Shakespeare in word and song – Taconic Hills Drama Club students perform with baritone Keith Spencer and pianist Mark. W. Jones
In a performance at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 1, students from the Taconic Hills High School Drama Club, along with baritone Keith Spencer and pianist Mark W. Jones, will kick off the celebration of National Poetry Month at the Roeliff Jansen Community Library.
The student performers include Ruthanne Cantele, Lori Garrison, Peter Medici and Bryan Thompson. They will recite eight of William Shakespeare’s best loved sonnets. Each of the poems, which were set to music by English composer, Roger Quilter (1877-1953), will then be sung by baritone Keith Spencer and pianist Mark. W. Jones.
The program, a cooperative undertaking of the Drama Club and the Roe Jan Library, was organized by Donna Hilbrandt, faculty drama advisor; Terri Hoffman, the school’s Friends of Shakespeare program coordinator; and Cheryl Jones, chair of the Library’s Musical Programs Committee.
The concert is free of charge and refreshments will be served afterwards. The Library will donate all proceeds from voluntary contributions to support the Taconic Hills Drama Club.
Mr. Spencer began his professional singing career at the University of Miami, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree. He received a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and a second Master’s degree in opera performance from The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Keith made his professional operatic debut with the Virginia Opera Company and has appeared with numerous ensembles, including The Opera Company of Philadelphia, The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Glimmerglass Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Skylight Opera Theater, Greensboro Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Lake George Opera, Ashlawn-Highland Opera, Opera Roanoke and The Philippines National Opera. In November 2009, Keith made his Carnegie Hall solo debut singing two of his original compositions in a program entitled “Christmas Time in the City”.
Mark W. Jones, pianist, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the State Theatre in New Brunswick, NJ. His past work includes the Paper Mill Playhouse, Shakespeare & Company, the Jose Limon Foundation, and Glimmerglass Opera. Mark is a graduate of Rider University and received additional education at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, as well as the Harvard University/John F. Kennedy School of Government.
The Roeliff Jansen Community Library, which is chartered to serve Ancram, Copake and Hillsdale, is located at 9091 Rt. 22 in Copake, approximately one mile south of the light at the intersection of Routes 22 and 23. For information on hours and events, call 518-325-4101, or visit the library’s website at www.roejanlibrary.org.