Requiem for 9/11 Performers

Composer (Wilson Gault Somers)
Wilson Gault Somers is an Emmy-winning composer who spent 30 years as the Director of Choral Music at the Tatnall School, Greenville, DE, and is the current Music Director of the Church of the Advent, Kennett Square, PA. He is also acclaimed as a jazz pianist. Maestro Somers completed his degree work in composition and organ at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, and graduate studies in music education and theory/composition at the Westminster Choir School in Princeton, New Jersey. Somers’ large-scale sacred works for chorus, soloists and orchestra are Mass for the Homeless, premiering in 1997 and Requiem for 9/11, which debuted in 2012. Both have received critical acclaim and raised thousands of dollars to benefit homeless organizations and the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Please call (302) 740-3220 to schedule an interview with Maestro Somers.
Soloist (Charlotte Daw Paulsen)
Charlotte Daw Paulsen, mezzo-soprano, possesses a voice described as unusually rich and complex. She received critical acclaim in the New York Times: in Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’ “The real star, along with the chorus, was Charlotte Daw Paulsen a mezzo-soprano with real contralto gravity and power in her lower register, in the Aguns Dei, her performance grew dramatic in the best sense and utterly gripping.” A few performances include: Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with Oratorio Society of New York, Beethoven’s 9th with Nashville Symphony, Mahler’s 8th in Carnegie Hall, Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with Louisiana Philharmonic, and Verdi’s Requiem with Virginia Symphony, and Costa Rica Symphony. Previously she performed the contralto role in Elijah with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Missa Solemnis of Beethoven with Questra Sinfonica de Mineria, Judas Maccabaeus with Berkshire Choral Festival, Aida with Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and Brahms Alto Rhapsody. She is frequently invited to perform works in depth of emotional expression, such as the United States premieres of Karl Jenkins’ Stabat Mater, The Armed Man a Mass for Peace, Bards of Wales, and Gloria; as-well-as New York City’s’ premier of Et la vie l’emporte by Frank Martin with I Cantori. Known as a fine interpreter of Oratorio, she was hailed for her performance in Messiah as “an intense performer, with an unusual and distinctive voice, compelling and enormous in its lower register.” Charlotte Daw Paulsen born in Philadelphia holds degrees from: The Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University: Temple University: and West Chester University, as well as honors from Salzburg Mozarteum, Zurich International Opera Studio, Tanglewood Festival, and Opera Music Theater International.
Producer (Joseph A. Louden)
Delaware’s Joseph A. Louden has a rich musical history of performing, conducting, arranging, and producing a broad array of choral and instrumental performances. Joe is the Director of Music for Wilmington, Delaware’s St. Helena Parish and the Choral and Instrumental Music Director and Campus Minister at Ursuline Academy. He has produced and directed numerous school and community concerts and shows, and he sang in the Papal Choir for the mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Philadelphia in 2015. Joe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish from the university of Delaware and master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Wilmington University.
Soloist (Andrea Lauren Brown)
Andrea Lauren Brown won the 2002 International Summer Academy at the Salzburg Mozarteum and won 2nd prize at the ARD International Singing Competition in Munich. After lessons and performances with piano and flute, the soprano studied "Music Performance and Education" and received her Bachelor of Music from West Chester University in Pennsylvania, where she graduated summa cum laude . She received her master's degree in vocal pedagogy and solo singing from Westminster Choir College , Princeton, New Jersey, where she studied vocal technique with Laura Brooks Rice.     Brown made her operatic debut at the age of 17. In addition to engagements in the USA, she has already been to the Komische Oper Berlin, the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Theater an der Wien , the Schwetzingen Festival, the Haydn Festival, Mondsee, Lockenhaus, Utrecht, the Gasteig, and the Ludwigsburg Castle Festival in Europe and the Spoleto Festival. Time and again, critics have noticed the ease with which the soprano interprets works of various genres, from baroque to contemporary music. Brown can be heard on numerous radio recordings, and she has recorded several CDs for various prestigious labels. Mentioned in the BBC Magazine Music Awards as a “Radiant Soprano ” for Mendelssohn's Magnificat , she also received high praise for her inclusion of the opera role in Zumsteeg's Die Geisterinsel .  Brown's passion for chamber music brought her together with an impressive lineup of world renowned conductors, and she has joined a stunning lineup of music organizations. On tour she sings many iconic works by JS Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Monteverdi, Mozart and many other legendary composers.
