News release
Public Information Office   SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 2/20/04
Click on image for publication quality photo
From left, soprano Alissa Mercurio Rowe, pianist Kenneth Boulton, soprano Joy Ratliff
      HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University mezzo-soprano Joy Ratliff, a member of the Music and Dramatic Arts Department faculty and vocal coach for the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, will present a recital March 1 at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
      The free 7:30 p.m. concert is part of the department’s annual spring arts series, “Encore!” 
      Ratliff will be joined on the program by soprano Alissa Mercurio Rowe, director of choral activities. The singers will be accompanied by pianist Kenneth Boulton, director of the Southeastern Community Music School.
      Ratliff will perform two arias by Handel, songs by Mozart, Schubert, and Berlioz, and four selections from American composer Samuel Barker’s cycle, “Hermit Songs.” She will be joined by Rowe for three duets by Purcell. 
      As a special feature of the recital, Ratliff said foreign languages professor Katherine Kolb will contribute remarks about Berlioz’s life and music. Kolb, who teaches German and French at Southeastern, did her doctoral dissertation on the French composer.
      Prior to joining the Southeastern faculty in 2002 to teach voice and diction, and to serve as opera vocal coach, Ratliff enjoyed a 15-year operatic career in Germany, performing leading mezzo-soprano roles such as Carmen, Angelina, Suzuki, Cherubino, Hansel, Orlofsky and Octavian.
      A Southeastern graduate, Ratliff taught at the University of Maryland and Marshall University in West Virginia. She also studied Italian in an intensive four-week course at Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Florence and did observation studies in diction and opera classrooms at the University of Maryland, Mannes College, Peabody Conservatory and the Juilliard School. She earned her master’s degree from Northwestern University in Illinois and doctoral degree from the University of Maryland. Ratliff is an active oratorio soloist and recitalist.
      Rowe holds master’s degrees in conducting and vocal performance from the University of Michigan, where she served as the music director and conductor of the Arts Chorale and as the assistant conductor of the Chamber Choir, University Choir, and Women's Glee Club. In 2001, she was also assistant conductor of the Detroit Oratorio Society and conductor of the Chancel Choir at the First United Methodist Church in Plymouth, Mich.
      As a soprano soloist, Rowe has performed in more than five operas and sung supporting roles in “La Cenerentola,” “The Consul,” and “La Perichole.”  In January 2002, she appeared as the premier vocal soloist at the University of Michigan’s Collage Concert where she sang Mozart's "Laudamus te" from the Mass in C Minor. She has also performed as a soloist in Pergolesi's “Stabat Mater” and Handel's “Dixit Dominus.
      Boulton has performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Europe. His debut recordings of Elie Siegmeister's major works for solo piano garnered international critical acclaim, leading to additional recordings for the Naxos label. Boulton has collaborated with cellist Ovidiu Marinescu on the recording “Fiesta Latina,” along with a recording of music for cello and piano of Nicolai Miaskovsky. He also appears with clarinetist Karen Dannessa on the newly released compact disk, “American Lyrique.” 
      A Seattle native, Boulton earned his bachelor's degree from Washington State University. In addition, he has a master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park.. He previously served on the faculties of Shippensburg University and West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and as head of the piano department at the Wilmington Music School in Wilmington, Del. Last summer, he was invited to teach and perform at the International Summer Music Institute at Transylvania University in Brasov, Romania.
      Kolb received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and studied in West Berlin on a Fulbright for two years before beginning graduate studies in French at Yale University.
      For additional information on the recital, contact the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, 984-549-2184.