The Marian Anderson Historical Society Scholars Program & Foundation
The National Marian Anderson Museum promotes Marian Anderson's beautiful Legacy through displaying unique Exhibitionism and imagery from her life, the society seeks to spread Anderson’s music and humanitarianism throughout the world. In addition to that The National Marian Anderson Museum Scholar Arts Program supports young Classical, Opera, Theatrical , Musical, and Visual Artists from around the world. These artists perform regularly at events that the society sponsors, as they continue to go throughout the world in great prominent positions of success in the Arts. The National Marian Anderson Museum also partners with the Arts Empowerment Project to provide education, development and performance for all Children in the Arts in the Tri-State Area.
Issachah J Savage
Tenor Issachah Savage is a native of Philadelphia who is said to be "one of America's most promising young talents. He is also recognized as the "Golden Tenor. Mr. Savage is a proud alumnus of The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America and of Morgan State University where he worked intensely with the late great, Dr. Nathan Carter. With both dramatic and lyrical qualities; Mr. Savage is taking the opera and concert stage by storm. He has proven to be equally effective in both leading and supporting roles. Most recently Issachah was seen in the role of Mark Anothony in the world primer of Leslie Savoy-Burrs' Opera, Egypt's Nights with Opera North of Philadelphia. Well traveled throughout North America, Europe, and South Africa, Mr. Savage has sung under the baton of some of the world's most respected conductors, including; Kurt Masur, Nathan Carter, Robert Shaw, Peter Nero, Yuri Temirkanov, Moses Hogan, James Caraher, Bobby McFerrin, Marin Alsop and Murry Sidlin. Mr. Savage's concert and oratorio highlights include: Mozart's Requiem, The world premiere concert and recording of Wynton Marsalis' All Rise with the New York Philharmonic; Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn's Elijah, Hailstork's I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, and Nathaiel Dett's The Ordering of Moses all performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Savage is the first "scholar artist" of the Marian Anderson Historical Society.Other accomplishments and awards include; The Philadelphia Pro Arts Scholarship Award, The National Act-So Competition, the National Omega Psi Phi Competition, and the National Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Competition.Issachah was also a featured artist to perform for President Bill Clinton's presidential summit of 1997. Most recently, Mr. Savage was named 1st. place Winner of the National Liederkranz Competition. For his outstanding musicianship, leadership and academic achievement, Mr. Savage was inducted in; Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.Issachah is also the award winner of the James T. Townsend Vocal Arts Award.Issachah also received the Emerging Vocal Arts Competition Award from, The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club.Mr. Savage resides in the Washington, DC area where he enjoys a wonderful performing and teaching career.
The young American Bass Kevin Thompson is rapidly emerging as that rare breed of Basso Profundo possessing a commanding stage presence and a voice with extraordinary range, depth, and color. The excitement his performances generate has captured international acclaim: “A mountain of a voice, with resonance from the Escorial of Philip II, the throne of Boris Godunov, and the majestic court of Sarastro. Thompson delivered all the goods.” (San
Francisco Classical Voice); from The Italian Voice, “…thrilling, huge, cavernous with a full round register and profound interpretive gifts that evoke memories of Paul Robeson and Boris Christoff rolled into one".The 2013-14 season will include several exciting roles such as Mephistopheles, Oroveso, and Ramfis. He will make his South American debut as Mephistopheles in Faust with Fundación Teatro Nacional Sucre in Ecuador and sing return engagements with Knoxville Opera as Oroveso in Norma and Crespel, Schlemil, and Luther in Les Contes de Hoffmann. Additionally, he will sing the role of Ramfis in Aida for the Bob Jones University Opera Series and perform the Verdi Requiem with the Idaho State Civic Symphony. Highlights of the 2011/13 seasons for Mr. Thompson were his role and company debuts with opera Santa Barbara as Ramfis in Francesca Zambello’s production of Aida; debut with Ash Lawn Opera Festival as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte; debuts in he roles of Lodovico in and Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata with Knoxville Opera; and, a debut with Music in the Mountains Summer Festival in California in the Verdi Requiem.The
2010-11 sesason included a return to New York City Opera singing Ned in Treemonisha; a concert with Sarasota Opera; his Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra in the US Premiere of Haggadah shel Pesah
(Passover in Exile) by Dessau; the Verdi Requiem in his debut with the Sacramento Choral Society and Orchestra; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with Queens CollegeChoral Society; Il Commendatore in Don
Giovanni with Shreveport Opera and Mr. Thompson won the Audience Favorite
Prize at the Sun Valley Competition. In 2009-10, Mr. Thompson made his German debut as an ensemble member of Opera Kiel where he performed as Il Re in Aida, Hans Schwartz in Die Meistersinger, covered Méphistophélès in Faust, and concluded the season with critical acclaim at his farewell recital: “He has a voluminous bass with its exquisite overtone-rich timbres and rafter-shaking
sonority.”(Kieler Nachrichten). His Munich debut was at the Gasteig with the Biennale Modern Music Festival in the world premiere of Die
Weisse Fürstin. During the 2008-09 season, Mr. Thompson debuted at New York
City Opera as Martel in Troubled Island and with Augusta Opera as Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd. He was awarded top prizes in 2009 at the Liederkranz Foundation, by the Florida Grand Opera, and with Career Bridges. Mr.
