Award. Amy received her MM in Voice Performance from Florida State University where she studied with tenor Stanford Olsen, after receiving her BM in Voice Performance at Lee University in her home state of Tennessee.

LEE ANN SCHERLONG, Mezzo soprano

IMG_1139Mezzo soprano Lee Ann Scherlong has been a featured soloist and performer in Denver and throughout the region, most notably appearing with the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Arvada Center Chorale, the Omaha Chamber Orchestra, the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra, the Larimer Chorale, the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and the Colorado Music Festival. At home both in opera and musical theatre, regional theatre performances include appearances with Performance Now, Union Colony Dinner Theatre, Spotlight Theatre Company and the Platte Valley Players as well as with Opera Fort Collins, University of Northern Colorado Opera Theatre, and Augustana Arts. Music directing/conducting credits include Ragtime, Nunsense, Spamalot, Side by Side by Sondheim, Seussical, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Jane Eyre and Titanic, the later receiving an Ovation award nomination and a Marlowe award. Lee Ann received her Masters of Music in performance and choral conducting from Colorado State University and completed doctoral coursework at the University of Northern Colorado in Vocal Performance and Opera Directing. Lee Ann feels blessed and honored to perform tonight.


Brian StinarA native of Estherville, Iowa, tenor Brian Stinar has received critical acclaim for his “powerful vocal artistry” and his “engaging stage presence”. He has sung over 25 leading roles including Rodolfo in La Bohème, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Canio in I Pagliacci, and Manrico in Il Trovatore. Equally at home on the concert stage, Stinar is heard in many pops concerts and oratorios ranging from Handel’s Messiah to Verdi’s Requiem. The tenor is currently a Resident Artist in voice with Denver School of the Arts and holds his Masters degree from the University of Oklahoma where he was a Hoving and Benton-Schmidt scholar and studied in the studio of Salvatore Champagne. In Stinar’s early training he also performed Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor as a member of the Apprentice Artist Program for Singers with the Santa Fe Opera and was a finalist in the International Meistersinger Competition and toured in five orchestral concerts during his studies in Graz, Austria with the American Institute of Musical Studies.  Stinar is also a proud alumni of both Waldorf and Wartburg Colleges.  The Pikes Peak Arts Council awarded Stinar the “2006 Best Solo Classical Music Performance” for his role as Calaf in Turandot and he garnered praise from Gazette critics, who remarked that “Stinar’s ringing tenor brought Calaf vividly to life”. Stinar most recently received a Bobby G award from the DCPA for his musical direction of Hairspray.


Thomas SitzlerTom Sitzler, Lyric Baritone, has had a varied background growing up, from being an Eagle Scout, to earning a black belt in Judo.  Growing up in Arizona and being the youngest of three boys from a very musical family, Tom found classical music and it became his passion.  In 2009, Mr. Sitzler stepped into the professional arena of performing as the Old Gypsy in “Il Trovatore” with Union Avenue Opera.  Among other programs and performances, Tom participated in the Victoria J. Mastrobuono Emerging Artist Program, in New Jersey, covering Figaro in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”.  Most recently, Mr. Sitzler was heard singing the title role from Argento’s opera “The Boor” with Gateway Opera, where Mark Bretz from Ladue News said, “As the boor, Tom Sitzler proved his own skills both with his strong singing style and a good way with comedy.” Performances for the 2015-2016 season include Verdi’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis.  Mr. Sitzler also loves teaching voice and piano and is on faculty at Denver’s Forté Academy of Music.


Richard BurchardRichard Burchard is Executive Composer in Residence and Associate Professor of Music at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky where he served as Department Chair for twelve years. He teaches courses in Music Theory and Composition, Music Technology, and World Music. Having taught for several years in study abroad programs in Salzburg, Austria and South Africa his current efforts include developing and organizing international tours and immersion programs for the Bellarmine University Music Department.

