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2019 Holiday Pops Guest Artists

Megan Roth

Megan Roth mezzo soprano 

Known for her "rich character portrayals" and "versatile voice," mezzo-soprano Megan Roth enjoys a varied career performing opera, oratorio, art song, and chamber music, with repertoire spanning from early to contemporary music. Most recently, Megan "smoldered" in the role of Tisbe in La Cenerentola with Boston Midsummer Opera, receiving accolades as she "...vamped about with sufficient trashy glitter, bringing the angry coloratura across the footlights with comic menace." Additional roles include Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Summer Garden Opera in Virginia and Little Women with MassOpera, where she was praised for her "warm and sonically sumptuous Meg." Other notable engagements include soloist in Copland's In the Beginning with Vox Humana in Dallas, Texas, Handel's Messiah with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, and Dixit Dominus with the Metropolitan Chorale. As an active chamber musician, Megan performs with several renowned national ensembles including the GRAMMY® winning ensemble Conspirare out of Austin, Texas; GRAMMY® nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and True Concord; and Yale Choral Artists. Megan is also the founder and artistic director of Calliope's Call, a professional art song performance group based in New England. Megan belongs to Beyond Artists, a coalition of artists that donates a portion of their concert fee to organizations they care about. She supports NYC Second Chance Rescue and REACH Beyond Domestic Violence through her performances.


Dana Lynne Varga

Dana Lynne Varga, soprano 

Praised for her "stunning voice," soprano Dana Lynne Varga has amassed accolades for her operatic and concert performances. She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass with Mid-America Productions. Favorite roles performed include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Pallas Athene in Paride ed Elena, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow and Alcina in Alcina. She has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Teatro Nuovo, MassOpera, Opera Maine, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Commonwealth Opera and the Aldeburgh (Britten-Pears) Festival, amongst others.

Recent concert highlights include Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers, Haydn's Creation with the Polymnia Choral Society, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang with the Greenwich Choral Society, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Wellesley Symphony, Mozart's Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro and Amy Beach's Mass with the Commonwealth Chorale. Additional highlights include the Fauré Requiem and Nielsen's Symphony No. 3 with the Springfield Symphony, Orff's Carmina Burana with the Granite State Choral Society, Beethoven Mass in C at Tanglewood, and Handel's Messiah and the Bach B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. With the Metropolitan Chorale, Dana has performed the Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony and Dona Nobis Pacem as well as the Brahms Requiem and the Dvořák Te Deum. Other favorite performances have included Schubert's Miriam Siegesgesang and Handel's Israel in Egypt with the Commonwealth Chorale, the Vivaldi Gloria and Handel's Messiah with the New England Classical Singers and the Bach Magnificat, Mozart Requiem and Mendelssohn St. Paul with the Choral Art Society.

Dana was the second-place winner of the 2019 American Prize in art song and oratorio, and the first-place winner of the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition. She won second place in the 2016 Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2016 Oratorio Society of New York Competition. She was awarded the 2012 St. Botolph Emerging Artist Grant for excellence in music. Dana was a finalist in the lieder division of the 2009 Liederkranz Competition and winner of the Arlington Philharmonic Competition, and was among the winners in the Boston Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. She won first place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, Boston, in both 2004 and 2005.

In addition to her singing career, Dana is a sought-after voice teacher and career coach, as well as the Founder and Artistic Director of MassOpera. She regularly publishes articles in Classical Singer Magazine. She is a fierce advocate for singers, devoted to progressive change in the classical vocal industry. Dana is also a member of Beyond Artists (www.beyondartists.org), a coalition of artists that donate a portion of their fees to organizations they care about. To learn more and to view upcoming performances, please visit www.danavarga.com.

Jacqueline DeVoe

Jacqueline DeVoe, piccolo 

Flutist Jacqueline DeVoe is an active freelancer throughout New England and performs regularly with Cantata Singers, Emmanuel Music, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Symphony New Hampshire and other ensembles.

Ms. DeVoe is the principal flute of the Berkshire Symphony, as well as former principal flutist of the Mexico City Philharmonic, a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow and has performed with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, she has been presented in solo and chamber music concerts in Europe, Mexico and the US, including 4 solo recitals in Jordan Hall. A strong advocate of music education in public schools, Ms. DeVoe plays with the North Winds Quintet, which presents educational concerts in schools throughout Massachusetts under the auspices of Young Audiences. Ms. DeVoe has created and directed chamber music concerts for the Newport Symposium and has been an Artist Teacher for NPR's "From the Top" which brings gifted young artists into Massachusetts public schools. Additionally, she served for 8 years as president of the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition, which hosts an annual competition for Boston-area flutists.

