On Friday, February 22 at 12:15 p.m., Ferrum College provost and soprano Aimé Sposato, tenor Byron Jones, bassist John Moir, and pianist Robert Thieme will perform A Musical Conversation Between Friends in Vaughn Chapel on the Ferrum College campus. This classical voice recital will incorporate works by Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, and Strauss, and is free and open to the community.
Sposato, of Ferrum College, has performed over 24 operatic roles and over 30 oratorios roles, receiving critical acclaim for performances in major concert halls, recital halls, and cathedrals throughout the world, including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Music Centre in Strathmore, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur Cathedrals in Paris, Basilica di San Marco in Venice, the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican in Rome, St. Stephen’s in Vienna, the National Concert Hall in Budapest, and the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague. Sposato joined the leadership team of Ferrum College as provost in July 2017 and holds a faculty appointment as professor of music, voice.
Jones, of Shenandoah University, has more than two decades experience in opera, concert, and recital in locations such as the Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Millennium Stage. He is a singer and stage director, and has performed with the Washington Opera, Baltimore Opera, Opera Vivente, and Florentine Opera. He carries an affection for French cabaret songs and visits Schroon Lake in New York during the summer months to instruct at the Seagle Music Colony, a top training program for opera. Jones currently serves as associate professor of music (voice) and chair of the voice division at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University.
Moir, of Bluefield College, has enjoyed singing with the Opera Pacific, Pacific Chamber Opera, Santa Barbara Civic Opera, the Roger Wagner Chorale, and the San Diego Master Chorale. A bit of a comic, he was also a founding member of the San Diego Gilbert and Sullivan Company, which is now the San Diego Comic Opera. His resume includes performances with the Akron Opera, Eastman Chorale, the Colgate University Chorale, and the San Diego Civic Light Opera. He has experience as a performer, singer, conductor, in choir and artistic direction, and now serves as an assistant professor of music and conductor of Bluefield College’s vocal ensembles.
Thieme, retired from West Virginia University, served as the director of the University’s opera theatre, head of accompanying, and coordinator of vocal studies from 1996-2013. He also served as co-artistic director of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. His experience includes conducting and staging opera, operetta, and musical theater productions. Thieme has worked with a number of opera companies, most recently conducting a production of Pagliacci for the Opera Fundación de Panama.
More about Dr. Aimé Sposato: Prior to joining the Ferrum community, Dr. Aimé Sposato served as the associate dean for undergraduate studies and professor of voice at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va. During her 24-year tenure at Shenandoah University, Sposato maintained an active performing career while training young singers in the studio and classroom and was recognized by her peers. She was awarded the Exemplary Teacher of the Year Award.
Sposato received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh; a Master of Music degree from Duquesne University, where she received a graduate fellowship in opera; and served as a graduate teaching fellow in opera throughout her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at West Virginia University. Specializing in music of the 17th and 18th centuries, Dr. Sposato has performed over 24 operatic roles and over 30 oratorios roles in the U.S. and throughout Europe. She refined the art of Baroque Ornamentation for the voice at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Sposato has received critical acclaim for performances in major concert halls, recital halls, and cathedrals throughout the world, including the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Music Centre in Strathmore, Carnegie Hall in New York City, Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur Cathedrals in Paris, Basilica di San Marco in Venice, the Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican in Rome, St. Stephen’s in Vienna, the National Concert Hall in Budapest, and the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague. For some diversion, she was often heard singing the national anthem for the Pirates, Penguins, and NASCAR.
More about Dr. Byron Jones: For more than twenty years, Dr. Byron Jones has performed regularly for Washington, D.C. audiences in opera, concert, recital, and cabaret settings, to include the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Opera House, and Millennium Stage, Lisner Auditorium, and the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He has recorded vintage songs, some from early aviation days, which are on display at the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institute.
Jones has performed Jacques Brel’s songs to critical acclaim and has received praise for tone warmth, expression, and clarity of diction. He has also directed “Riders to the Sea”; “Gianni Schicchi”; “HMS Pinafore”; “Amahl and the Night Visitors”; “Il matrimonio segreto”; “The Old Maid and the Thief/The Secret of Suzanne”; “Scene and Aria, or Mozart’s Impresario, reimagined”; and “Side by Side by Sondheim.”
A specialist of the French language, Jones has given masterclasses at Carnegie-Mellon University, The Hartt School, and Boston Conservatory. He is currently associate professor of music (voice) and chair of the voice division at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. During the summer, he joins the voice faculty at Seagle Music Colony at Schroon Lake in New York, where he works with young singers on artistry and vocal technique. Jones holds degrees in French Language and Literature, and in Vocal Performance, from the Universities of North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Maryland, and from Shenandoah University.
More about Dr. John Moir: Starting off as a chorister with the San Diego Opera, Dr. John Moir has enjoyed a career as a teacher, performer, singer, and conductor with more than two decades of experience in music. He has worked alongside George London, Joan Sutherland, Sherrill Milnes, Richard Leech, Aprile Millo, Beverly Sills, Richard Bonynge, Eduardo Müller, and Theo Alcantara.
Moir’s experience includes performances with Opera Pacific; Pacific Chamber Opera; Santa Barbara Civic Opera; the Roger Wagner Chorale; the San Diego Master Chorale; the San Diego Civic Light Opera; Akron Opera; Eastman Chorale; and the Colgate University Chorale, where he sang solos in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” He was a founding member of the San Diego Gilbert and Sullivan Company, now known as the San Diego Comic Opera. Moir also enjoyed time as artistic director with a semi-professional chorus called CORO!, which performed with Minnesota Sinfonia, Dakota Valley Symphony, and the MacPhail Center for the Arts’ Chorus “Sonomento.” Moir now serves as assistant professor of music and conductor of Bluefield College’s vocal ensembles.
More about Mr. Robert Thieme: Robert Thieme retired from West Virginia University as Professor Emeritus after teaching for 29 years. He served as the director of the WVU Opera Theatre, head of accompanying, and coordinator of vocal studies from 1996-2013. Thieme has served as coach and accompanist for many singers and instrumentalists throughout the United States and Europe. His experience also includes conducting and staging opera, operetta and musical theater productions. He has taught classes in vocal repertoire and vocal diction. In 2008 he retired as co-artistic director of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria after serving on the faculty for 21 years. Thieme was a frequent keyboardist with the Wheeling Symphony and accompanied all operatic productions of the West Virginia Symphony. He has worked with a number of opera companies and most recently conducted a production of “Pagliacci” for the Opera Fundación de Panama.