Organ at Davidson: Bach Birthday Bash, March 13
Davidson native Clara Gerdes, an award-winning third-year student at Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, returns to bring Bach- and organ- lovers a memorable evening to close the 11th season of Organ at Davidson. She will perform an all-Bach program for the annual Bach Birthday Bash.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. on March 13 in the sanctuary and includes a soprano piece sung by guest artist Margaret Carpenter Haigh. Margaret was Music Associate here at DCPC from 2013-14. Following the performance is a meet-the-artist reception hosted by Friends of the Organ. Performances are free with donations gratefully accepted to enhance the growing series.
Clara Gerdes studies organ with Alan Morrison and harpsichord with Leon Schelhase at Curtis and studied privately and performed at the Oundle school and McGill university summer organ academies. Her first organ teacher was Jane Cain. She has assisted the Charlotte, Houston and King's College (Wilkes-Barre, PA) Royal School of Church Music in America summer training courses as organ scholar.
She was the winner of the 2014 Albert Schweitzer and UNCSA School of the Arts organ competitions and the recipient of the first annual Pogorzelski-Yankee scholarship sponsored by the American Guild of Organists. Her performances have been broadcast on WDAV 89.9 classical public radio, NPR’s “From the Top” and have also been featured on the “Curtis Performs” livestream.
Clara is a frequent collaborator and chamber musician, recently performing on the opening weekend of Philadelphia International Arts Festival and working with Choral Arts Philadelphia, Opera Philadelphia and Penn Composers' Guild in addition to numerous Curtis student ensembles during the 2015-2016 school year. Clara serves as Organ Scholar at Saint Mark's Church, Locust Street in Philadelphia.
Soprano Margaret Carpenter Haigh, hailed for her "clear bright tone" (Cleveland Classical), has performed as a soloist with the Portland (ME) Symphony, Winston-Salem (NC) Symphony, Oxford Bach Soloists, Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, and Apollo's Fire. Recent and upcoming engagements include her Messiah debut with the Memphis (TN) Symphony, singing and narrating David Del Tredici's An Alice Symphony with Robert Moody and the Portland Symphony, and performing alongside Mark Padmore as a Britten-Pears Young Artist at the Aldeburgh Festival. Alongside her husband, Nicolas Haigh, Margaret is co-founder of L'Académie du Roi Soleil, an ensemble specializing in French music from the time of Louis XIV and with which she has performed in venues including York Minster; New College, Oxford; and Clare College, Cambridge. Margaret was a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College. She is currently pursuing a doctorate at Case Western Reserve University, where she studies with Ellen Hargis and Aaron Sheehan.