Thompson's other operatic roles have included Sparafucile in Rigoletto,
Il Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Colline in La Bohème, Frank
Maurrant in Weill's Street Scene, Grandpa Moss in Copland's Tender Land, Le Bailli in Massenet's Werther, and the Jailer in Tosca. He has sung under the baton of conductors Julius Rudel, Edoardo Muller, Andreas Delfs, Alexander Kalajdzic, Grant Gershon, Leon Botstien, Mark Flint, Dean Williamson and David Zinmin. Mr. Thompson is at home on both the opera and concert stage. He has appeared in tours throughout Europe and Russia. He has also sung the Bass solos in such choral works as Mozart Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Stravinsky's Les Noces, Haydn's The Creation, and the Lord Nelson Mass. American concert appearances include at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, Barns of Wolftrap, the Pentagon, and with the United States Naval Academy Band. A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Thompson is an alumnus of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Program, The Juilliard School in New York, Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Dramatic Young Voices, AIMS Graz (American Institute of Musical Studies) and Aspen Music Festival. He is the recipient of numerous awards including those from the National Symphony Competition, the Don Giovanni International Competition, the Meistersinger Competition, Marian Anderson Scholar, the Paul Robeson Competition, and the Rosa Ponselle Competition. As a permanent part of the Smithsonian Institute's Hirschorn Gallery in Washington,D.C., Mr. Thompson is featured singing “Old Man River” in an audio walk artwork exhibit entitled Words Drawn in Water by artist Janet Cardiff.
Jillian Patricia Pirtle
Jillian Patricia Pirtle was brought to this world on January 29th in the year of 1983 with a shining star attached to her soul. Jillian is a Philadelphian that has had a great love & passion for the Arts since the tender age of three. Jillian has sparkled in the performing arts as a vocalist, actress, model, dancer and personality. Jillian received her formal training from the High School of Creative and Performing Arts where she majored in Vocal Music Performance and minored in Instrumental Violin and Dramatic Performance. Jillian received her BFA Degree in Musical Theater from the University of the Arts in 2004. While attending the University, Jillian was inducted into the Marian Anderson Society as a Marian Anderson Scholar & Classical Vocalist. With Jillian’s Aspirations and Goals of starring on Broadway, some of the shows that she has been featured are 'Purlie’ (Luttliebelle), 'Ragtime' (Sarah), Thoroughly Modern Millie’ (Muzzy Van Hosmere) 'Hair' (Dionne), 'Ain't Misbehavin' (Nell), 'The Hot Mikado' (Katisha), 'Working' (Maggie Holmes), ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ (Crystal), 'Loves Labours Lost’ (Jaquenetta) and 'Funny House of A Negro' (Funny Lady/Land Lady). On December 11, 2010 Jillian was crowned as the New Miss Black Pennsylvania USA 2011 to represent the great state of Pennsylvania in the National Miss Black USA Pageant Inc. On August 8, 2011 Jillian wowed the National Audience in Washington Dc and brought home two National Titles. Jillian was then blessed with the honor, crown and title becoming the new Miss Pennsylvania Essence 2012. Then on December 16, 2012 was newly Crowned with the title of Miss Pennsylvania Royal Dynasty 2013 as she continued her reign as the Queen of state for Pennsylvania. Jillian continued with her platform of the Arts Empowerment Project and proved victorious as she captured her final title as Miss International Supreme Queen. In January of 2013 Jillian became the Chief Operating Officer of The National Historical Marian Anderson Residence Museum & Society. In addition to all she is and does , Jillian is also the CEO of RoyalOne Productions LLC Entertainment Company and is the Host of the National Arts In Color Television Show . Jillian will be ever dedicated to the growth, development, education and economic success of our citizens and children in the Arts. Jillian believes that the arts are a doorway to the greatest form of self expression that not only transforms the masses minds & hearts but also inspires a generation.
