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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI’s Concert Choir, N.K. High School Concert Choir to perform at Carnegie Hall under baton of conductor Mark Conley

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KINGSTON, R.I.—May 20, 2009—Mark Conley of North Kingstown, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at the University of Rhode Island, will conduct URI students and others on the main stage of the famed Carnegie Hall on May 23.

Under Conley’s baton, URI’s Concert Choir and North Kingstown High School’s Concert Choir will perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s Te Deum in C Major with the New England Symphonic Ensemble on Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m.

URI students who will perform are Khrystalin Hall of Westerly, Michael Ottaviano of Hope Valley, Linzi Matta of Warwick, Andrew St. George of East Providence, David Crawshaw of Pawtucket, Katie Kleyla of Rumford, Celia Tafuri of North Kingstown, Erin Maughan of North Kingstown, Beth Clarke of Jamestown, Carey Shunskis of Upper Darby, Pa., Bethany Abrahams of West Kingston, Miranda Nero of Cranston, Elise DeFusco of Wakefield, Ryan Cranston of North Kingstown, Katherine Fortuna of Laconia, N.H., Natatia Nugent of Bohemia, N.Y., Devon Morin of Saunderstown, Dominique Vannelli of Johnston, Angelina Carnevale of Warwick, Christina Nasca of St. Albans, Vt., and Christopher Bessin of Newport.

The Rhode Island ensembles, which will also perform Mozart’s Vesperae solennes de confessore, K. 339, with soprano Melissa Zapin, mezzo-soprano Emily Righter, tenor John Rodger, and baritone Markus Beam.

“I am delighted to see Professor Mark Conley, the URI Concert Choir, and the North Kingstown High School Concert Choir featured in this prestigious and historic venue,” says Winifred Brownell, dean of URI’s College of Arts and Sciences, noting that travel costs for the URI students are partially supported by a generous grant from the Richard Beaupre Hope and Heritage Fund.

Other ensembles performing with Conley will be the Meridian Symphony Chorus of Mississippi; Falls City High School Concert Choir, Elmwood-Murdock High School Choir, Murdock, Valley Voices, Scottsbluff, all of Nebraska, and the San Antonio Choral Society of Texas.

Conley, conductor, composer and singer, specializing in modern American and British composers, has led numerous choral ensembles across the country, from large high school festivals to small professional opera groups. He currently supervises URI’s choral program and directs the auditioned Concert Choir and the select chamber ensemble Lively Experiment.

Winner of the Sadie Rafferty Choral Composition Competition, Conley’s choral and instrumental works have been performed throughout the U.S. He has served as stage or music director for numerous theater companies as well as performing as an opera and oratorio soloist.

He has directed or performed with such companies as the Aspen Opera Theater Center, Intermountain Opera, Ocean State Lyric Opera, Papagena Opera, Ocean State Chamber Orchestra and the Bozeman and Butte (Montana) Symphony Orchestras.

He also serves as an applied instructor to choral students in the graduate degree program in conducting performance.

A past president and current board member of the state chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, Conley's music is published by Alliance Music and Earthsongs.