Frank Watkins, Choral Conductor
Mark Mowry, Tenor
Kenneth Pereira, Baritone
Frank A. Watkins, Conductor
Frank A. Watkins, a native of Omaha Nebraska, has taught secondary choral music in the state of Texas for six years. Prior to his tenure as Director of Choral Activities at John Tyler High School, he taught undergraduate classes in piano at the University of Arkansas. He has degrees in piano performance from Jackson State University (BM), the University of Arkansas (MM), and choral conducting from Northwestern University (MM). He will complete his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University in the fall of 2014.
Watkins' engagements as a conductor and clinician have afforded him the opportunity to work with several choirs both nationally and internationally. In 2008, the Tyler ISD Foundation recognized Watkins with the prestigious Outstanding Teacher award. In 2009, Mr. Watkins was chosen as the 2009-2010 Southwestern Regional Conductor of the "105 Voices of History HBCU National Choir". In 2011, Watkins was selected as the guest conductor for the Northwestern University Movie Music Concert; an outreach concert of orchestral film scores that brings at-risk youth in the community to Northwestern University to encourage them to become involved in local music programs. In 2013, he was selected as the 2013 Guest Conductor/Clinician of the Mid-Michigan Advanced Honor Choir. In the spring of the same year, Watkins toured central Europe with the Michigan State University Men's Glee Club as the conductor of the Spartan Chamber Ensemble. He has presented workshops in choral methods for the International Music and Christian Arts Conference, Michigan State University, and The Ohio State University. In the spring of 2014, Watkins served as a Visiting Professor of Choral Music at the University of North Florida where he conducted the Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus, Chamber Singers, and University Chorale as well as taught secondary choral methods and materials. In the fall of 2014, Watkins joins the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire as conductor of the Women's Concert Chorale, Women's Chorus, and University Symphonic Choir and Orchestra.
Mr. Watkins is an active member of the Music Educators National Conference, Texas Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, Conductor's Guild, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
A dynamic young conductor, Watkins' love and passion is teaching. He believes that in order to educate, you must first inspire! It is his goal to make an impact…not just an impression on the lives of those that follow his baton.
Tenor Mark Mowry has performed a diverse range of opera, concert, and recital repertoire which reflects his broad musical interests. He has sung leading roles in such operas as Britten's Albert Herring, Curlew River, and The Turn of the Screw, Handel's Acis and Galatea, Mozart's Così fan tutte and Idomeneo, Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges, Smetana's The Bartered Bride, and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. In 2000, he sang the role of Enrico Carouser in the world premiere of Edwin Penhorwood's opera Too Many Sopranos. As concert soloist, he has been heard in the music of Bach (Magnificat, St.John Passion, St. Matthew Passion), Britten (Rejoice in the Lamb, St. Nicolas, War Requiem), Handel (Messiah), Haydn (Creation), Mendelssohn ( Elijah ), Mozart (C Minor Mass, Coronation Mass, Requiem, Solemn Vespers), Sir John Stainer (Crucifixion), and Vaughan Williams (Hodie), among others.
An advocate of the song genre, Mowry has participated in numerous master classes devoted to the subject and led by such noted musicians as Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles, and Håkan Hagegård; his own recital appearances have occurred both at home in the U.S. and, more recently, in the United Kingdom-first at Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh, England, for the 2001 Aldeburgh Festival, and then for his debut recital at London's Wigmore Hall in 2002, for which Graham Johnson was pianist. In addition, Mowry's various musical activities have taken him to the cities of Chicago, Dublin, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Salzburg, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.
Mowry received a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University in 2006, where he studied with Virginia Zeani, James King, and James McDonald; Master of Music degree from Northwestern University in 1995; and Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in 1993.
Baritone Kenneth J. Pereira’s repertoire encompasses opera, oratorio, art song, musical theater and the Great American Songbook. His operatic roles include Puccini’s Marcello in La Bohème, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, the title role in Gianni Schicchi, and Mozart’s Il Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte among others. Dr. Pereira has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Raymond Leppard in works by Beethoven and Haydn. He is also a featured soloist on that orchestra’s 2008 recording of classical and traditional Christmas music. Dr. Pereira has also performed in concert opposite internationally acclaimed sopranos Sylvia McNair and Carol Vaness.
Born and raised in northern California, Dr. Pereira graduated Magna cum Laude from California State University, Stanislaus. He received his doctorate degree at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where he also completed a Master of Music Degree in Voice. During his time at IU, Dr. Pereira was an Associate Instructor of Voice, teaching studio voice and served as the teaching assistant for the graduate and undergraduate opera workshops. He has studied with Joaquina Calvo Johnson and Andreas Poulimenos.