Sound & Spirit of Kalamazoo features area musicians

Date(s) - Thursday, November 05, 2015
7:00 pm

First Baptist Church

Sound & Spirit of Kalamazoo, Nov. 5, 7:00 pm, First Baptist Church

Katelin Spencer

Katelin Spencer

This program features area musicians representing diverse sacred music in our Community. Performers to include Clarence Small, Katelin Spencer, and many more.

On the program will be a performance of the Bharata Natyam, considered the most ancient and technically purest form of classical dance in India. The dances to be performed are:

Alarippu: Invocation dance to bless the performances in the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

Tillana: A dance of live casino celebration in praise of Lord Rama.  Based on a North Indian musical form, “Tarana”, this represents the fusion of North and South Indian musical traditions.

Pavitra Attanayake and Samadhi Attanayake

Pavitra Attanayake and Samadhi Attanayake

Dancers: Pavitra Attanayake, a sophomore at Portage Central High School and Western Michigan University and Samadhi Attanayake, a fifth-grader at 12th Street Elementary School.

Guru: Susan Iervolina has taught Bharata Natyam in the Kalamazoo area for 35 years.  She studied Bharata Natyam at the Kalakshetra Institute in Chenai (Madras), India, and danced professionally in India. She now imparts the rich and vibrant dance history of India to her students.

Famoro Dioubate (bala) is from Kankan, in the heart of the Manden region of Northeastern Guinea. He is a grandson of the legendary Djeli Sory Kouyate, one of the most renowned musicians in Guinea, and the leader of the National Instrumental Ensemble of Guinea during the 1960s and 70s. Like his grandfather, Famoro Dioubate is a master of the bala. He also performed with contemporary musical ensembles and artists from Guinea and Mali, including Sekouba Bambino, Mory Kante, and Sekouba Kandia Kouyate. He participated in artistic residencies in France in 1994, and since coming to New York City in 1999, he has collaborated in educational programs at the Juilliard School. He is a regular performer with Keba Cissoko’s Tamalalou and with Sekouba Kandia Kouyate, with whom he has also recorded.

John C. Griffin is a professor of music at Western Michigan University and Associate Director of Music at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Portage, Michigan.   As a pianist, he has performed with the new music ensembles Opus 21 and Birds on a Wire, and currently serves as the accompanist for the Kalamazoo Singers choral group.  As a composer he was named a Finalist of the International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition 2011 and semi-finalist for the American Prize in Composition. His pieces have been performed at numerous festivals and conferences, including College Music Society International Conferences in Croatia (2009), South Korea (2011), Argentina (2013), and Scandinavia (2015).  More information can be found at

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton was born and raised in Maryland where he participated in various youth orchestras, Kennedy Center education programs, and public school arts programs. After graduating High School, Jordan attended school at Baldwin Wallace University where he received his Bachelor’s in Cello performance and studied with Regina Mushabac. Following that, Jordan enrolled in the performance certificate program at Western Michigan University, where he began lessons with his current teacher Bruce Uchimura. He is currently a freelance musician and teacher in the Southwest Michigan area. His current inspiration for cello comes from the music and cello playing of Stephan Braun. Jordan will be performing Max Bruch’s “Kol Nidre” with John Griffin.

Monica Washington Padula

Monica Washington Padula

Monica (Washington) Padula is a 2010 graduate of Western Michigan University,  where she received a Master of Music in Piano Performance. Since graduating college, she has maintained a piano studio (the Washington Piano Studio) and served as music director, pianist, and organist for churches in the Kalamazoo area. She is currently serving as keyboardist and organist at Portage United Church of Christ. Monica enjoys remaining active in the music community of Kalamazoo, and has particularly contributed to the community theater programs of Comstock Center Stage Theater and the Civic Theater of Kalamazoo, serving as either music director, music conductor, and/or keyboardist. In addition to being a pianist, Monica plays jazz, blues, and gospel music on the alto saxophone with bands for special events. In her little spare time (she also proudly mothers four children), Monica practices songwriting and composing/arranging sacred, modern, and film music. Monica is, above all, a firm believer that music, being an inner personal experience, is a necessary tool to encourage the growth and connection of humans to one another as well as a valuable method to elevate and heal the human condition in ways no other medium can. You can learn more about Monica from her website,

Beth Patterson is a contemporary Christian/folk singer/songwriter celebrating the release of her debut album, “Ponder Anew”–a collection of original modern hymns. She will be joined by Cara Lieurance (flute/vocals/penny whistle) and Carolyn Koebel (guitar), performing “ponder anew” and “for all” 

Karl Schrock

Karl Schrock

Karl Schrock is University Organist at Western Michigan University. A musician of broad training and experience, Dr. Schrock holds four graduate degrees from The University of Michigan School of Music, where he has served as choral director and theory teacher, and as sabbatical replacement and visiting faculty in the organ department. In over two decades at WMU he has taught theory, organ, harpsichord, accompanying, keyboard skills, continuo playing, summer Seminar, chamber music, and choral literature, and served as primary choral accompanist. A pianist and harpsichordist as well as organist, he has performed internationally as well as for conventions of the ACDA and AGO in this country and has served as Music Director/Organist at churches of various denominations. He plays regularly with the Grand Rapids Symphony, teaches privately, serves as coach/accompanist, and works as a free-lance musician in Michigan and elsewhere.

Clarence Small

Clarence Small

Clarence W. Small, a product of the Kalamazoo Public Schools, was invited at an early age to tour the country with the internationally known choir, Wings Over Jordan. He then became first tenor for the acclaimed male quartet, Wingmen, and launched a successful career in Los Angeles. Between performances, he taught himself the organ and studied theory, solfeggio and harmony at the City College of Los Angeles.  Since returning to the Midwest, he has been a performer, lecturer and teacher. He performs as a violinist with the Battle Creek and Southwest Michigan Symphony orchestras and as an organist in area churches. Clarence is co-founder/associate conductor of the AfraAmerican Chorale and in 1994, he was awarded the Kalamazoo County Community Medal of Arts. 

Katelin Spencer, soprano,  received her B.M. in voice performance from University of Michigan and her M.M. in Opera Performance and Literature from Northwestern University where she performed such roles as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Rose in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, and Florestine in the 20th century opera, The Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano. She has been a featured soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s Magnificat, and Schubert’s Mass in G. In 2014, she made her Chicago debut with Light Opera Works as Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof.

Katelin will perform, with Clarence Small, He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands (arr. Margaret Bonds), Give Me Jesus (arr. Moses Hogan) and Witness (arr. Hall Johnson).

Admission to this concert is free. Donations accepted.




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