MARI PALMER, voice specialist
Mari discovered she had a talent for singing when she was chosen in ninth grade to compete in a regional Music Teachers Association Competition. Taking first place 2 years running, the decision was made to pursue voice at a college level. She was accepted at Boston Conservatory of Music as a voice major with a full four year scholarship. Her senior year she was accepted into the graduate Opera Workshop Program with John Moriarty. During that year, she was chosen to sing in Opera Scenes at The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Following graduation she applied and was accepted into the graduate program at Boston Conservatory. Winning the Proctor & Gamble scholarship grant, she was able to attend the Opera Workshop at a graduate level and perform the role of Mother Marie in Dialogue of the Carmelites. In that same time period, Mari did the prestigious Met Auditions and made it to the semi-final round.
Joan Heller, Mari’s former teacher, offered a vocal teaching position at Harvard University which Mari accepted and held for 10 years. During that time she also taught at Boston Center For The Arts
Mari has been to the Shenandoah CCM Summer Conservatory four of the last 10 years and is Somatic VoiceWork: LoVetri Method Level 3 Certified.
wendy brown, musical theater
Wendy is a singer, actress, dancer, song coach, and educator. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She pursued a career in music theatre for several years until she and her husband were called into the ministry. She and her husband worked together in New York City, serving in children's and adult ministries for 10 years. She and her family now reside in Florida where she writes, performs, home educates, and is in the process of developing a Fine Arts Academy for her community. Some of Wendy's favorite theatrical roles include "Dot" in the First National Tour of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, "Patsy Cline" in ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE, "Candy" in NBC's ANOTHER WORLD, "Annie" in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN, and "Cassie" in A CHORUS LINE. She has most recently written, directed, and starred in her own solo acts, "Stories of Love, Chapter 1", and "Stories of Love, Chapter 2". Wendy and her husband enjoy the blessing(s) of 10 awesome kiddos!
KAREN SORRELLS, CHORAL DIRECTOR
Karen Sorrell is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Music. She went on to earn her MA in Church Music at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mrs. Sorrell's choirs have won many awards at the state and local levels.
She is a member of the Choristers Guild, the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (AGEHR), and the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE).
Mrs. Sorrell currently serves as Associate Minister of Music at First Baptist Church of Asheville where she recently founded a Fine Arts Academy.
JOSHUA CARSWELL, PERFORMING ARTIST & VOCALIST
Joshua Carswell is an accomplished vocalist and frequent performer of opera, oratorio, musical theatre and commercial music. A native of North Carolina, Mr. Carswell graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a Bachelors in Vocal Performance, garnering the university’s prestigious Presser Music Scholar award. He has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium as a guest soloist with the Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra and made appearances with the Greensboro Opera and Symphony as well as the North Carolina Symphony. His recent roles include Ferrando in Cosi Fan Tutte (American Singers Opera Project), Rinuccio in Gianni Schicci (Elon) and soloist on “Generations” in Children of Eden (Elon).
Mr. Carswell’s exceptional interpretive skill has garnered national attention. He recently won the 2012 Grand Prize in the prestigious American Traditions Competition in Savannah, GA, and was recently a guest soloist with the Savannah Philharmonic. He is a winner of state and regional levels of NATS for Classical and Musical Theatre.
MARY MAPLES, VOCALIST
Mary Maples received her Bachelors of Music and Masters of Music from Belmont University. She currently teaches and is the Director of Fine Arts at The Covenant School in Nashville, TN.