Monday, Mar 15, 2021
A total of seven alumni participated in the award-winning recordings, with many more nominated
by Adam Grybowski
Seven Westminster Choir College alumni were featured in GRAMMY-winning recordings this year.
In the Best Choral Performance category, the GRAMMY Award went to the recording of Richard Danielpour’s oratorio The Passion of Yeshuah, which features the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and Orchestra. Adam Luebke ’04 is chorus master for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, tenor Timothy Fallon ’03 is a soloist, and Ryan Russell Brown ’14 and Stephen Karr ’04 sing in the chorus on the recording.
Additionally, Makeda Hampton ’09 is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in the recording of Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, which took home the GRAMMY in the Best Opera Recording category. Dominic Inferrera '94 and Linda Lee Jones '08 sang in the Experiential Orchestra and Chorus on a recording of Ethel Smyth’s The Prison, which won for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.
The winners were announced at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards ceremony on March 14, which was delayed because of the pandemic. This year’s ceremony was notable as well because, for the first time, a Westminster Choir College graduate participated in each of the five recordings nominated in the Best Choral Performance category.
“Hearty and well-deserved congratulations are in order for all of the outstanding achievements of our GRAMMY-nominated alumni, most notably the winners,” says Dr. Marshall Onofrio, dean of Rider University’s Westminster College of the Arts, which is composed of Westminster Choir College and the School of Fine and Performing Arts. “While brilliant recordings such as these always enrich our lives, the work of our alumni is all the more resonant in this time of great challenge to society and the arts.”
This was a milestone year for Westminster and its nominated alumni, which dominated the Best Choral Performance category.
The Crossing received its sixth nomination for Best Choral Performance for the recording Carthage, an album featuring six pieces by composer James Primosch. Donald Nally ’87 conducts The Crossing, which is composed of many Westminster alumni, including Katy Avery ’18, Ryan Fleming ’93, Steven Hyder ’12, Lauren Kelly ’16, Rebecca Myers ’02 and Daniel Spratlan ’05. The group won the 2018 and 2019 GRAMMY Award in this category.
Soprano Laquita Mitchell ’99 is a soloist on the recording of Paul Moravec’s Sanctuary Road, a nominated oratorio about the Underground Railroad based on the documentary writings of African American civil-rights activist William Still.
On the recording of Alexander Kastlasky’s nominated Requiem, Benedict Sheehan ’01 is the chorus master and Elizabeth Peters Frase ’99 sings with The Saint Tikhon Choir and Madeline Apple Healey '13 sings with the Clarion Choir. Additionally, Charles Bruffy, who serves on the faculty for Westminster’s Summer Conducting Institute, and Joseph Charles Beutel, a CoOPERAtive Program alumnus, are part of this recording.
Chris Jackson ’11, Fiona Gillespie ’10, Madeline Apple Healey '13 and Rebecca Myers ’02 are members of the Skylark Vocal Ensemble, which was nominated for the recording Once Upon a Time.
In addition, Emily Magee ’89 sings the role of Ghita in Deutsche Oper Berlin’s recording of Alexander von Zemlinsky’s Der Zwerg, which was nominated in the Best Opera Recording category.
Westminster Choir College of Rider University is one of the world's leading schools of music. The small, conservatory-style school provides a music-focused education led by world-class faculty that prepares men and women for careers as performers and as music leaders in schools, universities, churches and professional and community organizations.