Recognized as a powerful Coloratura Soprano with a unique richness to her voice, Ms. Newberry's career has taken her to great concert halls, opera companies, symphonies, college recital halls, art museums and churches in New York, California, Illinois, Ohio, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi and more as well as internationally in Italy, Germany and Austria. Most recently, she was the featured soloist for LeMoyne Owen College’s 2013 Commencement Exercises. In April of 2012 she performed a recital of opera arias and spirituals with the Germantown Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Ron Vernon, Conductor. A specialist with operatic arias and equally at home with Italian, French Art Songs, German Lieder and the Spiritual Genre, Ms. Newberry began her German Liederabend and Spirituals' Concert tour this past October 2011 at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Memphis, Tennessee. This performance was followed by a Liederabend Recital as apart of the Lyceum Concert Series at Rust College, Holly Springs, Mississippi in 2012. In the fall of 2010, Ms. Newberry sang in Opera Memphis' fabulous opera production of Giuseppe Verdi's, Aida. In 2009, she was apart of an amazing cast of singers in Opera Memphis' very first production of Scott Joplin's, "Treemonisha" and a guest artist at the 2009 Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York. May of 2008 was a busy month for this coloratura. She performed a concert recital at Brown Missionary Baptist Church, Southaven, MS and the role of "Belinda" in an opera scene from Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas", with the Memphis Opera and Song Academy. In November of 2007, after her performance with the Harrell Theater in Elton John's, Aida, A timeless love story, The Commercial Appeal said, "Paula Newberry's, "Nehebka" showed that a professional voice can magnify a small part into a memorable performance." In May 2006, she returned to Opera Memphis as the first soprano in the "Doctor Jesus" scene from George Gershwin's, "Porgy and Bess" and also got the opportunity to perform in a 12 member vocal ensemble with international mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves, at the 50th anniversary Opera Gala of Opera Memphis. She also performed the "Berlioz Requiem" with the Memphis Symphony Chorus. From 2004-2005, Ms. Newberry became the Classical RadioAnnouncer for KASU 91.7 FM at Arkansas State University. Carnegie Hall in New York was the place for her concert debut of "Evening of Opera" combined with "Spirit Moving Spirituals" in 2003 after making her company debut as "The First Spirit" in Mozart's, "Die Zauberflöte in Memphis, TN with Opera Memphis in 2002.Her distinct coloratura soprano voice has toured on concert stages throughout the United States, Italy and Austria in venues such as Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), Sala Pegasus (Spoleto, Italy), San Francisco Bay Area ArtMuseums, The Germantown Performing Arts Center, The Germantown SymphonyOrchestra, The Ebony Orchestra of Excellence, Rust College Concert Auditorium(1991 televised debut), Rhodes College Concert Auditorium, Border's Music,Barnes and Noble, the Junior Leagues of Memphis, Tennessee and Orlando,Florida, The Beethoven Club, Amro Music Auditorium, Benjamin Hooks, Greater Middle Baptist" and manymore performance venues. Her opera roles have included the "Sandman and the Dew Fairy" from Hansel and Gretel, "Gilda" from Rigoletto "Cleopatra" from Giulio Cesare, First and Second Spirits from "Die Zauberflöte" and "Treemonisha" from "Treemonisha", "Clara" from Porgy and Bess, "Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro, choral work in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Lucia di Lammermoor, arias and duets with Opera under the Stars at Como Opera and opera arias for "Guild at the Grille" at Como Opera.
Dorien Belle is honored to be a National Marian Anderson Historical Society Classical Vocal Scholar. He last appeared as Old Deuteronomy in the critically acclaimed revival of “CATS” at the Broadway Theatre of Pitman. Dorien appeared on Off-Broadway in the musical “HAVE A NICE LIFE”, with NPTC at the Lucille Lortel Theater, New York. Prior to that, he toured “HAVE A NICE LIFE” in Scotland, United Kingdom to a sold out tour. Regional Theater credits includes: “THE MUSIC MAN”, “FINIAN’S RAINBOW”, and “CATS” at the Walnut Street Theatre, and “THE FLEA & THE PROFESSOR”, and “SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE” at Arden Theater Company. Other professional credits includes: “LUCKY STIFF” (Vinnie), “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” (Max Detweiler), “MAN OF LA MANCHA” (Padre), “LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS” at the Centre Theater, “A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC” (Count Carl Magnus Malcolm, City Theater Company), “KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN” (Ritz Theatre Company), “RAGTIME” (Coalhouse, Stages). Dorien also originated the role of King Herod on the cast recording of “O’NIGHT DIVINE” with Fun on a Budget Productions. Dorien would like to thank his family and friends for their undying love and constant support.
