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Kingsport native returns for vocal recital

August 16th, 2011 2:19 am by Carmen Musick


   Kingsport native Andrew Rader will soon journey to Switzerland to compete in the 2011 International Countertenor Competition. First, though, he wants to preview the performance in front of a hometown audience.

   A 2001 graduate of Sullivan Central High School, Rader will perform a recital of vocal music at 6:30 p.m., Aug. 19, in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church on Church Circle in Kingsport.

   Admission is free.

   “The goal of this recital is to get all the performance jitters worked out, and to give myself some reference material (audio/video) by which I can further improve before going to Switzerland in a few weeks,” Rader said.

   “However, this particular venue, being in my hometown, will give me the opportunity to (in a way) say ‘thank you’ to many of the people who have helped me along the path to where I am today.”

   Rader has prepared a variety of music in six languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian and Japanese for the recital and competition.

   “I have had at least a bit of formal training (and, in the case of German, a fair amount) in German, French and Italian. However, Norwegian and Japanese are well outside my knowledge base, and have presented the most trouble,” Rader explained.

   “At this point, the Norwegian is beginning to make sense. The Japanese, however, remains problematic — a string of syllables that I do not fully comprehend. I intend to rectify this in the next week by enlisting the help of a native Japanese friend.”

   The International Countertenor Competition is set for Sept. 7-11 in Lugano, Switzerland. The application process consisted of Rader sending a 30-minute unedited video recording of his singing, with some very basic requirements for the repertoire, along with a résumé, headshot, and intended program for the semifinal and final rounds.

   “Admittance to the competition was synonymous with semifinals’ qualifications,” he said.

   Now, Rader said, he will “simply go there and sing as well as he can, hoping for the best amidst what will be, no doubt, a substantial body of talent.”

   A recent master’s level graduate of the Early Music Institute of Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Rader holds a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Middle Tennessee State University.

   He is a member of LIBER: Ensemble for Early Music and has performed with the group, as well as with ¡Sacabuche! Ensemble, throughout the United States and Europe. In addition, he has been involved in numerous solo and choral performances with Belle Meade (now Music City) Baroque of Nashville and Magnificat Baroque in Berkeley, Calif.

   He has performed at the Boston, Chicago, Bloomington and Berkeley Early Music festivals during recent seasons, and in 2009 he was the first-place winner of the Grace Moore Memorial Scholarship Competition, Young Artist Division.

   A resident of Bloomington, Ind., he is also a staff singer for Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in Indianapolis.

   His stage experience includes Benjamin Britten’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (as Oberon) and Indiana University Opera Theater’s production of Händel’s “Giulio Cesare.” Other solo engagements have included performances of Bach’s “St. John Passion,” Purcell’s “Come, Ye Sons of Art,” Carl Smith’s “Fire and Ice: Michelangelo the Writer,” Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” Vecchi’s “L’Amfiparnaso,” and Bach’s “Einfeste Berg.”

   During the 2012-2013 season, Rader will be involved in the premiere of John Adams’ new dramatic oratorio, “The Gospel According to the Other Mary,” in which he will be the full-time cover for the three countertenor roles.
Courtesy of Mike and Erin Lee

   Andrew Rader will preview the performance he’ll give in September at the 2011 International Countertenor Competition in Switzerland during a concert Aug. 19 at First Presbyterian Church in Kingsport.

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