Lee University will welcome soprano Jacqueline Culpepper on Thursday, Feb. 22, at 7:30 p.m. as the next guest in its Performing Arts Series. Ms. Culpepper will also hold a masterclass on Friday, Feb. 23, at 2 p.m. Both events will be held in Squires Recital Hall, located in Lee’s Humanities Center, and are open to the public.
The program, centered around poems, folk tunes, and stories of Appalachia, will include readings of poetry, solo piano works, and songs. Ms. Culpepper will perform seven songs from “The Appalachian Songbook” by Kenneth Frazelle. Phillip Bush, pianist, will also perform several songs by Mr. Frazelle, and Linda Edwards Campbell will read poems by Kay Stripling Byer, who served as North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 2005 to 2009.
In 1988, Mr. Frazelle began to compose formal pieces based upon the Southern Appalachian folk music he had heard throughout his life. The tunes upon which these works were based were entrenched in Scottish-Irish traditions of this family, which had resided in Onslow County, North Carolina, for three centuries. Out of the desire to have audiences hear not only these compositions, but the original tunes, grew the inspiration for a folksong book and large scale solo piano composition.
Ms. Culpepper has performed across the United States, Europe, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and Asia. She has more than 85 credits in opera and oratorio, and performed solo concert tours throughout the world with American Voices, a nonprofit organization whose mission has been to further the appreciation and understanding of American music and culture.
According to Ms. Culpepper, one of her favorite performances was a recital in Belgium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Europe and the end of World War II. She has also performed in Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Atlanta’s Symphony Hall, among others. Ms. Culpepper has sung with symphony orchestras, opera companies, and music festivals across the U.S.
As a solo artist and teacher for American Voices, Ms. Culpepper has worked with students all over the world, including a project with young Vietnamese singers from the Saigon Conservatory in preparations for the first performances of American Broadway music in Vietnam.
Ms. Culpepper is in her 16th year as artist associate of voice at Davidson College. She has also served as a visiting professor at Furman University, Meredith College, Gaston College, and Warren Wilson College. Her students have won numerous awards, competitions, scholarships, and many are now working professionally.
Ms. Culpepper holds a Master of Music in vocal performance and literature from Baylor University and a Bachelor of Science in music education from Western Carolina University.
Tickets for the concert are complimentary, but are required due to limited seating and are available at the Dixon Center Box Office, Monday through Friday, 3-6 p.m., one week prior to the concert. The box office can be reached by calling 614-8343. Tickets are also available at https://www.showclix.com/event/jacquelyn-culpepper.