Burchard is an award-winning composer, scholar and educator. He was named the Kentucky Music Teachers Association 2008 Commissioned Composer and has served as composer-in-residence for a number of choirs, including the University of Kentucky, Louisville Vocal Project, Voces Novae Louisville, St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church and The Cathedral of the Assumption.

Burchard’s music includes over fifty commissioned works for choir. His choral works have been performed worldwide with premiers at many ACDA, NCCO and state music educator conferences. International premiers include Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, China, Korea and South Africa. In 2014, The Richard Burchard Choral Series was launched with the release of Bright is the Ring of Words, commissioned for the ACDA Western Division 50th Anniversary. Burchard’s published works are with Gentry Publications, Pavane Publishing, National Music Publishers, H.T. FitzSimons Company, and Hinshaw Music.

In Memoriam is Burchard’s first large scale work for Choir and Orchestra. His second, The Seven Last Words of Christ, will be premiered on April 28, 2016, by the University of Southern Mississippi Southern Chorale and Orchestra in Hattiesburg, MS.

Burchard stays active as a clinician and guest conductor. He is also the founding director of PROTUS, a professional male chamber choir specializing in early works before 1700 and contemporary choral music.

Visit www.richardburchard.com and www.soundcloud.com/richardburchard-1 for more information and samples of his music.

MICHAEL TODD KRUEGER, Voices West Director

Michael Todd KruegerAfter a distinguished teaching career at the college and university levels, Michael Todd Krueger has dedicated himself to the cause of the adult, avocational singer and to singing as a life-long proposition. Krueger currently serves as conductor and music director for two of the most prominent auditioned community choruses along the Front Range of Colorado: the 120-voice Larimer Chorale in Fort Collins (located 60 miles north of Denver), and the 70-member Voices West (formerly the Littleton Chorale, based in the south metropolitan Denver area). Krueger is also director of the Adult Choir and minister of music at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Arvada, Colorado and he maintains an active voice studio specifically for adults. Through these endeavors, he has become known for his inspiring musical leadership and a uniquely healthy approach to ensemble singing for adults.

A versatile conductor, comfortable in both instrumental and vocal media, Krueger’s recent conducting opportunities have included the following major works: Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, the Vivaldi Gloria, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major, the Requiem by Maurice Duruflé, Orff’s Carmina Burana, The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn, Handel’s Messiah and the Mass of the Children by John Rutter.

Dr. Krueger earned the Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Luther College and the Master of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley (UNC). He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting and literature from the University of Illinois. He has served on the music faculties of Ithaca College, Morningside College, Millikin University, and the University of Wyoming.

Krueger is a former resident member of the Grammy Award-winning Robert Shaw Festival Singers, having performed in concert and recording sessions with the legendary, late Maestro Shaw as part of a month-long residency in southern France, at Carnegie Hall, and at the ACDA National Convention in San Antonio, Texas. He has also performed with the Grammy-nominated UNC Axidentals Vocal Jazz Sextet directed by hall of fame jazz educator, Gene Aitken. He has conducted all-state, honor choir, and choral festival performances for singers of all ages throughout North and South America and Europe and has led numerous concert tours to the many cultural centers of Europe.


VoicesWest2015Voices West, Chorus of the Colorado Front Range, was founded as the Littleton Choral Society by Bud Nicholson in 1978. Through the vision of six different directors and several changes of name, Voices West is now one of the largest and most respected auditioned choral organizations in the Denver metro area.

The chorus draws singers and supporters from the Colorado Front Range including Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Castle Rock and Denver. Performances take place throughout the southwest Denver metro area, and are generously supported by SCFD grants from Arapahoe County, Douglas County and Jefferson County. Voices West frequently collaborates with other music ensembles including the Colorado Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Wind Ensemble and Young Voices of Colorado. Recent performances have included John Rutter’s Mass of the Children, the Mass in C Major by Beethoven, the Duruflé Requiem and Celebrations by Vincent Persichetti.

Current music director and conductor, Michael Todd Krueger, continues the exciting tradition of performing great choral music for Colorado audiences.