Smith College Alumnae Chorus
Male Chorus SCAC Slovenia Tour
Domžale – Kamnik Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Jonathan Hirsh
Deborah Garrett, soprano
Allison La Pointe, mezzosoprano
Aljaž Žgavc, tenor
Rok Bavčar, baritone
Gregor Klančič, organ
Joseph Haydn (1731–1809), Missa in Angustiis (Nelson Mass), Hob. XXII: 11
Maurice Duruflé (1902–1986), Requiem, Op. 9
The mission of the Smith College Alumnae Chorus (SCAC) is to foster connections between alumnae of all the choral programs at Smith College. The singers of the SCAC represent a wide range of graduating classes, and come from many different states and countries. The SCAC made its debut in 2010 at celebrations for the 125th anniversary of the Smith College Glee Club. The ensemble has toured Sicily (2011), the Baltics and Russia (2013), and Cuba (2016), performing Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Choral Fantasy, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, and Vivaldi’s Gloria in collaboration with local musicians. In the United States, the SCAC has staged a tribute to alumna Alice Parker (Smith College class of 1947), a renowned composer and arranger of choral music, as well as a performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Smith College and Pennsylvania State University Glee Clubs. Smith College, located in Northampton, Massachusetts, has been one of the most prestigious women’s colleges in the United States since its founding in 1871. The Smith College Chamber Singers, a student ensemble established in the 1940s, was the first American women’s choir to tour internationally and the first women’s choral group ever to perform in Canterbury Cathedral, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Chartres Cathedral. This year’s group of 60 participants hails from Washington, D.C. and 20 states, and includes alumnae from graduating classes ranging from 1951 to 2014.
Allison La Pointe
SO Domžale – Kamnik
The Domžale – Kamnik Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1971 by a pedagogue, conductor and composer Prof. Tomaž Habe, who then directed the orchestra until 1992. Following him were Aleksandar Spasić (1993–2002), Stefan Garkov (2003), Simon Dvoršak (2004–2009), Simon Krečič (2009–2013) and Slaven Kulenović (2013–), who continues the lead today. The orchestra initially counted over 30 musicians, and has gradually spread to around 80 members (pupils and teachers of regional music schools, amateurs, as well as professional musicians, both from the Domžale – Kamnik region and from elsewhere). The orchestra performs a number of concert projects annually, which mostly extend to the field of classical music, as well as to the sacred, popular and film music repertoire. In the period of nearly half a century the orchestra has collaborated with some of the most prominent Slovenian musicians, such as Aci Bertoncelj, Anton Grčar, Stanko Arnold, Jože Kotar, Matej Šarc, Boštjan Lipovšek, Tibor Kerekeš, Volodja Balžalorsky, Irena Vremšak Baar, Tomaž Lorenz, and others.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, conductor Jonathan Hirsh has garnered the respect and praise of audiences, colleagues and critics throughout the United States and abroad. As senior lecturer and director of choral and orchestral activities at Smith College, Hirsh conducts the Orchestra, Glee Club and Chamber Singers. He has traveled with the orchestra to Cuba, Sicily and to Trinidad and Tobago for a collaboration with the National Youth Orchestra. Hirsh graduated from Amherst College in 1986 and received his MM and DMA in conducting from the University of Michigan. He has taught at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., Amherst College, the University of Michigan, the University of California at Santa Cruz and Tufts University. A frequent guest conductor, Hirsh’s repertoire and activities include choral works, oratorio, opera and symphonic works. Under Hirsh’s baton, the Smith Orchestra made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2005 performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Smith choral ensembles and the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club.
The soprano Deborah Garrett enjoys a diverse singing career which spans opera, operetta, oratorio,musical theater, and vintage music from the 1920s-1960s. She was the soprano soloist with the Smith College Alumnae Chorus (SCAC) for Mozart’s Requiem (2011, Sicily) and Beethoven’s Mass in C (2013, Baltic States). Favorite operatic roles include Gretel (Hansel & Gretel ) and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro ). In 2008, she founded Flashback Music Memories, a company which specializes in vintage entertainment to help bring back memories for older adults in assisted living homes.
The mezzosoprano Allison La Pointe has performed the role of Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, has made orchestral appearances as the featured alto soloist for Handel’s Messiah and Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer, and was a participant in the Moravian Master Class in the Czech Republic and the Corso Estivo per Giovani Cantanti Lirici in Urbania, Italy. She was a featured soloist during the Smith College Alumnae Chorus’s 2016 tour of Cuba, performing in Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and in Vivaldi’s Gloria. She also has enjoyed engagements as a guest artist at various recitals, fundraisers, master classes, and vocal salons. In addition to performance on the stage, she is a strong supporter of the arts in her adopted home of Minnesota.
The tenor Aljaž Žgavc began his singing studies in Postojna with Professor Matjaž Prah. He continued his education at the Conservatory of Music and Ballet Ljubljana with Prof. Janko Volčanšček and successfully completed it in 2014. He studied at various master classes and worked with professors such as Edita Garčević Koželj, Dunja Vejzović, Snežana Nena Brzaković, Marcus Bruck, Thomas Hayer. Currently he is studying with Prof. Vlatka Oršanić. He has been performing at SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana since 2011 (since March 2013 he has been working as a choir soloist). His repertoire includes the Circus Director (The Bartered Bride), Rajdelj (The Nightingale of Gorenjska), dr. Blind (Die Fledermaus), Abdallo (Nabucco) and other roles.
The baritone Rok Bavčar studied at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana with Professors Irena Baar and Vlatka Oršanić. He has been a member of the Chamber Choir of RTV Ljubljana and Slovenian Chamber Choir (appearing also as a choir soloist). He is an active member of the Slovenian Chamber Music Theater. He participated in several recitals of the Music Youth, at the concerts of the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, and at concerts of the Consortium Musicum Ljubljana. He is currently engaged in SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana. On the opera stage, he portrayed the roles: Ben (Telephone), Lovro (The Nightingale of Gorenjska), Bob (The Thief and the Old Virgin), Carlo (Black Masks), The Security Officer (Love Capital), Marquis d’Obigny, Dr. Grenville (La Traviata), Judge (Un ballo in maschera), Fiorello (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Schaunard (La Boheme), Marullo (Rigoletto), Yamadori (Madama Butterfly). He performed at SNG Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, SNG Opera and Ballet Maribor and at Croatian National Theatre HNK Zagreb. He is keenly devoted to the implementation of contemporary operatic music. He participated in numerous first performances: The Hero of Our Time (T. Svete), Ada (T. Svete), Under the Free Sun (T. Kobe), Tenth Brother (A. Makovac).
The organist and choir master Gregor Klančič started his music education at the Nova Gorica State University and at the Organ School in Nova Gorica. He graduated at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana (church music, music pedagogy). As organist he appeared in Slovenia, Croatia (Istria, Varaždin Baroque Evenings, Rijeka), France (Tours), Germany (Konstanz, Aachen) and Italy. He has been performing with the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra, with numerous vocal soloists, instrumentalists and choirs (The Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, The Consortium Musicum Choir, Chamber Choir Ipavska and others). From 1999 to 2004 he was artistic director of the Primorska Academic Choir Vinko Vodopivec; under his guidance, the choir achieved great successes. Currently he is conducting the Consortium Musicum Choir. From 1993 to 2012 he was a member of the Slovenian Chamber Choir, since 2004 he has been an assistant director, and in 2018 the artistic director of the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir. He is the head of musical activity at Archdiocese of Ljubljana. Since 1999 he serves as organist in the Ljubljana Cathedral. He is director and professor at the Organ School in Ljubljana.