ARTISTS REACHING COMMUNITIES

About the Artists

Christine Clemmons McCune, Founding President

Soprano

Soprano, Christine Clemmons McCune, is a native of Washington, DC.  She is a graduate of The Duke Ellington School of The Arts.  She studied at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Gratz, Austria. She is also a graduate of the The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA) with a Bachelor of Music degree.  Christine attained a Master of Music from The Juilliard School (New York, NY) Christine is a singer with immence musicality and diversity.

Christine was awarded the esteemed Marian Anderson Historical Society Young Artist Award (2000)

Versatility has been this soprano’s trademark throughout her career. She sang the role of Governess in Benjamin Britten's Turn of the Screw.  Christine brought life to the role of Radical in Chandler Carter's No easy Walk to Freedom, an opera about the life and struggle of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. She originated Vina in the contemparery, anti-slavery musical, Stand by the River by Mark Sutton-Smith. She originated Mary in the new opera Ellen Craft.  Christine has relished the roles of Armelia in Ain't Misbehavin, Jubilee in Band of Angels and Jeanette in Crowns. Christine toured Taiwan with the American opera Company productions of Rigoletto and La Boheme. As a proud member of Actor's Equity Association, she was seen in both Purlie and Kismet at City Center.  

She has shared her great love of American music, expressly Musical Theatre, Opera and Spiritual with audiences of every age and background with her work as a teaching artist through The Learning Arts, a company focused on infusing the arts in the learning process.

After starting a family, Christine Clemmons McCune has changed her focus to bringing her joy of the musical experience to the community.  

Brandon McCune

Piano

This Chicago native makes his home in Newark, NJ.  His musical studies began at age three, when his parents enrolled him in the Suzuki Method of Classical Piano. For the past eighteen years, Brandon McCune has been an experienced Professional Musician (pianist, organist, drummer, trumpeter, bassist, vocalist, and choir director) serving as a principal music instructor, composer, counselor, arranger, and performer with a special concentration in the jazz, classical, and gospel genres.  

Brandon was selected through a national audition as a 1998-1999 U.S. Jazz Ambassador to Africa, where he traveled abroad representing the United States performing public and private concerts, master classes and workshops.  He has worked as a band leader, music director, or as a sideman for artists such as Abbey Lincoln, Terence Blanchard, Nneena Freelon, Betty Carter, Miki Howard, Wynton Marsalis, Ted Dunbar, Larry Ridley, Russell Malone, Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Mark Gross, Antonio Hart, and Orbert Davis.

Brandon has served as Minister of Music for several congregations in NJ.  He currently serves as Musical Director for all music and dance ministry programs at Union Baptist Church (Montclair, NJ).  His leadership acumen is demonstrated in his founding of BASIC Inc., a non-profit umbrella for Gospel Music entertainment, music education, and various other arts related entities. He, along with Pastor Amir Ballard, co-founded the "Just Cause" concert series which brings together the music departments from different congregations for an annual Praise & Worship celebration.

He can be heard on many recordings. A partial listing includes:  Brandon McCune (“Tell the Story, MAC5 Records), Nneena Freelon ("Blueprint of a Lady", "Live", “Tales of Wonder” & “Home Free”, Concord Records), Abbey Lincoln (“Over the Years”, Verve Records), Lenora Zenzalai Helm (Voice Paintings, MidLantic Records), Alma Micic ( “Introducing Alma” & “The Hours”), Gregory Kilpatrick (“Come On Over”), and Pam Purvis (“I Had A Ball”).

He has written music for choreographer Camille A. Brown’s “Matchstick” and “Groove to Nobody’s Business”, which has been touring with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.   He has also written and arranged music for Nnenna Freelon and  Ronald K. Brown and Evidence Dance Ensemble for the collaborative work “The Once and Future Life of Billie Holiday”.

His education was garnered at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, NJ, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 1997.  Privately he has studied with jazz luminaries Kenny Barron, Betty Carter, Mulgrew Miller, Abbey Lincoln, Larry Ridley, and Ted Dunbar. 

Brandon is currently serving his community as the Music Production instructor at Newark Vocational Technical High School.


Steven E. Herring, Teaching Artist

Baritone


American Baritone, Steven E. Herring, is a native of Washington, DC.  Mr. Herring is a graduate of The Duke Ellington School of The Arts.  He is also a graduate of the The Juilliard School with a Bachelor of Music degree.  Steven is a singer whose repertoire spans many musical genres. 

Steven Herring is extraordinarily committed to the music of our time, especially the music of American composers. In the summer of 2010, The Lincoln Center Institute hired Mr. Herring to develop an all American art song recital with performances at Lincoln Center as well as the New York City school system throughout the 2010-2011academic year. 

“The songs that make up this program offer a vibrant aural and verbal overview of this art form across four centuries, in the process touching on key moments in American history and culture,” says Althea Lazzaro of The Lincoln Center Institute.

Currently, Mr. Herring is the Baritone love interest in Alicia Hall Moran’s the motown project. The motown project, with its unique chamber ensemble, engineers alchemy of Opera and Motown. It achieves an utterly fresh take on the layered complexity of African-American music and American cultural identity.

Versatility has been this baritone’s trademark throughout his career. He sang the role of Pluto in Anne LeBaron’s rewriting of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, The E&O Line, an electro-acoustic blues opera with a libretto by Thulani Davis. Steven was a member of Roberts Revival and is a featured soloist on the recording “God Has Done Marvelous Things”, an artistic collaboration with Grammy Award Nominee, David Haas. Very convincing in “crossover” repertoire, audiences have enjoyed Steven Herring’s performances of Agwe in Once on This Island; Wandering Son in Bubblin’ Brown Sugar; Obatala in God’s Trombones; Doc in West Side Story, and The Porter in Stand by The River.

On the operatic stage, he has performed the roles of Papageno in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Count Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro, Colas in Mozart’s Bastien and Bastienne, Peter in Humperdink’s Hänsel und Gretel, Virgil Thomson and Herman Atlan in Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All, Henry Davis and Dick McGann in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, Crown and Jake in George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, King Melchior and King Balthazar in Menotti’s Amahl and The Night Visitors.

As a featured soloist, Mr. Herring’s extensive concert repertoire includes symphonic performances of Beethoven Choral Fantasy at Powell Hall with The Saint Louis Symphony, Fauré’s Requiem with 

The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and Orchestra of Saint Lukes, Christ in  Bach’s St. John Passion with The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and Concert Royal; Peter in Bach’s Saint Matthew Passion at Palacio de Bellas Artes with Musica Angelica and The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys, Carmina Burana at The John F. Kennedy Center with The Catholic University Symphony Orchestra, Messiah at The National Shrine with The Catholic University Symphony Orchestra, Mozart Festival at Alice Tully Hall with The Juilliard Symphony.

Mr. Herring was the soloist with The Forte String Quartet for the world premiere of Roumi Petrova’s Suite #1 for Baritone and String Quartet in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 1994, at the invitation of Vice President and Mrs. Gore, Mr. Herring was a guest artist for a celebration in honor of the newly President Elect of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. 


ARC Artists Reaching Communities
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