Home for the Holidays

Scott Speck conductor
Diane Penning soprano
Peter Kurdziel
theater organ
Stas Venglevski
bayan accordion
WMS Children’s Choir

From the smallest keyboard to the largest! This year’s program features all your Holiday favorites performed by the WMS strings. We will be showcasing the Frauenthal Center’s newly-restored 1929 Barton Theatre Organ, played by the dazzling and dexterous Peter Kurdziel. Joining him will be the amazing Russian Bayan accordionist Stas Venglevski–a whole symphony by himself–and our good friend, Diane Penning.

Tickets: $30 single, $50 household

Event Sponsors

Diane PenningDIANE PENNING
Equally at home in classical repertoire and pops, Diane has performed with over 30 orchestras around the country in programs of each genre. Symphony appearances include concerts with the Arkansas, Dayton, and Calgary philharmonics; Elgin, Firelands, Grand Rapids, and Grant Park symphonies; the Greensboro and Interlochen Arts Academy symphonies; and the orchestras of Las Cruces, Mobile, Ocean City Pops, Pensacola, Phoenix, Pueblo, Rockford, Tacoma, Traverse and West Michigan, among others.

Her musical theatre credits include Cunegonde in Candide, Marian in The Music Man, Amalia in She Loves Me, and Maria in the concert version of West Side Story as well as “the grouch” in Robert Kapilow’s Green Eggs & Ham.

Diane’s work in oratorio includes David Fanshaw’s African Sanctus, Bach’s Mass in B minor and Christmas Oratorio; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mass in C minor; Fauré’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Creation, Harmonie Messe and Lord Nelson Mass; Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass; Orff’s Carmina Burana; Poulenc’s Gloria; Rutter’s Magnificat and Requiem, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, with such organizations as the Apollo Chorus in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the Kalamazoo Bach Festival.

Her opera roles include Adele in Die Fledermaus, Frasquita in Carmen, Musetta in La Bohéme, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana; and Pamina, Papagena and Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. Diane’s professional recordings include Phantom Phantasy with the Grand Rapids Symphony; Christmas Festival with the Czek National Orchestra; Simply Gershwin with pianist Paul Bisaccia; Everything Under the Sun with pianist Rich Ridenour and Sacred Space with Composer/Performer Nicholas Palmer.

Stas VenglevskiSTAS VENGLEVSKI
His artistry, dazzling technical command, and sensitivity have brought Stanislav (“Stas”) Venglevski, a native of the Republic of Moldova (part of the former Soviet Union), acclaim as a virtuoso of the Bayan. A two-time first prizewinner of Bayan competitions in Moldova, Stas is a graduate of the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow where he received his Masters in Music under the tutelage of famed Bayanist Friedrich Lips. In 1992, he immigrated to the United States.

Stas is equally adept as an accordionist, musician, arranger, entertainer and teacher. His repertoire includes original compositions and a broad range of classical, contemporary and ethnic music. He has toured extensively throughout the former Soviet Union, Canada, Europe, and the US, including numerous performances with Doc Severinsen, Steve Allen and with Garrison Keillor on A Prairie Home Companion.

He has performed with symphony orchestras throughout the US. He performed the world premiere of Concerto no. 2 by Anthony Galla-Rini and also the world premiere of Bayan and Beyond, composed for Stas by Dan Lawitts. He is a regular participant the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Arts in Community Education (ACE) program and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Tacoma. His recorded output includes a transcription of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite for Bayan as well as one of original compositions. He has published several books of original compositions.

Stas founded Accordion XXI Century Series in 2010 so that Midwest audiences can experience the amazing range of the accordion and Bayan by bringing gifted artists from all over the world. In a concert setting, these gifted musicians share their skills and cultures to provide the audience with a unique musical experience. The performances feature the Bayan in solo presentation and in concert with other instruments.

Peter KurdzielPETER KURDZIEL
Peter Kurdziel has been the Director of Music at the Basilica since August of 2010. He earned degrees in organ from Hope College where he was a student of Huw Lewis and the University of Notre Dame where he was a student of Craig Cramer. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) where he was a student of Dana Robinson. In addition to the organ, Peter has also studied voice, conducting, harpsichord, and theology at the graduate level. Peter currently serves on the board of the West Michigan Symphony. He is the past dean of the Grand Rapids and Muskegon-Lakeshore Chapters of the American Guild of Organists and a former board member of the Grand Rapids Chapter of the National Pastoral Musicians.

WMS CHILDREN'S CHOIR
BETH SLIMKO, DIRECTOR,
With an emphasis on the development of musical skills and understanding, WMSCC cultivates and encourages student achievement and provides quality music education with the goal of attaining the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music performance. The audition-based program was formed in 2013 to provide children in Muskegon and surrounding communities the opportunity to develop their voices, experience exciting singing opportunities and work with a professional arts organization. Each year members of the choir perform concerts at events and locations throughout West Michigan and are often invited to share the Frauenthal stage with West Michigan Symphony; this season joining them for Home for the Holidays.

Beth Slimko holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with dual concentrations in vocal and instrumental pedagogy from Butler University. She also holds a Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Grand Valley State University. Additional studies include time with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir under the mentorship of Henry Leck, the Zoltan Kodaly Pedagogical Institute in Hungary and many years of advanced training in Education through Music with the Richards Institute. Ms. Slimko has also served as a clinician for Michigan Music Education Association events and Michigan State Vocal Music Association conferences as well as a Kindermusik instructor.

Home for the Holidays

Home for the Holidays

Fri 12.11.20 | 7:30 pm
$30 single, $50 household

About

Scott Speck conductor
Diane Penning soprano
Peter Kurdziel
theater organ
Stas Venglevski
bayan accordion
WMS Children’s Choir

From the smallest keyboard to the largest! This year’s program features all your Holiday favorites performed by the WMS strings. We will be showcasing the Frauenthal Center’s newly-restored 1929 Barton Theatre Organ, played by the dazzling and dexterous Peter Kurdziel. Joining him will be the amazing Russian Bayan accordionist Stas Venglevski–a whole symphony by himself–and our good friend, Diane Penning.