Celebrate ARCA’s 16th Anniversary With Katherine “Kathy” Soroka & Friends

Updated: Oct 24

Celebrate ARCA’s 16th Anniversary with a classical cabaret performed by Katherine “Kathy” Soroka & Friends on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at 2 PM in Lincoln Hall.  This “Pops” concert will include an eclectic mix of genres ARCA audiences have enjoyed over the years – chamber music, piano solos, art song, opera, jazz standards and musical theatre - from Bizet, Strauss and Rossini to American composers Gershwin, Bernstein and Sondheim. 

At intermission, enjoy a champagne toast to the volunteers, donors, cooperative artists and patrons who have supported ARCA since its inception, and after the concert, a wine and cheese reception at the Red Brick Gallery for the opening of Jeffrey Calta’s exhibit “Dark Art: Leaded Glass in 2, 3 and 4 Dimensions” and Donna Edmond’s nature watercolors.

Known as an ARCA Board member, handing out programs or taking photos at the back of the hall, Kathy has had a double career onstage and backstage in the performing arts.  Hailed for her “masterful” and “heartfelt vocalism” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), she is known for vivid and moving performances as a singer-actress. Her world premiere of David Stock’s “Solomon Songs” with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble was acclaimed for ”finding both lush lines and dramatic intensity... commanding the stage”. (TribLive) 

In this reprise of her performance of ARCA’s inaugural concert in 2006, Kathy will be joined by tenor Robert Frankenberry, violinist Monique Mead and pianist Walter Morales. The performers will share the joy they’ve had making music together on some of the leading concert series in Pittsburgh.

ARCA is grateful to Kears and Karen Pollock for their generous sponsorship of this concert. Tickets are Adults $20, Students $5. To Reserve, call 724-659-3153 to pay by cash or check at the door – or buy online at alleghenyriverstone.org

This concert has it all – from the vocal fireworks of Rossini and elegance of Massenet’s “Elégie” to a duet from Bizet’s Carmen and Rachmaninoff’s rhapsodic 18th Variation on Paganini for piano! In the second half - ALL IN ENGLISH – enjoy Leonard Bernstein at his most outrageous as well as a medley of standards by George Gershwin, “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables, Stephen Sondheim’s “Children will Listen” and Aaron Copland’s ”Shall We Gather at the River”. Internationally acclaimed violinist Monique Mead joins the ensemble performing the beautiful violin obligato in Richard Strauss’ “Beim Schlafengehen”, as well as the first Gershwin Prelude arranged by Jascha Heifetz.

A winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions, Kathy Soroka is known for creating characters and song interpretations that are brimming with life, pathos and humor. For the Frick Museum “Music for Exhibitions concert” in Pittsburgh, she curated and performed a concert with Chatham Baroque, performed in two seasons of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival and debuted in Betty Oliviero’s Juego de Siempre in New York City with Joel Sachs and the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble, Continuum.

Recent operatic roles include Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera and Klytaemnestra in Elektra with Chatham Concert Opera; Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Aria412; and Baba in The Medium at Mercyhurst University. Performances with orchestra include Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Copland’s “Old American Songs” with the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and Gustav Mahler’s Songs of the Wayfarer, Leonard Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony and David Stock’s Three Yiddish Songs with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra – plus Tiny Tots and Schooltime educational concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

In musical theatre, Kathy has played Jenny in Company at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, the Witch in Into the Woods with the Barrow Civic Theatre, and Vera in Pal Joey at the Colonial Theatre. Cabaret performances include Don’t Tell Mama and Panache in New York City and with Aria412 in Pittsburgh.

Kathy’s first career was “backstage” managing concerts and directing programs in some of the country’s major arts organizations - in the New York Philharmonic’s senior management, as Executive Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival and Children’s Festival Chorus, and on the faculty and administration of Manhattan School of Music in NYC.

Having served five years as voice instructor and collaborative accompanist on the faculty of Mercyhurst University, she maintains a private voice studio in Pittsburgh and Foxburg and teaches cyber lessons to students across the country.

Robert Frankenberry enjoys a multi-faceted relationship with music as a singer, pianist, conductor, orchestrator, director, and even occasionally as a composer. On stage, Robert Franberry has performed a wide range of roles from Mozart Amadeus), John Adams (1776), and Bacchus (Ariadne auf Naxos) to title roles in Don Carlo, The Tales of Hoffmann, Faust, and Willy Wonka. At the piano, he regularly performs works by living composers with such groups as Pittsburgh’s IonSound, NYC’s The Phoenix Players and PRISM Players; and Chrysalis Duo. 

A charter member of the New Mercury Players, he originated the role of Robbie in Daron Hagen’s intimate musical, I Hear America Singing, and in the realm of opera film, portrayed Orson Welles in the international award-winning Orson Rehearsed (2021) and Cory in 9/10: Love Before the Fall (December 2022). 

Robert can be heard singing and playing on the Naxos, Albany, New World Records, Roven Records, New Dynamic Records, and Innova labels.  Robert was significantly involved with Pittsburgh Festival Opera from 2000 - 2021 in various capacities, including Artistic Administrator, Music Director, and Director of the Young Artist Program and is currently Concert and Communications Coordinator for the Department of Music at the University of Pittsburgh and Associate Producer for Resonance Works.

A passionate ambassador of classical music, violinist Monique Mead enjoys a rich career as a performer, educator, and innovator. Inspired and mentored by Leonard Bernstein, Mead has devoted her career to nurturing new audiences and deepening the musical experience for seasoned concertgoers. Her programs with major orchestras and festivals in the United States and Europe have drawn international acclaim for their popular appeal and innovative approach. Interweaving live music with education and audience engagement at the highest level, her programs have reached millions, as she collaborates with conductors and soloists to create interactive events that build excitement around the concert experience.

Mead also has trained hundreds of orchestral musicians to be effective teaching artists, helping them make meaningful connections with young audiences as the Director of Music Entrepreneurship Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. Mead founded the Center for Arts Innovation at CMU, which serves as a cross-campus laboratory for developing strategies and products that support orchestras and arts organizations.

A native of Costa Rica, Walter Morales is the Music Director of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra. A native of Costa Rica, Morales is the First Prize Winner of the 2019 American Prize in Conducting for Das Rheingold with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera.

Walter is an active concert pianist having toured throughout the United States, Central and South America. In New York City, he has performed at Steinway Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. He has also appeared at Severance Hall, Piccolo Spoleto Festival, International Piano Series, and at Rutgers SummerFest. He has performed as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica and Symphony Orchestra of Chile, among others. His first commercial recording featuring George Crumb’s Makrokosmos III: Music for a Summer Evening is available on Mode Records.

Concert highlights this Fall include playing Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra and a recital of Latin American composers at Chatham University and conducting the opening season concert of the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra featuring Pittsburgh composers.


See also:

ARCA's Gala Pop Concert with Katherine "Kathy" Soroka and friends.

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