Cantate Young Artists of Color Presents:
Revelations in Concert: Composer Ronald “Trey” Walton
Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Bethesda Presbyterian Church
7611 Clarendon Road, Bethesda
Cantate Young Artist of Color composer Ronald “Trey” Walton presents a recital of his own works, created and refined while in residence with Cantate. Joined by collaborators Andre Leonard (piano), David Lonkevich (flute), Brian Thorne (tenor), Daniel J. Smith (baritone), and Cara Schaefer (mezzo-soprano), Trey offers works characterized by his signature lush harmonies, blending classical traditions with jazz and gospel in a style that’s uniquely his. Hear his varied vocal and instrumental works ranging from his “Festive Toccata for Organ” (played by the composer himself!), to a duet for baritone and tenor on contemporary family themes, to excerpts from vocal suites based on familiar spirituals “Motherless Chile” and “No Man Can Not Hinder Me.” Join us in support of a fearless young voice on the musical scene whose wide-reaching influence at only 21 foretells a brilliant future.
Meet the Artists
Ronald Art Walton III, a sought-after musician in Washington DC, excels as a composer, arranger, organist, pianist, and conductor. He captivates audiences with his versatile compositions across various genres, while also inspiring aspiring musicians as an esteemed instructor at the National Conservatory of Arts. Ronald’s deep connection to music is evident through his role as an organist at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and as the Director of the CAAPA Jazz Ensemble. He achieved critical acclaim for composing the opera Voices of Zion for Alliance for New Music-Theatre and continues to expand his musical horizons as a keyboard performance major. Ronald’s exceptional talent and dedication have shaped his career under the guidance of renowned educators, and he actively contributes to the music community as a board member and founder of the Bleu Opera Company.
Andre Leonard is a dynamic and accomplished pianist, conductor, and music director, with a diverse range of experiences that speak to his passion for music and dedication to his craft. In 2022, Andre was honored to add the Gold Medal from the Boston International Piano Competition to his Gold Medal from the 2017 Aloha international piano competition, cementing his reputation as one of the foremost pianists of his generation. He is known for his work as Music Director for the installation of the Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune statue in the U.S. Capitol, as the conductor for the iconic Howard Theater production “The Return of Jakie Mom’s Mabley,” and as an Artist in Residence at the Kennedy Center and the Kettering Legacy Center. He is committed to serving diverse audiences with varied and groundbreaking works, acting as Music Director for Adventure Theater and the CAPPA Chorale and as vocal coach and pianist for the world premiere opera “On the Road to Arivaca” with Alliance for New Music-Theatre. Andre can be heard regularly as a recitalist for the Washington Piano Society and an Artist in Residence for the Friday Morning Music Club.
David Lonkevich is principal flute of the Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, plays with the Maryland Lyric Opera Orchestra has also performed frequently with the National Symphony, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra the Baltimore, Mid-Atlantic, Harrisburg and Alexandria Symphonies. He is also a member of the Third Millennium Ensemble and performs solo and chamber music frequently. His undergraduate and graduate studies were at the Manhattan School of Music and his primary teachers include Baxtresser, Baker, Parloff. He teaches at the Washington Conservatory of Music and his private studio and is also a frequent adjudicator, clinician and ensemble coach throughout the region.
A native of Washington D.C., mezzo-soprano Cara Schaefer is recognized for “the kind of singing which is consummate in its power to communicate authentically” (DC Metro Theater Arts). She is known for her “wonderfully funny” portrayal of Ruth in Young Victorian Theatre Company’s The Pirates of Penzance, as well as her “sexy, transcendent” interpretation of title role in Le Cabaret de Carmen, with IN Series; Angela (Chateau Margaux), and Elena (El Barbero de Sevilla) with Teatro Lirico of DC; Mother (Hansel and Gretel) with Opera NoVa; and numerous appearances in the ensemble of Maryland Lyric Opera. Cara premiered the roles of Wo-Man Ray in Caesar and the Mannequin and Mary Billings in Voices of Zion with Alliance for New Music-Theatre and has appeared as a soloist in Capitol Hill Seventh Day Adventist Church’s Messiah, as well as Cantate’s Mozart’s Requiem (2020) and Lord Nelson Mass (2022). Ms. Schaefer is a two-time winner of the Maryland/DC chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Auditions and a Grand Prize winner of the Sue Goetz Ross Memorial Competition. She is Executive Director of both Cantate and Bel Canto in Tuscany, and she teaches voice privately in the DC area.
Daniel J. Smith is a multi-talented artist, professor, and entrepreneur. As a performer Smith has performed both nationally and internationally. He has studied for three summers in Italy with the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival. Most recently, Smith appeared as Dewain in I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky with IN Series. Smith also appeared as Shango in the debut of Oshun with The Washington National Opera, and his is a company member of Alliance for New Music-Theatre. Outside of performing, Smith is a professor at Howard University in the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. Smith has also served as a music director for several children’s theaters in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Daniel J. Smith has a passion and love for sharing his gifts and helping others to discover and cultivate their own. He received his Bachelor of Science in Music Business from Winston-Salem State University with a concentration in marketing and merchandising. Smith is also a proud alumnus of George Mason University, with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance.
BRIAN QUENTON THORNE played the title role in the Miami Shores Theatre production of “E-Man,” and he has appeared in “Wanted” at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre, in “Mask” with the Real Theatre Company, in “Where’s Charley?” at the Kennedy Center, in “Great Expectations” at the Folger Theatre, in “Hair” at the Studio Theatre, in “All Night Strut” at the Actor’s Playhouse, in “The Gospel According to Fishman” at Signature Theatre and in U Street to Cotton Club at The In Series. He has sung concerts at the Smithsonian’s Baird Auditorium celebrating Gershwin’s 100th birthday, The Kennedy Center to honor lyricist Yip Harburg and numerous concerts throughout the DMV. His play “Holding Court: Why Black Men Play Basketball” won the Chicago Black Excellence Award.
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