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Williamsport Civic Chorus to present ‘Evening at Eisenstadt’

Music fit for a prince

April 22, 2012
By DANA BORICK ( , Williamsport Sun-Gazette

Billed as "music fit for a prince," the Williams-port Civic Chorus will present "An Evening at Eisenstadt" at 3 p.m. April 29 at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 142 Market St.

The concert will include music commissioned by the Eszterhazy family from composers such as Haydn and Beethoven, according to Deb Buckman, publicity chairwoman.

"St. Mark's is wonderful for acoustics," she said.

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The Williamsport Civic Chorus will present “An Evening at Eisenstadt” at 3 p.m. April 29 at St. Mark Lutheran Church, 142 Market St.

Kenneth Sarch, of Mansfield University, will be the concert meister of the full orchestra, which will include local performers, as well as musicians from Mansfield and Susquehanna Universities.

"He will be a true concert meister for this concert," Buckman said. "He will make all the bowing of the string section look alike and mark the music so all the bows go up and down at the same time."

Soloists include Sarah Decker, soprano (Beethoven); Faith Dunkleberger, soprano (Haydn); Amanda Silliker, mezzo soprano; Michael Connor, tenor; and Todd Griffith, bass.

Soloists include:

Sarah Decker, soprano (Beethoven) - Decker is a graduate of the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College. She studied with Marc Lewis, former stage director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and worked with opera singer-recitalist Benita Valente at the Eastman School of Music.

She teaches voice lessons at St. John's School of the Arts and maintains a private home studio. She is a member of First United Methodist (Williamsport), where she sings with the praise band, in an all-female quartet Spoken For, or offers special music.

Faith Dunkleberger, soprano (Haydn) - Dunkleberger graduated from the Crane School of Music. Dunkleberger has had various teaching positions including music at St. Bonifice School. She is pursuing a graduate degree at Bloomsburg University. She is the projectionist at the Cinema Center, a Zumba fitness instructor and sings with the Christ Episcopal Church Choir.

Amanda Silliker, mezzo soprano - Silliker studied vocal performance at Penn State University and is an active local performer. Most recently she sang the Verdi "Requiem" with the combined Penn State choirs and orchestra, Mozart's "Regina Coeli" with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and Vivaldi's "Gloria" with the Civic Chorus.

She also teaches voice and piano in her Bellefonte home and directs The Accidental Chorists, a women's choir specializing in experiential singing.

Michael Connor, tenor - Connor holds a master's degree in education from Bucknell University and served as Dr. William Payn's graduate assistant conductor. He studied in cooperation with the New England Conservatory in the Sarteano Chamber Choral Conducting Workshop in Sarteano, Italy, under the direction of Simon Carrington. He is a music teacher at Central Mountain Middle School and the choir director at Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Todd Griffith, bass - Griffith is the founder and chief technical officer of Discovery Machine Inc. His vocal career started as a student at Bucknell University as a section leader in the Bucknell Rooke Chapel Choir. As one of the founding members of the Bucknell Opera Company, he performed leading roles in Walton's "The Bear", Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitor" and Berstein's "Trouble in Tahiti".

After graduating from Bucknell with degrees in computer science and philosophy, he moved to Atlanta to attend graduate school at Georgia Tech where he received his doctorate in computer science in August 1999. He has performed solos with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra in Amahl, the Williamsport Civic Chorus and the Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra.

Selections include Beethoven's "Mass in C Major," and Haydn's "Mass in the Time of War" and "Finale of Symphony No. 45."

Buckman said the programs are suggested by Ned Wetherald, musical director and organist at State College Presbyterian Church. A pre-concert lecture will be held from 2:30 to 2:50 p.m. with Dr. Gary Boerckel of Lycoming College.

Tickets are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students. For more information, visit



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