Quartet of soloists will be featured in ‘Messiah’

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The solo performers and accompanist for the Streator Community Chorus’ performance of "Messiah," which will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 509 E. Broadway, St., Streator, have been announced:

• Roger Amm, tenor: Prior to retirement, Amm served as high school vocal music educator for Ottawa High School for 32 years, and for one year at Wheaton North High School. He directed the Westminster Choir at Ottawa First Presbyterian Church for 20 years.

Amm received his bachelor of music education degree from Illinois State University, and his master of music degree from Northern Illinois University.

He lives in Ottawa with his wife, Carol. The Amms have three children: Christine (John) Armstrong, Tyler and Andrew; and three grandchildren, John Carter, Grady and Levi Armstrong.

Laurel Beard, soprano: An adjunct professor of music theater at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Beard has appeared with the Jerusalem Lyric Opera, the La Musica Lirica International Festival of Emilia-Romagna, Italy, the Chicago Summer Opera, Chicago Opera on Tap, Georgia's July 4 Chattahoochee Hills Celebration, and many appearances at her alma maters, Illinois State University and Georgia State University.

Beard will perform in productions of Prairie Fire Theater, Georgia State University Opera Theater, TALIS International Music Festival and Resonanz opera. She remains dedicated to outreach within the arts community, including Dramatic Crossroads Opera and Illinois Opera League.

Ian Greenlaw, baritone: Greenlaw is a vocal instructor at the Interlochen Center for the Arts during its summer vocal arts program and is assistant professor of music at Millikin University, Decatur, where he is director of Millikin Opera Theatre.

He has performed with Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Teatro alla Scala, Chicago Opera Theater, Pittsburgh Opera, Kentucky Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.

Greenlaw also has been a soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony.

Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano: Streator native Tombaugh's recent portrayals have included singing Rossini's leading ladies in "L'italiana in Algeri" (Isabella) and "La Cenerentola" (Angelina) with Winter Opera St. Louis, Hansel in Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" (Stockton Opera) and Fanny Price in the American premiere of Jonathan Dove's "Mansfield Park" (Indianapolis Opera).

Tombaugh is founder and executive director of the nonprofit arts organization, Poco a Poco, hosting an intensive, weeklong summer music training program for high school-aged vocalists in Streator (pocoapoco.org).

Nancy Pounds, accompanist, is an instructor of piano and faculty accompanist at Illinois Wesleyan University. She earned a Master's of Music degree in piano performance at Illinois State University. Pounds performs regularly at the IWU contemporary music programs, the Illinois Chamber Festival and as coordinator of piano at Streator's Poco a Poco 2019 summer music fest.

Pounds also performed in “It Just Takes One,” a one-woman show written by and featuring Tombaugh; and faculty recitals with lyric soprano Beard and soprano Michelle Vought. In 2020, she will premiere David Vayo’s “Three Piano Duets” alongside the composer and join in collaborations with cellist Nina Gordon and cellist Geoffrey Dean.