raise sounds of joy!

 Pianist Liang-yu Wang and Ms. Worrell perform at the debut performance of  Raise Sounds of Joy!  in Macomb, Illinois.

Pianist Liang-yu Wang and Ms. Worrell perform at the debut performance of Raise Sounds of Joy! in Macomb, Illinois.

Welcome to the webpage for my concert project, Raise Sounds of Joy! The debut performance was on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 7:30 PM at the First Presbyterian Church of Macomb, IL. The plan is to begin touring this concert around the country later this year, and we need your help to bring this inspiring program to audiences near and far. Please consider making a donation to the project today through my PayPal account (linked below in the "Click Here to Donate to the Raise Sounds of Joy! Project"). I am also actively looking for church partners in cities across America who want to bring the concert to their congregation/audience. If you are interested in bringing Raise Sounds of Joy! to your city/community/church, please let me know by contacting me through the Contact Page of my website. 

Wishing you all Peace and Grace,

Bethany

 Ms. Worrell performs during the inaugural performance of  Raise Sounds of Joy!  in Macomb, Illinois.

Ms. Worrell performs during the inaugural performance of Raise Sounds of Joy! in Macomb, Illinois.


People are talking about Raise sounds of Joy!

A much needed gift to the world; pure joy!
— Paula from DeLeon Springs, FL
I truly was touched and uplifted by your performance. The variety of music was very special, and provided a very worshipful experience unlike any I have had lately. I am so thankful I took the opportunity to attend. God bless, and I hope the tour blossoms to reach many listeners.
— Donna from Macomb, IL
Thank you for making these songs come to life and sharing the experience with us!
— Carl from Hanford, CA
The artistic imagination behind this concept is stunning.
— Ruth from Marysville, CA
The best two hours I’ve spent in a long time!
— Suellyn from Macomb, IL

fans near and far experienced the live-stream

 Tuning in from Davenport, Iowa

Tuning in from Davenport, Iowa

 Watching in Belfast, Maine

Watching in Belfast, Maine


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Raise sounds of joy!

the inspiration behind the project

This performance will be the debut of my touring classical Christian concert "Raise Sounds of Joy!" I'm thrilled that local Macomb and WIU pianist Liang-yu Wang will be joining me for the program.

During my last few years of working in music ministry, I’ve been awakened to the wonderful world of art music for the church that the great composers have left us. Many of these pieces of music are rarely heard in a sanctuary or from a pulpit, but are instead left only to the concert hall. "Raise Sounds of Joy!" is my effort to present a concert experience that shares the high-quality and soul-stirring music from the great classical composers such as Franz Schubert, Gabriel Faure, Felix Mendelssohn, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein, among others. Biblical texts and poetry will be woven into the musical fabric to connect and guide the audience through the musical performance. 

This concert is for everyone (aged 10 and above): the believer, the questioner, the doubter, the lover of classical music, the person who has never heard the symphony, and everyone who falls in-between. There is truly something for everyone on the program. I've worked hard to include beautiful arrangements of hymns and spirituals alongside more classical offerings from the great oratorios and art song composers. Most of the concert will be sung in English, with just a few songs being offered in foreign languages with translations. Favorites like "Ave Maria" and "Be Still My Soul" will be heard alongside classical staples from Mendelssohn's Elijah and Barber's Hermit Songs. You'll be sure to hear old favorites as well as new tunes. This concert performance will promote unity, worship, joy, and hope as God’s love and peace is shared through classical music, stirring arrangements of hymns and spirituals, scripture, and poetry. 

Admission is free. A love offering will be taken during the event, and 10% of the net proceeds will be donated to the local food bank Loaves and Fishes.
 


Meet the performers

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Praised by Opera News for her “gleaming tone,” soprano Bethany Worrell has performed in Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Salzburg. Recently, Bethany made her Boston Symphony Orchestra soloist debut as the High Priestess in Aida under the baton of Maestro Andris Nelsons. Operatically, Bethany has sung with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, the North End Music and Performing Arts Center in Faneuil Hall, Boston Opera Collaborative, Opera del West, Longwood Opera, and MetroWest Opera. She is also frequently a recitalist and soloist, performing with the Metropolitan Chorale, Heritage Chorale, Atlantic Symphony, and the Boston Art Song Society. She has been a featured recitalist for the Freeport Memorial Library Concert Series on Long Island, West Tisbury Library on Martha’s Vineyard, Brookline Library Music Association Concert Series and Beethoven Society of Melrose Concert Series. Bethany is a native of Macomb, Illinois and is currently based in New York, New York.

LiangyuWang

Taiwanese pianist Liang-yu Wang has made numerous concert appearances throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, France, Finland, South Africa, Ireland, China, and Taiwan. Actively engaged in concert appearances at national and international venues, Ms. Wang has performed in Morgan Library & Museum, Richard B. Fisher Center, Hudson Opera House, National Cultural Center in Taiwan, Shenzhen Concert Hall in China, Welgemeend Hall in Cape Town, South Africa, and also in several unconventional performance venues such as the Woodbourne Correctional Facility, NY.  In the Summer of 2016, Ms. Wang was featured as an artist in residence at Cité internationale des Arts in Paris, France.

