GWU Presents Faculty From West Virginia in Collaborative Recital

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Distinguished Artists Series Features Noted Soprano, Tenor, Pianist and Oboist

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Faculty from West Virginia University in Morgantown will present a collaborative recital at 8 p.m. Oct. 17 in Blanton Auditorium, located in Hamrick Hall on the main campus. Presented by the Gardner-Webb School of Performing and Visual Arts Department of Music, the concert is part of the Distinguished Artists Series and is free and open to the public. The featured performers are Hope Koehler, soprano, Rob Chafin, tenor, James Douglass, piano, and Cynthia Babin Anderson, oboe.

photo of Hope Koehler, soprano
Hope Koehler, soprano

Hope Koehler, whose voice has been heralded as having “the richness of Marilyn Horne at the bottom and the clarion clarity of Leontyne Price at the top” has appeared with opera companies and orchestras all around the country. She is currently associate professor and coordinator of Voice Studies at West Virginia University. Koehler has performed as a soloist in oratorio and other choral orchestral works including Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Verdi’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and many others. In addition, she is a member of the voice faculty at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria.

photo of Rob Chafin
Rob Chafin, tenor

Tenor Robert Chafin has earned international acclaim for his drama and versatility on the opera and concert stages. The Virginia native debuted in Europe in La boheme and then received ensemble engagements with the National Theater in Mannheim, followed by the State Theater of Freiburg, following with the State Opera of Hannover. Chafin is also establishing himself as an educator. In addition to his 2012-2013 appointment as a visiting assistant professor of voice at Virginia Tech, Chafin joined West Virginia University’s voice faculty in the School of Music in 2015.

photo of Cynthia Babin Anderson, oboist
Cynthia Babin Anderson, oboist

Cynthia Babin Anderson, professor of oboe and music theory, received her Master of Music degree from The Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she studied with Joseph Robinson and Tom Stacy. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., studying with Ray Still. She performed as principal oboe with Mexico City Philharmonic, and has performed with orchestras in Italy, Mexico, New York, and Pittsburgh. She has performed at several international conferences with the Aiolos Collective, a double reed ensemble of international musicians.

photo of James Douglass, pianist
James Douglass, pianist

James Douglass, professor of collaborative piano and auditions coordinator for applications to the Accompanying and Chamber Music degree program, has been involved in diverse genres including chamber music, vocal arts, opera, choral arts, symphonic repertoire, jazz, cabaret, and musical theater. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and the Doctor of Musical Arts in collaborative piano from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he was a student of Dr. Alan L. Smith. Douglass and Koehler completed an album of John Jacob Niles songs which was released on the Albany label in 2008.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4264 or email with your request.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at