Meghan Kasanders, soprano, was hailed by Opera News Magazine as “a wonderfully promising, rich dramatic soprano.” She is quickly establishing herself as a rising star in the world of classical music. A 2019 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Kasanders was celebrated by the New York Times as “a soprano who brought a gleaming sound and ample carrying power” to her performances, offering the competition an “authentically Wagnerian sound.” Ms. Kasanders has sung a wide variety of roles on the opera and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Ms. Kasanders holds degrees from Simpson College, Rice University, and The Juilliard School.
Dawn Pierce, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Olean, New York, and currently an associate professor of voice at Ithaca College. She was recently a featured recitalist in the Middlebury Song Festival, and has performed Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s Ninth and Messiah with symphonies throughout the country. On the operatic stage, she has performed Béatrice in Beatrice et Bénédict with Asheville Lyric Opera, Charlotte in Werther with Mobile Opera, and Carmen in Carmen with Opera Ithaca. She is internationally recognized for her top-selling course, How to Sing with The Great Courses.
Gran Wilson, tenor, is a native of Bessemer, Alabama. His career spans more than four decades on four continents. He has sung the leading tenor repertoire with the New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Australian Opera, Netherlands Opera, Opera de Nice, and Opera Frankfurt, to name but a few. He has performed with the Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Symphony, Seattle Symphony, and Trondheim Symphony. He has appeared on CBS Morning News, PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center and NPR’s All things Considered. He has been heard on NPR affiliates throughout the United States, and on the United States Armed Services television network.
In previous years Mr. Wilson has appeared with the Mercersburg Chorus as tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, and Verdi’s Requiem. Professor Wilson has been on the voice faculty of the University of Maryland for 22 years, and is currently the Voice-Opera Division Coordinator.
Thaddeus Ennen, baritone, is excited to make his return to Mercersburg Area Community Chorus. Most recently Thaddeus has performed Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Cedar Rapids Concert Chorale. His active performing schedule includes concerts featuring the newly commissioned song cycle, People of the Land, by Michael Patterson and poetry by James Hearst. This song cycle discusses the lives of American farmers during WWII. Thaddeus has also performed roles with Santa Fe Opera, Des Moines Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, Pensacola Opera, Central City Opera, and Knoxville Opera.
In addition to his active performing career, Thaddeus teaches voice and music at Coe College and Mount Mercy University alongside his private studio. Thaddeus recently graduated from Louisiana State University with his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. He holds a Master of Music degree from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College.
These are the soloists for the April concerts.