The Eastern Carolina Concert Society will be joined by acclaimed soprano Billye Brown Youmans in a free concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at Outer Banks Presbyterian Church, 907 S. Croatan Hwy., Kill Devil Hills.

The concert, which also will feature the Virginia Symphony brass and timpani/percussion, is open to the public.

Youmans is a versatile singer, active recitalist, clinician, and conductor whose voice has been recognized for “her silvery high notes to her warm middle register” (The Virginian Pilot).

A proponent of American music, she has premiered songs for numerous composers including Lee Hoiby, Joelle Wallach, Andrew Bleckner and Jean Berger (1909-2002), with whom she toured and who considered her the foremost interpreter of his music.

Her solo orchestral guest appearances include the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra and the Czech Virtuosi Orchestra in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Symphonicity, Nashville Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, and the Chattanooga Symphony, in addition to various choral arts societies throughout the southern United States.

Throughout Hampton Roads in Virginia, she has appeared numerous times as guest artist with the Norfolk Chamber Consort, Virginia Chorale, and the Cantata Chorus.

As a conductor, she is acclaimed for the choral sound she achieves. The diversity of her conducting encompasses music from the Baroque to more contemporary repertoire, including such works as "BWV 4 Christ Lag in Todesbanden" by J.S. Bach, "Messa C-dur, Op.86" by Ludwig van Beethoven, "Te Deum" by Franz Joseph Haydn," Requiem" by John Leavitt and "Requiem" by John Rutter.

A frequent clinician, Youmans offers workshops and training on diction, effective choral techniques, development of choral tone, and vocal pedagogy.

Under her direction, the Chancel Choir of Great Bridge Presbyterian Church has completed two successful European Concert tours in 2007 to Austria and Germany and in 2012 to Scotland. A third concert tour is planned.

She earned a graduate degree in voice performance and pedagogy from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University and an undergraduate degree in voice performance from Belmont University. Her teachers include Florence Kopleff, Louis Nicholas and Jerry Warren. She has been an applied music specialist on the music faculty of Virginia Wesleyan College since 1994. She also maintains an active private studio and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Youmans was a recipient of the 1999 YWCA South Hampton Roads Outstanding Woman of the Year Award and a 2014 recipient of the Virginia State N.A.T.S. award for outstanding teaching of high school students. In addition, she has received numerous distinctions for her contributions to the arts.


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