February 12, 2020

Guest Soprano Joins Clarinetist and Pianist

On Thursday, February 20, the Westminster Conservatory at Nassau series will continue with a recital featuring music of Franz Schubert and Canadian-American composer Nathaniel Dett. The performers will be guest soprano Holly Gash and two members of the Westminster Conservatory faculty: Kenneth Ellison, clarinet and Clipper Erickson, piano.

The recital will take place at 12:15 pm in the Niles Chapel of Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street in Princeton. It is open to the public, free of charge.

The February 20 program comprises spiritual arrangements by Dett, Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the Rock) for soprano, clarinet, and piano, and Enchantment, a work by Dett for solo piano.

Gash has performed leading roles in more than 20 operas, and she has appeared as oratorio soloist, both in the United States and Central America. After graduating from Loyola University with degrees in clarinet performance and music therapy she pursued her enthusiasm for singing and completed a Master of Music in vocal performance at the University of Arkansas. She has apprenticed with the Austin Lyric Opera, Virginia Opera, Amarillo Opera, and Knoxville Opera. Her operatic roles have included Verdi’s Luisa Miller; Desdemona in Otello; Violetta in La Traviata; Leonora from La Forza del Destino; the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Fiordiligi from Cosi Fan Tutte; the Governess in Britten’s Turn of the Screw; and Elizabeth Proctor from Robert Ward’s The Crucible; among others.

Ellison has performed internationally with many ensembles, including the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Riverside Symphonia, the Greenville Symphony, and the American Fine Arts Festival. He has played under such conductors as Andrea Quinn, John Rutter, Frederick Fennell, and Rossen Milanov in venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, NJPAC, and the Liszt School of Music. He performs regularly with the Chelsea Opera Company and he is adjunct professor of clarinet at Kean University. He teaches clarinet and saxophone as a member of the senior faculty at Westminster Conservatory.

Erickson made his debut at age 19 in Los Angeles as soloist with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra. He pursued his studies at The Juilliard School, Yale University, and Indiana University, and won top prizes at international competitions such as the Busoni and William Kapel competitions. Erickson performs as soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, as well as recitalist in venues including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Carnegie Hall and Symphony Space in New York. Erickson is a faculty member of Temple University as well as Westminster Conservatory.