Contemporary American Art Songs performed by Gregory Parker, baritone; Anna Billias, piano ( full program )
Gregory Parker, Professor of Music and Head of the Department of Music at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree and the Performer's Certificate in Voice from Samford University, the Master of Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Parker has performed as a baritone soloist in a number of operas, oratorios and recitals. In addition to studying with James McKinney, author of The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults, he has worked with internationally acclaimed pedagogues Horst Günter and Richard Miller. He is in demand as a performer, voice teacher, clinician, and choral director. Currently, he is serving as the Membership Coordinator for the Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Choirs under his direction have performed throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Egypt, Italy, and Ireland and have included such venues as the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.
Dr. Parker has thirty-three years of experience in Baptist church music and presently serves as the Director of Music at Buena Vista Baptist Church in Buena Vista, Virginia. His wife, Lori, is a realtor with James Wm. Moore Real Estate in Lexington, Virginia. They are the parents of two children, Alex and Brianna.
Anna Billias was trained as a concert pianist at the Prokofiev State Academy of Music in Donetsk, Ukraine (originally the Prokofiev Conservatory of Music) and graduated with advanced degrees in both performance and instruction for piano. During her school tenure, Anna performed with the school's symphony orchestra, where she was a featured soloist and frequent accompanist throughout the Donetsk Oblast. She was a prizewinner in the Prokofiev International Piano Competition in 1995, where she competed against pianists from across Europe and was invited to perform in Paris, France for the International Music Forum in the fall of 1997. She holds a DMA in piano performance from Shenandoah Conservatory.
Anna has performed in numerous concerts at Sweet Briar College, Hampden Sydney College, Lynchburg College, Liberty University, Randolph College, Shenandoah Conservatory and James Madison University, as well as in London, England, Partenit, Russia, and Donetsk, Ukraine. She has performed in Lynchburg for fundraising events for the Forte Chamber Music Festival, Opera on the James and for the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. Anna has been invited to judge CVMTA competitions, and is a frequent jurist for musical events in Amherst, Lynchburg and Charlottesville. In 2010, she premiered a performance of Joelle Wallach's "Daughters of Silence."
Anna is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Piano Studies and Collaborative Performance at Sweet Briar College and an Adjunct Faculty Accompanist at Washington and Lee University. In her spare time, she is the music director at a local church and runs a growing private piano studio. She is also the proud mother of three musically gifted children and her husband, Chris, is a criminal prosecutor and occasional dance performer in Lexington, Virginia.
Contemporary American Art Songs
Gregory Parker, baritone and Anna Billias, piano
Six Emily Dickinson Songs Terry Vosbein
Perhaps You’d Like to Buy a Flower
I Died for Beauty
How Lonesome the Wind Must Feel Nights
The Saddest Noise, the Sweetest Noise
Hope is the Thing with Feathers
Make Me a Picture of the Sun
Nocturnal Songs Jonathan B. McNair
Youth, Day, Old Age, and Night
After the Dazzle of Day is Gone )
A Clear Midnight
I Am He that Walks with the Tender and Growing Night
Smile, O Voluptuous, Cool-Breath’d Earth
Two Machado Songs Mark Francis
The House I Loved So Much
American Death Ballads David Conte
The Unquiet Grave
The Dying Californian