Spirituals and Hymns in Concert
Professional Classical Musicians:
Arranger: Phillip Keveren
Soprano: Amanda Key
Baritone: Gerald Dolter
What we do:
Focused on Spirituals and old hymns performed in an operatic style, we perform not only in churches, but also concert halls, festivals, weddings, funerals, elderly homes, elegant dinner entertainment at restaurants, corporate events at hotels, and other private events. Our mission is to bring this lovely art form to the masses and show how this timeless music can deeply touch the hearts and souls of all people.
Why we do it:
Many people have not heard this type of music performed in this way. Churches are leaning more toward contemporary music for worship, and the art of old hymns and Spirituals is diminishing. We believe that many people are longing to hear these precious old hymns and the heart-wrenching Spirituals, and what better way to hear them performed than by a chamber orchestra ensemble and two opera singers?
Our one-hour program is arranged by Phillip Keveren for Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano, and Baritone.
1. His Eyes are on the Sparrow (Soprano solo)
2. Amazing Grace (Soprano/Baritone duet)
3. My Lord, What a Morning (Baritone solo)
4. Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve seen/Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (Soprano/Baritone duet)
5. Give me Jesus (Soprano solo)
6. Go Tell it on the Mountain (Soprano/Baritone duet)
7. There is a Balm in Gilead (Baritone solo)
8. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (Soprano/Baritone duet)
9. Were you There? (Soprano solo)
10. He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands (Soprano/Baritone duet)
11. Down in the Valley to Pray (Baritone solo)
12. Ain’t a dat Good News (Soprano solo)
13. Ride on, King Jesus (Soprano/Baritone duet)
14. Deep River (Baritone solo)
15. Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho (Soprano/Baritone duet)
16. How Great Thou Art (Soprano/Baritone duet)
Arranger: Phillip Keveren
A multi-talented keyboard artist and composer, Phillip Keveren displays a tremendous versatility in both his original works and concert performances. He composes in a variety of genres, and is widely acclaimed for his piano publications.
Mr. Keveren is a prolific arranger, orchestrator and producer. His work is featured in numerous instrumental recordings, church choral, educational piano and Christian artist releases (Steve Green, Travis Cottrell, Larnelle Harris, Sandi Patty, Mandisa, Jeremy Camp, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir). Phillip is co-author, major composer and orchestrator of the internationally acclaimed Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, a complete method of study for young students. His unique piano arrangements are also featured in The Phillip Keveren Series (Hal Leonard Publishing).
Mr. Keveren holds a Bachelor of Music in Composition from California State University, Northridge, and a Master of Music in Composition from the University of Southern California. He and his wife Lisa live in Franklin, Tennessee and are parents of two grown children, Lindsay and Sean.
Shortly after his birth near Vale, Oregon, on June 25, 1961, Phillip Keveren would discover what would later become his life calling and work. The son of a dentist, Robert, and a schoolteacher, Mardene, Phillip was experimenting on the family piano with unusual determination before the age of eight. After observing this behavior for a few years, Phillip’s parents wisely sought out the expertise of Karen Sherve, who became the burgeoning musician’s first piano teacher (age 8-13). As his ability and interest blossomed further, Phillip received further instruction from Fern Nolte Davidson, legendary College of Idaho piano professor. By the time Phillip graduated as the Valedictorian of Vale High School, a solid foundation had been laid for his musical training, and the gifted young man knew very clearly the direction his college education should take.
Phillip’s higher education began at Mount Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon (1979-1981), where he served as pianist and arranger for the Mt. Hood Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Two years later, he transferred to California State University, Northridge, where he completed a Bachelor of Music (composition) in 1984, graduating with honors (cum laude). Finally, Mr. Keveren attended the University of Southern California to complete a Master of Music (composition), where he graduated with the honor of “Outstanding Composition Graduate” in 1986. The natural musical aptitude Phillip enjoyed as a young boy now stood confirmed by his successful college journey.
Yamaha Corporation of America became Mr. Keveren’s first post-university employer. While he was the Director of Electone Instruction (Yamaha Music Education System; Buena Park, California), Phillip learned to write music for pedagogical use, which further enriched his graduate education. He continued to work for Yamaha until 1987, when a single step of faith to become a freelance musician set the rest of his career into motion.
Since then, Mr. Keveren has successfully worked on diverse projects ranging from piano methods, to instrumental recordings, to orchestrations for premiere Christian artists. He is a co-author of the Hal Leonard Student Piano Library, a comprehensive series of instructional books. The method has become an international best-seller (translated into six languages), and it features Phillip’s compositions, arrangements, and accompaniment orchestrations. Hal Leonard Corporation, recognized as the largest print publisher in the world, also inaugurated The Phillip Keveren Series in 2000, which features his diverse and stylish piano arrangements (over 100 folios in print) that have sold over half a million units. Mr. Keveren collaborated with Billy Joel to produce a book of piano arrangements (Billy Joel Easy Classics), which set Billy’s pop songs in classical styles from Mozart to Bartok. He has traveled throughout the United States and internationally (Canada, Europe, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand) to support these piano publications. Phillip is also known for his choral octavos and musicals, which nearly every major print publisher has released. Shelter, a collaboration with Paul Marino, was nominated as “best choral collection of 2009” by Worship Leader Magazine.
