Valerie Clark Gill, soprano
Valerie Clark Gill of Griffin, Georgia, is a versatile singer known for her vocal richness and intensity of sound. She performs with tremendous expressiveness and passion, artfully and confidently carrying phrases with nuance and emotion.
Valerie is a founding member of Griffin Choral Arts and is a regular soloist, including performances of Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Brahms’ Requiem, John Rutter’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Poulenc’s Gloria. She is also a regular soloist for the Chancel Choir at Griffin First United Methodist Church where she has sung solos for many major works, including Saint Saëns Christmas Oratorio, Faure Requiem, and The Seven Last Words of Christ by Theodore DuBois.
Valerie studied with voice faculty from Gordon College, Clayton State University, Florida State University. More recently, Valerie voice with Sandra Lutters of Atlanta. She completed her B.M. degree at Clayton State University. She performed a Master’s recital at The University of Georgia under voice professor Dr. Stephanie Tingler.
Her opera roles have included Esther in Orphan Queen by William Whitefield, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, Serafina in Donizetti’s Il Campanello, Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and Mimi in La Bohème by Puccini.
She and her family belong to Griffin First United Methodist Church, and she gives credit to the music ministry for laying the foundation for her love of singing.
She is married to Dan Gill and is the mother of Brittain and Coleman.
Heather Witt, alto
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called mezzo-soprano Heather Witt “the kind of singer you hope to hear – talented, alert… a singer with a future.” Ms. Witt is known for her portrayal of a wide array of opera’s most notable mezzo-soprano characters, including: Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette, Giulietta in Les contes d’Hoffmann (FIO, Brazil), Dryad in Ariadne Auf Naxos, Principessa in Suor Angelica, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Second Lady and Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Elmire in Tartuffe, Mauya in Riders to the Sea, Mrs. Nolan in The Medium, Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring, Meg in Falstaff, Sally in Hand of Bridge, and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, among many others.
Most recently Heather Witt performed in the debut of a fully staged production of Hans Eisler’s Hollywood Songbook (Songfest). The L.A. Times called her performance “uniformly impressive.” She also performed as a guest artist for the University of Georgia’s production of Gianni Schicchi, performing the role of Zita. Some of her other notable roles are Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Phobia in La Pizza con Funghi, Maddalena in a highlights production of Rigoletto with Northwinds Symphonic Band (Gainesville, GA), and the alto soloist for Handel’s Messiah with the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium (Anderson, SC).
Heather Witt is also an esteemed oratorio and concert soloist, and is a staff soloist at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. Ms. Witt completed her undergraduate studies in Music at Millikin University (Decatur, IL), and received a Masters in Voice from Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA).
Jonathan Pilkington, tenor
Jonathan Pilkington’s recent solo engagements include Verdi’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Haydn’s Creation, Handel’s Israel in Egypt, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. He sang the tenor solo in New York premiere of Mendelson’s Humboldt Cantata and was the tenor soloist for Elliott Carter’s The Defense of Corinth with the National Chorale at Avery Fisher Hall. He was a guest soloist at the 2014 Bassi Brugnatelli International Conducting and Singing Symposium in Robbiate, Italy.
Additional performances include concerts with Lyric Intermezzo in Augusta, GA, a recital appearance at Reinhardt University, and solo recitals at Piedmont College and Winthrop University. In early 2017, he completed a tour of concerts with Karen Sigers, piano, featuring the songs of Samuel Barber, including a performance at Spivey Hall in Atlanta. In October 2018, he toured California to promote an album of songs with classical guitar, including transcriptions of Schubert’s Winterreise.
Pilkington has performed many major choral works with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and others, and has been guest lecturer in vocal pedagogy for University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, the Sautee Chorale, and St. Bartholomew’s Church in Atlanta.
With degrees from Shorter College (B.M.), Westminster Choir College (M.M.), and the University of Georgia (D.MA.), Pilkington, formerly Assistant Professor of Music at Piedmont College, now teaches at The Lovett School, United Music Studios, and Perimeter College-Georgia State University, in addition to his own private voice studio.
As a dedicated voice teacher, he has participated in the highly selective NATS Intern Program and competed further training at the LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™ at Baldwin Wallace University, as well as One Body/One Voice at Penn State University. He also serves as a staff singer at Trinity Presbyterian in Atlanta.
Steven Humes, bass
American bass, Steven Humes has performed many leading roles on the opera stage including König Marke, König Heinrich, Vodník, Hunding, Fafner, Fasolt, Daland, Hermann Landgraf, Sarastro, Ramfis, Oroveso, Wurm, Gremin, and Commendatore, among many others.
He has appeared with many of the world’s most important theaters including The Bayerische Staatsoper, Teatro Real in Madrid, Théatre des Champs Elysées, Opera di Roma, Opéra Monte Carlo, Teatro Regio in Torino, Hamburg Staatsoper, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, The Bolshoi, the Salzburg Festival, Luxembourg’s Les Théâtres de la Ville, Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan and Beijing’s NCPA. Mr. Humes has also been heard throughout the United States in theaters including Los Angeles Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Detroit Opera, Chicago Opera Theater and Chicago’s Ravinia Festival.
Recently Mr. Humes saw performances of Lohengrin in St. Gallen, Switzerland in a production by Vincent Boussard, a return to Teatro Regio in Torino as König Marke in a celebrated production of Tristan und Isolde, singing once again under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda. He has previously sung Rocco, Daland and Frere Lawrence in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with the company.
One of his many DVD recordings is the highly acclaimed double-grammy winning Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny recorded with the Los Angeles opera in 2007.
Sought after as a concert soloist, Mr. Humes has appeared with numerous symphonies including the New York Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony and with philharmonic orchestras of Paris, Bonn, Dresden, Bremen, Palma de Mallorca, Munich and Brussels, to name a few. This season he joins The Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Cadaqués Orchestra in Spain along with several venues in the States. He has performed in many celebrated concert venues including the Vatican, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and his repertoire includes Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the Mozart Requiem, Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, the Verdi Requiem and Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion.
Carroll Symphony Orchestra
Terry Lowry, Artistic Director
Jessica Stinson, Concertmaster