Soloist (Courtney Ames)
Heralded as a “powerhouse soprano” Courtney Ames is celebrated for bringing “compassion and life” to her portrayals. Most recently Ms. Ames has been the soprano soloist for a number of oratorio works with regional orchestras, including Haydn’s Creation, Bach’s Magnificat, Handel's Messiah, Schubert's masses in G and A-flat, Mendelssohn's Lobgesang, and Dvořák's Stabat Mater. She was thrilled to premiere as the Soprano 2 soloist with Wilson Somers in his Requiem for 9/11, at the Grand Opera house in Wilmington, Delaware. Also at the Grand, she revisited one of her favorite operatic roles, Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, Verdi) and made her Opera Delaware debut, "emerging] as a force to be reckoned with" after first performing it with Opera in the Heights in Houston, Texas. Some of Ms. Ames’s notable performances include the Witch (Hansel and Gretel) with Nevada Opera and Zofia in Moniuszko’s Halka, with Sarasota Opera. Some other important roles she has portrayed are the First Lady in The Magic Flute (Des Moines Metro Opera), Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (Opera Iowa) and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Elysium Concert Opera). Ms. Ames has earned distinctions in several competitions, winning first place and the audience choice awards at the Lois Alba Aria Competition in Houston, Texas. She was also a winner at the district level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has received an encouragement award at the Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists.
Soloist (Brian Carter)
Praised for his warm, polished tone and his ability to infuse his characters with deep authenticity, baritone, Brian Carter, has delighted audiences on operatic stages throughout the United States. Memorable performances include the Figaro in Opera Delaware’s Il barbire di Siviglia; the title roles in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Macbeth at Sarasota Opera and Opera in the Heights, respectively; Ping in Turandot at Opera North; Sam in Trouble in Tahiti with Greensboro Opera; George in Of Mice and Men and Tonio in Pagliacci with Opera San José. He has also performed extensively on the concert stage as a soloist for oratorios including Messiah (Handel), Elijah (Mendelssohn), The Creation (Haydn), Magnificat (J.S. Bach), and Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven); as well as a recitalist, having sung programs which included Dichterliebe (Schumann), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Mahler), L’horizon chimérique (Fauré), Banalités and Le travail du peintre (Poulenc), and Songs of Travel (Vaughan Williams). A graduate of San José State University and The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Carter currently teaches on the faculty at University of Delaware School of Music and at the University of Pennsylvania.
Soloist (Justin Gonzalez)
Justin Gonzalez is an independent musician based in Philadelphia who travels throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Justin performs a mix of classical, big band, Broadway, and operatic repertoire. He has been compared to incredible artists such as Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo. Jerry Blavat (Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, Broadcasting Pioneer) has affectionately called him “the son of Mario Lanza.” In concert, Justin has excited audiences with his renditions of opera arias, musical theater standards and interpretations of the American songbook. He has also performed as a soloist in numerous oratorios and cantatas across the region. Noted for his “expressive mastery” by B Sharp Productions, Justin is a sought after artist on the East Coast, having most recently expanded his vocal abilities as lead vocalist for 33 1/3 LIVE’s Killer Queen Experience.
Violin 1 (Alyssa McGarvey)
Violin 2 (Chi Park Edmondson)
Viola (Raymond Mallari)
Cello 1 (Doug McNames)
Cello 2 (Jennifer Stromberg)
Contra Bass (Brent Edmonston)
Oboe (Anna Montejo)
Trumpet (Barbara Prugh)
Harp (Janet Witman)
Organ (Joe Louden)
Percussion (Wes Morton)
Perscussion (Jonathan Whitney)
Timpani (Jeff Dombchik)