Anne Gross, Melissa Loehnig Simons To Present CMU Recital

Soprano Dr. Anne Gross and pianist Dr. Melissa Loehnig Simons will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, in the Willie Mae Kountz Recital Hall in the Swinney Conservatory of Music on the Fayette campus of Central Methodist University.

Simons is assistant professor of music at CMU, while Gross is assistant professor of music at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Their recital is free and open to the public. Following the recital, Gross will present a master class from 10 a.m.–noon on Saturday, Jan. 21 at CMU that is also open to the public.

Gross has been praised for her exquisite tone, excellent breath control and enjoyable stage presence; and she delights audiences with her musicality and sense of humor.

Titled “La Voix des Femmes,” the recital focuses on female composers of the 19th-21st centuries.  Gross and Simons will jointly perform a program of “Il Silfo” by Maria Caterina Rosalbina Caradori-Allan; “Non t’accostare all’urna” by Carlotta Ferrari; “L’allegro” by Marietta Brambilla; “Er ist gekommen im Sturm und Regen,” “Liebst du um Schönheit,” “Warum willst du and’re fragen,” and “Lorelei,” all by Clara Schumann;

“Mots d’amour,” “Mignonne,” and “Écrin” by Cécile Chaminade; “Sbohem a sátecek” by Víteslava Kaprálová; “Laue Sommernacht,” “Ich wandle unter Blumen,” and “Erntelied” all by Alma Mahler; and “Will there really be a Morning?,” “Over the Fence,” “If I . . . ,” and “They might not need me” by Lori Laitman.

Gross holds a bachelor degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a master’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

She has presented solo recitals and appeared in various concert series throughout the United States. She also joined with pianist Martin Katz to record the audio examples for his book The Complete Collaborator: The Pianist as Partner(Oxford University Press, May 2009).

Gross has performed in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, and Cuba. Recent performances include in South Africa as soloist with the Elizabethtown College Jazz Band, an Oberlin alumnae chamber music tour in New South Wales, Australia, and recitals and master classes at the Riverina Conservatorium in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, the University of Notre Dame, and Eastern Oregon University.

She has served on the voice faculties of Oberlin, Whitman College, Anderson University, the College of Visual and Performing Arts at West Chester University, and Eastern Mennonite University.

Dr. Melissa Loehnig Simons is active as a solo pianist, chamber musician and collaborative performer. She spent five years as staff pianist at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.

She has performed throughout the United States with Choral Arts, a semi-professional chorus based in Seattle, and the University of Washington Chamber Singers. She has also done guest artist work at the Spokane Steinway Gallery, the University of Washington, Eastern Oregon University, and the El Paso Summer Music Festival.  She is featured on two recent CDs, Chimera (Albany Records) and Mornings Like This (Gothic Recording Label).

Simons earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance, graduating with honors from Whiteman College; and her Master of Music degree in Collaborative Piano and her Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance with a focus on collaborative piano, both from Florida State University.

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