Mr. Keveren has also produced dozens of instrumental recordings that feature his unique orchestrations and distinctive piano artistry. Discovery House Music’s Classical Praise series includes many of his productions, including: “Violin & Piano”, “Cello & Piano,” “String Quartet,” and “Symphony of Carols,” to name a few. His piano solo recording, “Softly and Tenderly” has become a perennial best-seller. Phillip’s gifts have allowed him to arrange and orchestrate for many well-known Christian artists including Jeremy Camp, Mandisa, Travis Cottrell, Sara Groves, Sandi Patti, Steve Green, Point of Grace, Larnelle Harris, Dennis Jernigan, Twila Paris, Ronan Tynan, Greg Long, Mark Harris, Bob Carlisle, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
Phillip Keveren currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee, where, by God’s strength and inspiration, his musical creativity and his capabilities in production, orchestration and arranging continue to flourish and gain recognition in the Nashville music community and around the world. In his leisure time he enjoys gardening and the masterful cooking of his wife, Lisa. Among the manifold productions on which Mr. Keveren has collaborated, the couple’s children, Lindsay (born 1988) and Sean (born 1990), are Phillip’s most treasured.
Soprano: Amanda Key
Amanda Key is known for her "wonderful light lyric voice with a smashing top." The American Soprano graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and after she finished her master’s degree at the Conservatory in Amsterdam, she co-founded and was named artistic director of a Dutch opera company called B.O.O.M! Bold Opera on the Move.
She was blessed to sing in 11 different countries while living and working in Europe for 12 years. Amanda has performed various opera roles in productions such as Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna) in Greece and the Netherlands, Vivaldi’s Ottone in Villa-Macht Oder Liebe (Tullia) with Oper Oder Spree in Germany, Cosi fan tutte (Despina) in Italy, Rigoletto (Gilda) in the Netherlands, Un Ballo in Maschera (Oscar) in Spain, Die Zauberflöte (Königin der Nacht and Erste Dame) in the Netherlands, Die Verkaufte Braut (Esmerelda and Kathinka) in the Netherlands, Dialogues of the Carmelites with Austin Lyric Opera, and L'Elisir D'Amore with the Dutch National Opera Academy.
She also participated in many international masterclasses such as the International Opera Academy in Schwerte, Germany under the direction of Yamina Maamar and Norbert Schmittberg, performing Zerbinetta’s aria in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, the International Masterclass Circolo della Lirica di Padova, performing scenes from Rossini’s Il turco in Italia (Fiorilla) in Italy with director Stefano Vizioli, and performing Die Fledermaus (Ida) at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel directed under Joan Dornemann of the New York Metropolitan Opera's young artist program. She also attended the European Music Academy in Prague, Czech Republic under the direction of Maestro Wolfgang Scheidt and was a finalist in the 2016 Beethoven Award performing highlights from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Susanna, and Barbarina) and Cosi fan tutte (Despina) with the North Czech Philharmonic at the world-famous Smetana Hall, Prague Municipal House.
Amanda also performed oratorio and church music as a soloist in more than 200 cathedrals throughout the Netherlands and Belgium, including repertoire from The Messiah by George Frideric Handel, Matthäus Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ein deutsches Requiem by Johannes Brahms, Johannes Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, Sacred songs by Karl Jenkins, Die sieben Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuz by Joseph Haydn, Requiem by John Rutter, Symphony No. 3 in D minor by Anton Bruckner, Brahm's Requiem, and the Requiem by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with the Arnhems Oratorium Koor, Dordrecht Opera Koor, Belgian Vox Amicorum, Volendams Opera Koor, Groot Omroepkoor, and as a guest artist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
Baritone: Gerald Dolter
Gerald Dolter (with degrees from Indiana University) joined the voice faculty at the Texas Tech School of Music in the fall of 1995. He became the Director of TTU Opera Theatre in 1998. He has sought to program a wide variety of works to benefit students and the public interest. Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Nicolai's TheMerry Wives of Windsor, a world premiere music drama, Bellini's War, by Steven Paxton, and Verdi's La Traviata are a sampling. He has also built a reputation for staging works in unusual locations. His production of Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods, staged in a local Lubbock hotel atrium, represented a drastic departure for normal theatrical venues, in which he made use of the natural trees, brooks, pools, and shrubs to enhance the required stage settings. In 2013, he directed a new production of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte for Texas Tech Opera Theatre, which toured to the National Theatre of Honduras.
Gerald Dolter began his professional singing career in the opera houses and concert halls of the United States and Europe. Opern Welt magazine has described his performances as “radiant,” by the Frankfurter Rundschauas “powerful baritonal presence,” and by England's Opera magazine as “electrifying.” His operatic credits include appearances with the Pittsburgh, New Jersey State, Tulsa, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Arizona opera companies, as well as the opera companies of Frankfurt, Mannheim, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen, Krefeld, and Montpellier. From 1985 to 1991, Dolter was the leading baritone with Germany's Bremen Opera. His repertoire there included such diverse characterizations as Germont in La Traviata, Escamillo in Carmen, and Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress. His operatic repertoire includes more than 87 characterizations and 40 leading roles in musical theatre. He was a National Winner in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 1984, and is now a frequent adjudicator for that competition at both the district and regional levels.
Dolter created a musical theatre production company, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals, in 2006. The company has produced many grand-scale musicals in the outdoor setting of Lubbock's Moonlight Musicals Amphitheatre. Texas Tech students have benefited significantly from participation in its activities. In addition to valuable professional stage experience, these students receive hands-on experience as administrators, stage performers, musicians, and stage technicians. As a result of the company's success, a new professional endeavor called Moonlight Broadway has spun off from summer operations, allowing TTU participants professional resume credits. To date, Lubbock Moonlight Musicals has paid more than $1,000,000 in stipends to Texas Tech and other university students.