Praised for her soulful multi-octave sultry voice, Regina A Smith has established herself to be one of Philadelphia’s most admired talents. She has been greeted with exceptional accolades by some of the Nations great Leaders such as President Bill Clinton, the Honorable Reverend Jesse Jackson, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and more. Reginas Repertoire ranges from Operatic, to Jazz, from Gospel to Neo Soul in styling. Regina received her foundation and education at the Famed Philadelphia High School for Creative & Performing Arts and The University of the Arts where she majored in Vocal Performance. Some of Regina’s many credits include the International Tour of Donald B. Welches “Hallelujah Mahalia”, Star Recitaling featured in audience of President William Jefferson Clinton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Cardinal Anthony Bevolaqua , The National Baptist Convention, The National NAACP Convention and many more. Regina realizes that her name means Queen and she achieves that title through her Art and her Spirit daily.
Producer/Director/Choreographer/Writer/Actor/Singer has garnered critical acclaim from everyone from The New York Times and Village Voice to Stage Magazine and the Philadelphia Inquirer. His production of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide /When the Rainbow Is Enuf by ntozake shange on Times Square in New York City garnered favorable reviews from The New York Times, Village Voice, among others and inspired the New York Amsterdam News to write:The fresh organic staging results in a profoundly thrilling new work. The director Michael LeLand usually ignores old stage directions and creates scenes that are totally new and vividly compelling. It is the dynamic craft of the actors in tune with the unique direction that sends this performance into a class by itself beyond the average Broadway revival.The production is planned to open on Broadway in the spring of 2016.In April 1998, Lincoln Center Theatre named Mr. LeLand to the Directors Lab. Mr. LeLand has produced over forty theatrical productions and ran Theatre Double’s two-theatre complex on Walnut Street in Philadelphia for four years Mr. LeLand has helped developed a dozen new plays that have received professional productions, including Langston Hughes: An American Celebration, Theatre Double’s Just The Boys, Theatre Double’s Jason and Medea, Theatre Double's . And The Sky Can Still Fall on Our Heads, Slipping by Yvonne Delet, Gypsy Wagon by Ed Shockley, The Ballad of Mistah Jack by J. Rufus Caleb. He also developed and, wrote lyrics for, and the full length children’s musicals The Witch and the Magic Mountain , Nsume Namlou: The Stories of My People, ,Magic Bookshop: The Snow Queen and The Magic Bookshop Inside the World of Jack and the Beanstalk. Mr. LeLand helped create Just the Boys, A Theatre Double collaboration published by Simon and Schuster in Action: the Nuyorican Poet’s Café Theatre Festival. Portions of his production, The Witch and the Magic Mountain, produced by Freedom Theatre, were performed at the Barrymore Awards and for Mayor of Philadelphia, Edward Rendell.
Reddick Purnell Cunningham
A native of Florence, AL,Cunningham grew up along the Singing River (better known as "The Tennessee River".)Cunningham was exposed to great music as a baby and had his first musical encounter at the age of two. At age 7, Cunningham began formal training at the Piano. Reddick was accepted as a pupil of Dr. Walter E. Urben at the University of North Alabama, Florence. He was soon accepted as a student of Dr. Jenette Fishell Who now serves as co-Chair for one of the worlds largest Organ programs; namely Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana. Reddick also had Pianist participation with Alabama Boys State in 1989, District and State Piano Accompanist for The SSA Chorus under the direction of Dr. Hillary Apfelstadt at the Alabama Vocal and Choral Directors Association's All-State Choral & Orchestral Festival that was held that year on the campus of Samford University, Birmingham, AL. Reddick was chosen to serve as the leading State reader and Awarded The Distinction of OUTSTANDING ACCOMPANIST for the State of Alabama at for the Alabama Vocal & Choral Association's 1990 All-State Choral Festival held that you're on the campus of Auburn University.During summer months Cunningham was favored as a scholarship student of Joseph Fuchs, longtime chairman of the strings department at the Juilliard school New York, to be one of two Pianists chosen to study at Fuchs Chamber Music Institute there in New York. Cunningham also received the Jon Roderick Porter Award For Excellence in Music & The Arts. Reddick also took First Place at the National Piano Competition/Festival named at Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA where he was subsequently featured in performance for the closing convocation at this festival. What Is Most Beautiful And Brings Greatest Joy Lies In The Privilege To Be Able To Use My God Given Gift To The Glory Of God Which Makes All Things Possible.
Andrew W. Jenkins
Andrew W. Jenkins was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. After graduating from Parkway Northwest High School in 2005, Andrew attended Howard University where he discovered his musical gifts for the first time with the world-renowned Howard University Choir under the baton of the eminent choral educator, J. Weldon Norris. He also studied solo voice with Charlotte Wesley Holloman and Gregory Hopkins. While at Howard, Andrew performed in three foreign countries and before two Presidents of the United States. He made his musical theater debut in 2013 as Langston Hughes in I Too Sing America: The Life and Poetry of Langston Hughes and his operatic debut the same year as Dr. Blind with Capitol Opera Harrisburg. He is continuing his voice studies at Temple University