**Note: Check Melissa out on CDs by Conspirare and the Houston Symphony Chorus here on CDBaby!**
Soprano Melissa Givens has been resoundingly praised by audiences and critics alike for her rich, liquid tone and intelligent, musical interpretations and is noted for her expressiveness and elegance on the stage. Hailed as a singer whose music making is “consistently rewarding” and “a pleasure to hear, ” Givens is also an extremely versatile artist, regularly performing repertoire from the Baroque era through music of the 21st century. Recent appearances include Mozart’s C-Minor Mass with the renowned Victoria Bach Festival, and the title role in Handel’s Esther with Ars Lyrica Houston. In addition to her ALH collaborations, Ms. Givens performs regularly with the Bach Society of Houston and Austin based Conspirare. She can also be heard on her solo compact disc, let the rain kiss you, available at www.melissagivens.com.
Critical Praise for Melissa Givens:
Soprano Melissa Givens was the best, singing with effortless tone and gracious musicality.
- Charles Ward, Houston Chronicle
Givens' focused, agile, velvety instrument and her fine sense of the text did justice to Bach's cantata. She shone brighter still in...Schubert's "The Shepherd on the Rock."... Here, Givens' sustained notes took on a gorgeous bloom, sounding disarmingly like a very fine cello. She was thrilling at full voice in the joyous final section.
- Mike Greenberg, San Antonio Express News
Houston soprano Melissa Givens, performing the treacherous solo in the fifth movement [of Brahms' A German Requiem], sounded like the angelic voice that Brahms probably imagined as he composed it.
- David Mead, Austin American-Statesman
About the other Artists:
JOBY BELL coordinates the Sacred Music degree program and teaches organ, harpsichord, and theory as a Visiting Professor at the Miriam Cannon Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. His concertizing in the United States has met with high critical acclaim, and his performances abroad have been enthusiastically received in Paris, Chartres, Romania, Hungary and Scotland. He is currently involved in three solo recording projects; two recordings on Houston organs to be released by Raven Recordings and a third CD recorded in May 2006 on Appalachian State University's 1984 Casavant Freres organ to be released by ASU.
THERESA HANEBURY is one of Houston's premier trumpet players, equally in demand as a soloist, chamber player and Musician Contractor. She appears frequently with the Houston Ballet Orchestra. Ms. Hanebury is also the co-director, with Nancy Goodearl, of the Houston Holiday Brass Concerts, benefiting the International Women's Brass Conference scholarship program.
THE PICASSO STRING QUARTET (Christine Brain Elston, Linda Sanders, Lawrence Wheeler and Steve Estes) is Houston-based. Its members play with the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchetras and are in demand as artist teachers in the Houston area.