Glenn McClure’s music has drawn audiences across the US and abroad including multiple performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and featured national broadcasts on PBS’ All Things Considered and the NBC Christmas Special. His most recent work focuses on partnerships with major science organizations including the European Space Agency and the National Science Foundation. His music has become a key part of modern choral literature. He teaches at the Eastman School of Music and SUNY Geneseo.
Steve A. Prince is an artist, educator and art evangelist. His mediums are printmaking, drawing and sculpture. Steve is a native of New Orleans and the crescent city’s rich tradition of art, music and religion pulsate through his work. He uses the language of the line in a rhythmic and powerful way. Steve’s art is inherently narrative and metaphorically complex. He uses a rich, visual vocabulary of signs and symbols to tell stories that express his unique vision founded in hope, faith and creativity.
Bass-baritone George Cordes has sung more than 60 opera roles with companies throughout North America and in Japan, including the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Tampa, Opera Columbus, Opera Grand Rapids, El Paso Opera, Syracuse Opera, the Tokyo City Orchestra, and Teatro de la Opera in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A principal artist with New York City Opera for six seasons, he was featured in consecutive PBS Live from Lincoln Center telecasts of Tosca and La Boheme. Other highlights include the role of Bottom in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Reverend Hale in The Crucible and Nourabad in Les Pecheurs de Perles, both with Opera Boston. Since 2007, George has appeared each summer with Opera By The Bay in Hingham, MA, in opera, operetta, and musical revues. In 2015, he returns there as Ko-Ko in Mikado. Also in 2015, George returned to Boston to sing the role of Master Page in a production of Sir John In Love with Odyssey Opera. In 2011, he gave a “powerful and witty performance” of the title role in Sweeney Todd with Pendragon Theatre in New York and rejoined that company in 2014 in the title role of Man of La Mancha.
Helen Demong serves as the founding director of the Northern Lights Choir after a life-long career of teaching music at Saranac Lake High School. She was a recipient of the 2011 Yale Distinguish Music Educator Award, and continues to bring together singers in Northern Lights Choir that strive to perform diverse genres of music on a mastery level. Helen is noted for collaborating her choirs with guest artists to deepen the roots of the musical arts in the Adirondacks.
Johnna MacDougall is an actress, dancer and musician. She has directed the SOMA BEATS African Dance group since 1985 and has performed in a wide variety of settings, including the Adirondack Folk Opera. In addition to her artistic life, Johnna is the Founder/Director of the Saratoga Wellness Alliance and serves as a massage therapist and massage therapy/yoga instructor.
Elizabeth Cordes, music director of High Peaks Opera, was on the staff of Tri-Cities Opera in Binghamton, NY, for seven years as coach/accompanist for mainstage productions and as director of Opera-Go-Round, the company’s educational-outreach program. With TCO, she accompanied rehearsals and coached singers for numerous operas and also played continuo in performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, L’Elisir d’Amore, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, and other operas. As director of Opera-Go-Round, she brought opera and musical theater to schools throughout upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania.
Kimberly Weems, soprano, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, has lived and worked in the Adirondacks since 1986. She currently serves as the Choral Director and Director of Music Theatre at Lake Placid High School. Her solo performances include Handel’s Messiah, Faure’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and the Adirondack Folk Opera. She serves as organist at the Island Chapel on Upper Saranac Lake. Kim holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of New Orleans and Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.
A two-time medal award winner of the American Traditions Competition, Jorell Williams has been acclaimed by The New York Times for his “magnificent, rich toned” baritone and his comic timing, and is gaining international success on both the opera and concert stages. In the 2014-15 season, Jorell made his professional debuts in the premiere of composer/conductor Matt Aucoin’s Opera Crossing with the American Repertory Theater (directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus), Jennifer Hidgon’s and Gene Scheer’s oratorio Dooryard Bloom with the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, The Orchestra Moves concert series with the Weill Institute of Music and Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, the world premiere of Blue Viola with Urban Arias (directed by Emmy Nominee Tazewell Thompson), and Independence Eve, an opera produced by American Opera Projects’ Composers & the Voice series. This past summer, Jorell joined the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program in productions of La Fille du Régiment, Rigoletto, and the world premiere of Jennifer Cold Mountain.
For more than 20 years Mark Kurtz has been providing Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and the Adirondack region with outstanding fine art, commercial and wedding photography. Mark’s gallery of fine art black and white photography, located in downtown Saranac Lake, boasts hundreds of hand-made prints and also serves as basecamp for his commercial and wedding photography services. He received a BFA from Alfred University and has taught photography in high school, college and workshop environments. Mark is one of the founding members of the Adirondack Artist’s Guild, and is widely recognized as one of the Adirondack region’s preeminent artists.
Northern Lights Choir
The Northern Lights Choir is a multi-generational community choir that rehearses and performs high-quality choral music. This choir was launched in January of 2013 and draws singers from Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Keene Valley, Tupper Lake, Malone, Elizabethtown, Wilmington and all points in-between. Our mission is to actively promote the appreciation and enjoyment of singing in an outstanding mixed choral ensemble, to contribute to the well-being of the community, and to enrich the musical experiences of the Tri-Lakes and surrounding communities. We believe our journey toward creating the Adirondack Folk Opera, starting with this concert version, shares the amazing, transformative power of great music.