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Guest Artist: Dr. Jacob Adams with Dr. Bethany Stiles, Mezzo-Soprano
February 15 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, MN, Jacob Adams’s musical interests were sparked upon listening to his parents’ Beatles LP’s when he was 5 years old, with Ringo Starr being his favorite. Percussion lessons followed shortly thereafter, and piano lessons followed at the age of 10. Throughout high school he was active in school and throughout the Twin Cities area as a church and theater accompanist and recitalist.
In 2003 he began undergraduate and eventually graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Antonio Pompa-Baldi, earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance, where he also remained actively involved as an accompanist and recitalist. During this time he was also privileged to perform with several orchestras in the Midwest and East Coast. In 2009 he commenced studies at the University of Illinois in UrbanaChampaign, earning a DMA in piano performance and literature and an MM in piano pedagogy. While at the U of IL he also taught piano to undergraduate non-music majors.
In 2012 he moved back to his native Minneapolis, MN, where for the next 4 years he taught private and group piano lessons, was an accompanist at various churches, and performed both as an accompanist and soloist. In 2016 he began a 6-month stint playing piano for Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, and since the spring of 2017, has been living and working in Chicago, where he teaches, accompanies, and is the director of music and liturgy at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church.
Jacob’s introduction to ragtime music came in 1996, when, at his father’s behest, he learned Maple Leaf Rag. Immediately he began collecting as much ragtime sheet music and recordings as he could, and with the advent of the internet, those pursuits were made that much easier. In 1999 he began composing his own ragtime pieces, and has since written about 50, although in recent years he has branched out and written in other styles. In 2009 he began performing at the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia, Missouri, and has performed at a number of other ragtime festivals throughout the Midwest and East Coast.
Dr. Bethany Stiles is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Voice at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, KY. She has previously served as a faculty member at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA and The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She earned the doctoral degree in Voice Performance and Literature at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completing a thesis on Peter Lieberson’s award-winning orchestrated song cycle Neruda Songs (2006). Stiles’ research has focused on United States hymnody and art song, contemporary chamber music, and musical theater. Additionally, she is currently researching the psychological effects of music on prisoners in the American Revolution and American Civil War.
Operatic credits include: Florencia en el Amazonas (Paula), the world premiere of Paradises Lost (Uma), Le Nozze di Figaro (Marcellina), Die Zauberflöte (Second Lady) (Third Lady) (Third Spirit), Cosí fan tutte (Dorabella), Madama Butterfly (Suzuki), Suor Angelica (La Principessa) (La Monitrice), La Traviata (Flora), Gianni Schicchi (Zita), Carmen (Carmen), Little Women (Meg), Lakmé (Mallika), The Saint of Bleeker Street (Desideria), Hänsel und Gretel (Hänsel), Beatrice et Bénédict (Ursula), The Consul (The Mother), The Medium (Madame Flora), Street Scene (Emma Jones), Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Leocadia Begbick), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Eunice).
Musical theatre credits: Les Misérables (Fantine), The Last Five Years (Cathy), Songs for a New World (Woman I) (Woman 2), Company (Amy), Carousel (Nettie Fowler), The Drowsy Chaperone (Drowsy Chaperone), Children of Eden (Eve) (Mama Noah), Love Games (The Chambermaid), Chess (Florence), 42nd Street (Dorothy Brock), The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Little Women: The Musical (Mrs. March), and Of Thee I Sing (Emily Benson).
Other professional soloist credits: Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s Matthäuspassion and Magnificat in D, Handel’s Messiah, Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noël, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and Verdi’s Requiem. A passionate advocate of contemporary vocal music, Ms. Stiles is a frequent collaborator with living composers in a variety of genres. She is currently collaborating on a set of art songs based on the poems of Kentucky native Wendell Berry, and has also performed world premieres of Kleiner Aster with the Illinois Modern Music Ensemble and 南方微風 (The Southern Breeze) at The University of Louisville.
Ms. Stiles’ awards and recognition include New York Lyric Opera Theater National Semi-finalist, MacAllister Vocal Competition winner, National Association for Teachers of Singing Vocal Competition Finalist, Bomhard New Music debut artist, and numerous summer research grants. She has been a featured artist in masterclasses with renowned artists Gail Robinson, Denyce Graves, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Susan Graham, Cliff Jackson, Daron Hagen, Ben Moore, Jake Heggie, and most recently, William Bolcom and Joan Morris. Ms. Stiles has received invitations to perform and lead masterclasses across the country, including New York, Baltimore, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Dallas. A native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky, she holds dual Bachelor degrees in Voice Performance and Music Education from The University of Kentucky and a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from The University of Louisville.