Sharon Byrne Wins Top Honors at Minuetto Music Festival
SHARON BYRNE AND JUDY MARCHMAN WIN TOP HONORS
AT MINUETTO MUSIC FESTIVAL
Sharon Byrne and Judy Marchman were named the Milton Cross Young Artist winners at last night’s performance, the first in the series of three concerts which made up this year’s Minuetto Music Festival: Milton Cross Young Artist Showcase, Judy Kang in Concert and the Minuetto Finale Concert. The Young Artist winners were announced by Mayor Ellen Dixon with presentation of crystal awards by Festival Co-Chairs Janet Whitman and Lyle Brehm.
Sharon Byrne is the mezzo-soprano soloist and alto section leader at Calvary Episcopal Church in Summit. She has actively participated in Calvary’s concert series over the years, and her many oratorio performances as a soloist with Calvary and with several local concert series include Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, as well as Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat, Bach’s Mass in B Minor, Bach’s St. John Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, and Verdi’s Requiem. Sharon completed her graduate studies at Shenandoah Conservatory where she earned her Master of Music Education. She is currently studying voice with Dr. Christopher Arneson of Westminster Choir College and coaches with Ms. Pamela Gilmore of Rutgers University.
Judy Marchman is a soprano from the University of Miami. Her voice is a delicate blend of rich and ethereal beauty. She has appeared in Britten’s Albert Herring, Menottti’s The Consul, in Milhaud’s Les Malheurs d’Orfee, and in Verdi’s Falstaff. Currently studying for her DMA, she teaches applied voice, opera theater and diction. Her upcoming performances include Rutter’s Magnificat and Gorecki’s Symphony No. 3, Sorrowful Songs, and Mozart’s Requiem.
The Milton Cross Young Artist Competition was named for American radio announcer Milton Cross. He was best known as the voice of the Metropolitan Opera, hosting its Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts for 43 years. His distinctive voice conveyed the excitement of live performances “from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City” for generations of radio listeners. According to Janet Whitmen, his grandniece, Mr. Cross was dedicated to promoting the careers of young performers and she was pleased that the Minuetto Festival named the young artist program in his memory.
Rising Star Award Winners were Erica Papillion-Posey (Colorado), Sara Noble (NJ), Jenne Carey (NJ) Craig Sanphy (NH), Shannon E. Hunt (NJ), Stanley Wilson (MA),Hope Osborn (NJ). The Emerging Artist Award Winners were Michelle Repella (NJ),Jamie Leonard (Indiana) and Laura Ann Heckman (NY)
The Minuetto Music Festival was sponsored by The Grand Summit Hotel which hosted a post-concert reception for the artists and guests. In addition, support came from Investors Bank, Overlook Medical Center, Hilltop Bank, Peapack Gladstone Bank and Somerset Hills Bank and private donors. The Festival was produced by the Continuo Arts Foundation, under the direction of Dr. Candace Wicke and Dr. Beverly Coulter of the Riunite Opera in Miami, FL.
Continuo Arts offers an intergenerational choral music program for ages 6 to past 60 September to May and a Summer Musical Theater Conservatory July 2-21, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, and a “Voices Rising Showcase” For more information call 908.264-5324 or visit www. continuoarts.com.