- Artist: JoAnn Callender
- Format: CD
- Release Date:12/25/2007
JoAnn Callender a classically trained soprano has a wonderful ability to change the sound of her voice. If you check her out on myspace.com/joanncallender, you will hear her singing jazz in a low husky voice; you will hear her sing in a high lyric voice, and then you will also hear her sing in a huge soprano voice. In this project, she has fused jazz and Caribbean styles with a beautifully light lyric pop soprano quality. She is one of the treasures of the Bahamas began singing at the age of three. An alumni of Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, and the University of South Carolina, she continues coaching with her husband and accompanist, Lee Callender (myspace.com/leebcallender) with whom she performs locally and internationally in recital, in both pure classical and the fusion of classical and other styles. She has been a musical ambassador on numerous occasions for the Government of the Bahamas, to the United Nations, the Caribbean, Cuba, Canada and various places in the U.S.A. and Europe, and has performed for various heads of government locally and internationally: on October 1985 in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II she sang the role of Sister Josetta in the Bahamian Folk Opera The Legend of Sammie Swain.' composed by E. Clement Bethel. In 1996 she was invited by The Bahamas Tourist Office in London to perform with other Bahamians, Franz Hepburn, (Bass), and Cleveland Williams, (Baritone) as a part of the their Christmas Celebrations. The tremendous success of the first concert led to further concerts in Germany and France until 2001. A seasoned oratorio singer JoAnn Callender has performed the soprano solos in Brahms Requiem, Michael Tippets Child of Our Time, Handels Messiah, the Lord Nelson Mass by Haydn, Schuberts Mass in G and in 2006 added Vivaldis Gloria to the list. As a lover of the art song her repertoire includes composers such as, Barber, Bernstein, Brahms, Cacinni, Debussy, Duparc, Faure, Giannini, Gershwin, Gounod, Liddle, Menotti, McArthur, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss, and Wolf. Her passion, however is to utilize her vocal ability to expose the world to the Folk and Art Songs of the Bahamas. In keeping with her love of Bahamian music both in the Folk and Classical genres she has been guest soloist on three recordings by The Bahamas National Youth Choir under the direction of Mr. Cleophas R.E. Adderley, one of the nations foremost composers and arrangers, singing an art song Nassau Harbor a sensual and rhythmic portrayal of Bahamian life, and an aria When waters swell the dramatic cry of a mother in grief from the Bahamian Opera Our Boys both composed by Mr. Adderley. Another recording with The National Youth Choir has Mrs. Callender singing the romantic Nassau Moon by Timothy Gibson (composer of the Bahamian national Anthem and the grandfather of her husband) an evocative song of longing: and the last of her trilogy with the choir features Mrs. Callender as soprano soloist in Haydns Lord Nelson Mass accompanied by the University of Miami Orchestra under the direction of Mr. Cleophas Adderley. On September 11, 2002, Mrs. Callender performed an all-Bahamian recital at the A.I.D.B. Cultural Center in Washington D.C. This performance was the first of it's kind at the center, and in the world, which hosts performing artist from different member nations in weekly concerts. On July 24th 2002, in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of independence of the Bahamas., the Callenders traveled to London to debut two classical works, composed especially for her: Introspection a song cycle of 10 songs, and Four Words a cycle of 4 songs composed by Bahamian singer and composer, Franz Hepburn. The performance received rave reviews by Malcolm Miller, of Musical Opinion, a classical review magazine in the United Kingdom: He described Mrs. Callender and her husband as a formidable duo, with Mrs. Callenders powerful voice often rising to dizzy heights In July 2004, to celebrate the 275th Anniversary of the Bahamas becoming a parliamentary democracy, Mrs. Callender again performed recitals in London, Wales and Paris, featuring mostly Bahamian songs by Bahamian composers interspersed with Baroque arias and songs, and some English art songs. At the London performance she debuted Franz Hepburns song cycle Five Pertinent Questions, also written for her, which were enthusiastically received. In the July-August issue of Musical Opinion magazine Manus Careys (reviewer) in describing Mrs. Callenders singing of Handel said these were sung in an intimate, almost reticent manner; the Baroque trills and runs delivered with clarity and restrained delicacy. Franz Hepburns song cycle Five Pertinent Questions drew a different side to Deveaux-Callenders artistry enabling her full range to be unleashed: and what a voice came out. Although terse, each song is richly dense with emotional conflicts; each being portrayed with a fiery manner and strong vocal command. About the Bahamian Folk and Art songs Mrs. Callender Deveaux-Callender showed herself to be a generous communicator and an entertaining storyteller. She sang like someone let loose on a wonderful instrument, whose knowledge and enjoyment of her immense vocal range proved infectious. She showed herself well capable at traversing different styles with ease, variety and great control, helped by the obviously close partnership with Lee Callender at the piano. One of the highlighs of 2006 for Mrs. Callender was performing with the world renowned Moscow Solists led by Yuri Bashmet in Mozarts Exultate Jubilate. Mrs. Callender, an avid reader, is also a poet, lyricist, playwright, author and composer. Some of her writings have been featured in the In Tune weekly devotions booklet published by UMI Inc., in Chicago, Ill. At A Bahamian Christmas in New York another Ministry of Tourism event DeVeaux-Callender debuted and performed three of her own compositions Chil We Getting Ready for Christmas, Junkanoo and The Christ Child Was Born in a Manger. JoAnn Callender has been an adjudicator for The E. Clement Bethel National Arts festival for the past three years. Mrs. Callender and her husband also conduct Vocal Workshops and are presently preparing to record solo albums as well as C.Ds on vocal training and singer related topics.
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