GRAMMY milestone for Westminster Choir College

Westminster Choir College’s impact on the choral world was evident when the 2021 GRAMMY Award nominations were announced last week.

For the first time, a Westminster graduate participated in each of the five recordings nominated in the Best Choral Performance category. Additionally, Westminster alumnae were featured in two recordings nominated in the Best Opera Recording category, according to information provided by Westminster.

Best Choral Performance

The Crossing, which won the 2018 and 2019 GRAMMY Award in this category, received its sixth nomination for the recording “Carthage,” an album featuring six pieces by composer James Primosch. Donald Nally ’87 conducts The Crossing, which is composed of many Westminster alumni, including Katy Avery ’18, Ryan Fleming ’93, Steven Hyder ’12, Lauren Kelly ’16, Rebecca Myers ’02 and Daniel Spratlan ’05.

Soprano Laquita Mitchell ’99 is a soloist on the recording of Paul Moravec’s “Sanctuary Road,” an oratorio about the Underground Railroad based on the documentary writings of African American civil rights activist William Still.

Adam Luebke ’04 is chorus master for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus, tenor Timothy Fallon ’03 is a soloist, and Ryan Russell Brown ’14 and Stephen Karr ’04 sing in the chorus in the recording of Richard Danielpour’s oratorio “The Passion of Yeshuah”.

Benedict Sheehan ’01 is the chorus master and Elizabeth Peters Frase ’99 sings with The Saint Tikhon Choir in the recording of Alexander Kastlasky’s “Requiem.” Additionally, Charles Bruffy, who serves on the faculty for Westminster’s Summer Conducting Institute, and Joseph Charles Beutel, a CoOPERAtive Program alumnus, are part of this recording.

Alumni Chris Jackson ’11, Fiona Gillespie ’10 and Rebecca Myers ’02 are members of the Skylark Vocal Ensemble, nominated for the recording “Once Upon a Time.”


Best Opera Performance

Emily Magee ’89 sings the role of Ghita in Deutsche Oper Berlin’s recording of Alexander von Zemlinsky’s “Der Zwerg.”

Makeda Hampton ’09 is a member of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus in the recording of Gershwin’s “Porgy & Bess.”

Best Instrumental Solo
Congratulations also goes to Yannick NĂ©zet-SĂ©guin, who studied conducting at Westminster for two summers and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music in 2015. He conducts The Philadelphia Orchestra in the recording “Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival” with pianist Daniil Trifonov.