Suzi More Sings Songs of John Jacob Niles

by Suzi More with Angela Manso

Released 2010
Released 2010
Songs and Carols of John Jacob Niles for voice and piano.
John Jacob Niles (1892-1980) was an American Singer-Song Writer who was well known for collecting traditional folk ballads which greatly influenced the folk musicians of the 50s and 60s
In one publication of his songs for voice and piano, he sadly commented that he had transcribed so many ballads people didn’t really see him as a composer and that people assumed everything with his name on it were just folk tunes that he had collected throughout the nation. He is best known for his Christmas carol, “I wonder as I Wander” and for one of the first songs that he ever wrote entitled “Go ‘Way from My Window.” In addition, there were many art songs that Niles wrote with the poetry of Thomas Merton as well as arrangements of his music for chorus. He toured many years performing on the dulcimer or lute and singing with a high tenor voice.

Known for his great ability to write with the heart of the Kentucky mountain people in mind, John Jacob Niles could bring the life and soul of this culture to us through his use of flowing melodies and piano accompaniments that paint so many beautiful tonal pictures. Suzi More Sings with Angela Manso on this sampler of his works. A recording of some of her best Niles songs, Miss More and Miss Manso were a well known duo performing song recitals of American Art Songs in the tri-state area. Originally taped by Robert Speiden of Plainfield, NJ, this CD was remastered at Clearcut Studios, Garfield, NJ.

A New Jersey native, Miss More has performed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. She has been soloist and has appeared in numerous operatic roles performing with the Festival Chorus of New Jersey, the Masterwork Chorus and Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Singers, the Plainfield Symphony, Ars Musica Antiqua, the Garden State Chorale, the State Repertory Opera, Jersey Lyric Opera, Choral Baccarelli (Sao Paulo, Brazil), the Academy of Vocal Arts Opera Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), Montclair Chamber Orchestra, and numerous others. In 1989, she was the award-winning collaborator along with composer Loretta Jankowski, of a song cycle entitled Phoenix, published internationally by Boosey & Hawkes, in December 1993. The work, featuring Ms. More, was presented at both the Los Angeles, California (1989), and Little Rock, Arkansas, national Association of Teacher's of singing (NATS) conventions. She is a recipient of several Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Incentive Grants, for performance and research. She is a member of the NATS, NJ, NYC and National chapters. Also, a composer of jazz, folk and children's songs. Her voice teachers and coaches include Franco Rossi-Roudett, Terrence Shook, Helen Fenstermacher, Chloe Owens, Daniel Ferro, Marlena Malas, Dorothea Discala, Frank Valentino, Deborah Taylor, and Dolores Cassinelli. She has appeared in master classes with Elly Amelling, Jerome Hines, Judith Raskin, and Dalton Baldwin. Ms. Morehead holds a B.A. degree from Rutgers University, M.A. degree from Jersey City State College, and pursued studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts, in Philadelphia, and New York University..

Pianist Angela Manso has served as musical/director/pianist for over forty operas and musical theater productions, including twenty for New York City's Bel Canto Opera Company. She served as assistant conductor for the Carnegie Hall performance of Mrs. H.H.A. Beach's Grand Mass in E-Flat Major, a work that was subsequently recorded in the Newport Classics label. Ms. Manso was the official accompanist for the first World Harmonica Championship on the Isle of Jersey, U.K., during which she performed in recital with harmonica virtuoso, Cham-Ber Huang, and accompanied internationally renowned artist Larry Adler and Mr. Huang performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto arranged for two harmonicas. As a composer, her Prayer for Mankind was performed by the Central City Chorus with Director Mr. Charles Pilling and organist Harry Huff. Women Singing, a women's choir directed by Ms. Phyllis Clark, performed Ms. Manso's O Son of Spirit! (originally written for eight-part mixed choir and arranged for four-part women's voices by Ms. Clark for the concert). The Celestial Tree was performed by Monica Jalili, soprano, and Angela Manso, pianist, at the Festival of the Arts presented by Global Music in New York City in 2002. Ms. Manso's chamber piece, Dawn, written for women's voices, harp, Native American flute, and Tibetan bells and ting-shas, was presented at the New York Baha'i convention in 2001.

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