Alum Downing Sings at Carnegie Hall
Patrick Downing, BM Music Business 2009, performed at Carnegie Hall on Sunday, May 29, 2011 as part of a large concert that featured the collaboration of several Quad City-based choral ensembles. A member of the professional ensemble, Quad City Choral Arts, Downing was one of 213 singers who performed Carl Orff’s masterpiece, Carmina Burana. The ensemble included the Augustana Choir from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, the Augustana Youth Chorus under the direction of Mary Tallitsch, and the Handel Oratorio Society, which consists of members of Quad City Choral Arts and Quad City area community members. The performance was conducted by Dr. Jon Hurty, professor, Director of Choral Activities and co-chair of the Department of Music at Augustana College. After performing the work locally in Feburary 2010 under Dr. Hurty’s direction, the ensembles’ joint performance with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra of Carmina Burana was the symphony’s best-attended classical concert in nearly seven years.
For this recent performance, the groups were invited by MidAmerica Productions in New York City, the largest independent contractor that presents Carnegie Hall concerts. They gathered in New York City for a four-day residency of rehearsals from May 26-29, concluding with the performance on the main stage of Carnegie Hall. Their performance of Carmina Burana also featured the New England Symphonic Ensemble; the Evergreen Children’s Chorale of Evergreen, CO; Contari of Lewis Center, OH; and the Columbia College Concert Choir and Chorus from Columbia, SC. Featured soloists included Caroline Worra, soprano, Gregory Schmidt, tenor, and Stephen Hartley, baritone.
While at WIU, Downing was very active in the School of Music. He sang bass and baritone in the Western Illinois University Singers, under the direction of Dr. James C. Stegall, every semester he attended WIU. Downing also sang in Madrigal Singers and Opera Workshop, played alto saxophone for two years with the Marching Leatherneck Band, and accompanied many of his peers and small ensembles in the School of Music on the piano. He studied piano with Dr. Tammie Walker and voice with Mr. Terry Chasteen.
After graduating from WIU in May 2009, Downing accepted a position at West Music Co. in Moline, IL as a Piano Sales Consultant and Steinway & Sons Representative. Downing continues to be musically active in the Quad Cities area. He sings in the Sanctuary Choir and Chamber Chorale at First Presbyterian Church in Davenport, IA; accompanies area vocalists, instrumentalists, and ensembles on the piano; and will make his stage debut with the Quad City Music Guild this August in the production of Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man.