Ms. Wang has been featured as guest artist at several reputable chamber music organizations, including Lev Aronson Legacy Festival, Sonoran Chamber Music Series, Red Rocks Music Festival, and Downtown Chamber Series. Other festival appearances include Music Academy of the West, Banff Arts Centre, Schlern International Music Festival, and Académie Musicale Internationale "Barbara Krakauer”. Ms. Wang was the artistic coordinator of the recent 2017 WIU Beethoven Festival, in which she performed Beethoven's complete works for cello and piano, and Beethoven's complete sonatas for violin and piano. Along with her active performing career, Ms. Wang has also been giving chamber music master classes in US, Ireland, China, and Taiwan. In December 2011, Ms. Wang and Thomas Landschoot released their debut CD “Balabille: Cello Sonatas by Debussy, Poulenc & Chopin” on ArchiMusic, which was nominated by the Golden Melody Awards in Taiwan as “The Best Classical Music Album” of the year.

In addition to her expertise in classical chamber music repertoire, Ms. Wang is also an enthusiastic advocate of music by living composers. She has premiered several new music works, including piano solo and chamber music, and been frequently featured on New Music Festival (Macomb, IL). Recently, the celebrated Belgian contemporary music composer Frank Nuyts wrote his 19th piano sonata for her. The sonata was completed in December 2015. Ms. Wang gave its world premiere in Paris in summer 2016. 

Ms. Wang is currently on faculty at Western Illinois University School of Music after serving as Visiting Assistant Professor (Collaborative Piano/String) at the Indiana University-Bloomington. She was also a recipient of the Collaborative Piano Fellowship from the Bard Conservatory of Music, where she worked closely with renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw, the artistic director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard. Ms. Wang holds a bachelor degree in Sociology from Fu-Jen Catholic University, a performer diploma in Piano Performance from Indiana University-Bloomington, and received her M.M. and D.M.A. in Collaborative Piano from the Arizona State University. She was on staff with the Eastern Music Festival and the Banff Arts Centre in the past summers. 
 


concert venue


Press Release

Raise Sounds of Joy! will lift your winter-worn spirits and put a song in your heart. On Friday, January 19, soprano Bethany Worrell will present this concert at the Macomb First Presbyterian Church, 400 E Carroll St, at 7:30 p.m. Audience members (aged 10 and above) can expect to be encouraged and inspired.  Admission is free.  A love offering will be taken during the event, and 10% of the net proceeds will be donated to the local food bank Loaves and Fishes.  

Ms. Worrell, a Macomb High and WIU graduate, received her Masters of Music from New England Conservatory and is currently a professional soprano living in New York City.  Ms. Worrell shares, “During my last few years of working in music ministry, I’ve been awakened to the wonderful world of art music for the church that the great composers have left us. Many of these pieces of music are rarely heard in a sanctuary, but are instead left only to the concert hall. Raise Sounds of Joy! is my effort to present a concert experience that shares the high-quality and soul-stirring music from some of the best classical composers.” 

This concert is for everyone (aged 10 and above): the believer, the questioner, the doubter, the lover of classical music, the person who has never heard the symphony, and everyone who falls in-between. There is truly something for everyone on the program. Included are beautiful arrangements of hymns and spirituals alongside more classical offerings from the great oratorios and art song composers. Most of the concert will be sung in English, with just a few songs being offered in foreign languages with translations. Favorites like "Ave Maria" and "Be Still My Soul" will be heard alongside classical staples from Mendelssohn's Elijah and Barber's Hermit Songs. You'll be sure to hear old favorites as well as new tunes.

Ms. Worrell has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Metropolitan Chorale, Heritage Chorale, Atlantic Symphony, the Bostonians Concert Ensemble, and Boston Modern Orchestra Project.  She has a great enthusiasm for art song performance and frequently gives salon-style house concerts in addition to performing traditional recitals. As a recitalist, she has performed in the wider Boston area, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Martha’s Vineyard; Long Island, New York; and Salzburg, Austria. As a young champion of New Music, Ms. Worrell has given world premiere performances of orchestral, chamber works, and song cycles in Massachusetts and Illinois.

Joining Ms. Worrell is pianist Liang-yu Wang, WIU music faculty member. Actively engaged in concert appearances at national and international venues, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, France, Finland, South Africa, Ireland, China, and Taiwan. Dr. Wang served as the artistic coordinator of last fall’s WIU Beethoven Festival, in which she performed Beethoven's complete works for cello and piano, and Beethoven's complete sonatas for violin and piano. 

For more information about these musicians, use the following websites: www.bethanyworrell.com and www.liangyuwangpiano.com

© 2018 Bethany Worrell - All Rights Reserved