Ms. DeVoe holds faculty positions at Williams College and Amherst College. She has taught at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School faculty since 1990 and for the past 8 summers at the International Music Academy in Cremona, Italy.

In addition to B.M. and M.M. degrees from New England Conservatory, she was a two-time recipient of the Frank Huntington Beebe Fund grant and the Austrian Government's Stipend for Foreigners, and completed a diploma at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria. Her primary teachers were Claude Monteux, John Heiss and Wolfgang Schulz.

Kate Higgins

Kate M. Higgins, director, South Middle School Chorus 

Ms. Higgins is delighted to once again work with Dr. Badea and to have the South Middle School Chorus invited to perform with the Brockton Symphony Orchestra at their Holiday Concert. Ms. Higgins is in her thirteenth year of teaching in Brockton. In addition to teaching at South, Ms. Higgins teaches an after school program for the Brockton Area ARC. She received her Bachelor of Music Degree with Flute Performance Honors from Syracuse University and her Master of Music Education Degree with a Certificate in Special Music Education from The Florida State University. She is a former member and instructor for the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps.

The more than 75-voice South Middle School Chorus, The South Middle School Chorus is an auditioned group comprised of students in grades 6-8. The individuals in Chorus represent the diverse population found at South Middle School. Over the course of the school year, students work together to master vocal skills and to gain music knowledge, all while developing a sense of community through performing music together. Thank you to the Symphony for inviting us to perform with you, once again. We wish everyone a very Happy Holiday Season!

This year's chorus:
Sheldon Adolphe, Brandon Agenor, Jeremiah Aguy, Marise Alves, Marcio Andrade, Livia Andrade Goncalves, Anicha Antunes, Ciona Araujo, Ydu Barbosa, Laica Barros, Anastasia Bermudez, Maedsa Blanchard, Kylie Brown, Jenayah Bryant, Jeremy Bonnet, Landon Boswell, Adamaris Cabrera, Izabel Cabral, Beatriz Cardoso, Weskenlee Charles, Alisha Clermont, Roselene Da Silva, Aliny DePina, Adriana D'Haiti, Alex Donovan-Jones, Hulda Dos Santos, Mylee Dos Santos, Amari Fernandes, Daniel Ferreira, Carla Fonseca, Kadyja Gabriel, Adassa Gomes, Ericles Gomes, Lea Gomes, Henri Harrison, Nathan Hillman, Aleyssa Hodge, Collin Hunter, Abigaelle Jean, Sahmi'Iry Jeanty, Amari Jean Baptiste, Sophie Jenkins, Viewsline Jn Noel, Noah Khang, Moise Mars, Emily Mendes, Gabriela Mendoza-Contreras, Savana Miranda, Nelida Monteiro, Malissa Montrond, Dejah Newton, Djeamani Odies, Ricardo Pereira, Josiah Perez, Celia Pina, Ariel Richardson, Leticia Rodrigues Lopes, Jamielene Roldan, Nicholas Rosado, Pareese Rosario, Evalynn Ryland, Tinsley Sanon, Mafata Sanor, Zania Santos, Samuel Seme, Leslie Semedo, Madison Silveria, Camarra Steele, Ella Solari, Camdin Tarbush, Larissa Tavares, Mateus Tavares, Nellysa Tavares, Benilson Varela, Micaela Vicente, Doreen Voltis, Ahnya Walker, Sadie Wilson, Naomi Yeme Castillo

Angel Valchinov

Angel Valchinov, violin 

Dr. Angel Valchinov is a violin soloist, concertmaster, chamber musician, and teacher. Currently performing as a soloist with orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, Dr. Valchinov plays a wide-ranging repertoire. A recent performance highlight was H. W. Ernst's Six Polyphonic Etudes. An avid recitalist and chamber musician, he recently performed with the Turtle Island Quartet in Boston's Jordan Hall.

Dr. Valchinov serves as concertmaster of several orchestras in the Boston area, including Claflin Hill Symphony and Boston Chamber Orchestra. He is also a member of the String Faculties at Bunker Hill Community College and Northern Essex Community College, and he is the String Department Chair at the Concord Conservatory of Music. In addition, he has a large private teaching studio.

In the summer, Mr. Valchinov teaches at the Atlantic Music Festival, Colby College, Waterville, Maine and the Youth & Muse Music Festival, Boston. He is the subject of a documentary by Bulgarian national television, and he has been featured on a number of television and radio stations across the U.S. A third-generation musician, Dr. Valchinov regularly performs with his wife, violist Dr. Chen Lin, and other family members, and he is a reader at his beloved Orthodox Church in Allston, MA.

Mr. Valchinov is officially endorsed by Optima Strings of Germany.