SUMMER CONCERTS 2018
Sugarloaf Mountain
An Appalachian Gathering
Wednesday, August 8, 2018, 7:30PM
CLEVELAND Institute of Music (Kulas Hall)
Thursday, August 9, 2018, 7:30PM
The BATH Church (UCC)

Created & directed by Jeannette Sorrell
Starring Amanda Powell & Ross Hauck

Send-off Concerts for the U.K./Ireland Tour!

Back by popular demand — Apollo’s Fire presents its beloved celebration of the Irish immigrants in Appalachia, as the AF musicians head to Ireland and the UK on tour.

Long ago, the sparkling fiddle tunes and haunting ballads of the British Isles came across the water, taking root in the hills of Virginia.They mingled with Southern hymns and African spirituals – creating the soulful music we call Appalachian.

The people of the mountains raise their voices in celebration of daily life –
LOVE, SINGING, DANCING AND PRAYER.

The program has already toured to New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, and up and down the East Coast, in addition to over 15 sold-out performances in Cleveland.

Get the album!
Billboard Classical Crossover #5 (2015)

Sugarloaf Mountain

Watch Videos

Meet the Cast

  • AMANDA POWELL
    AMANDA POWELL
    soprano vocals
  • KATHIE STEWART
    KATHIE STEWART
    wooden flutes & penny whistle
  • ROSS HAUCK
    ROSS HAUCK
    tenor vocals
  • JEANNETTE SORRELL
    JEANNETTE SORRELL
    artistic director & harpsichord
  • TINA BERGMANN
    TINA BERGMANN
    hammered dulcimer
  • BRIAN KAY
    BRIAN KAY
    lute, guitar, banjo & long-neck dulcimer
  • SUSANNA GILMORE
    SUSANNA GILMORE
    fiddle
  • RENÉ SCHIFFER
    RENÉ SCHIFFER
    cello

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)

AMANDA POWELL
soprano vocals

has been praised for her “abundant vocal technique and infectious spirit” (ClevelandClassical.com) and enjoys a diverse career in the realms of classical, folk, and jazz. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and a certificate in jazz improvisation from the Jazz in July Institute (University of Massachusetts). Ms. Powell’s solo performances with Apollo’s Fire in recent seasons have included Handel’s Messiah (mezzo soloist), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Second Lady), Praetorius Christmas Vespers (soprano soloist), and Liza Jane in the 2013 national tour of the acclaimed Come to the River program. Her work as an internationally recognized leader in the field of sacred world music has taken her to concert halls in Italy, Spain, France, Mongolia and China. Her debut solo album, entitled Beyond Boundaries, was released in 2015 and quickly sold out on Amazon. The album explores folk and jazz traditions of cultures around the world. Amanda spent her childhood summers riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the back of her grandpa’s pickup truck and later lived in the Shenandoah Valley, within sight of Sugarloaf Mountain.

KATHIE STEWART
wooden flutes & penny whistle

is a founding member and principal flutist of Apollo’s Fire. A faculty member of the Cleveland Institute of Music, she is also a Kulas Visiting Artist at Case Western Reserve University, as well as Curator of Harpsichords at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she taught baroque flute for nearly 20 years. She is an avid proponent of Celtic music, playing Irish flute on several AF recordings. She has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Oberlin Baroque Ensemble, ARTEK, and the Bach Sinfonia in Washington, D.C.

ROSS HAUCK
tenor vocals

grew up in Ohio, but currently lives in Seattle with his wife and four children. He specializes in early music, sacred oratorio, and premieres of new works. A regular with Apollo’s Fire, Mr. Hauck has been heard as a soloist in Messiah, as Tamino in The Magic Flute, and as Johnny in the Come to the River tour, as well as being featured in the 2012 and 2013 Irish Countryside Concerts and  Sugarloaf Mountain. He has sung with the symphonies of Seattle, Dallas, Phoenix, Chicago, Baltimore, Portland, Grand Rapids, Kansas City, and the National Symphony. An alumnus of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he undertook further training at the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Aspen Festivals and at the Wolf Trap Opera Company. He can be heard on the AVIE label on the Apollo’s Fire recording of Messiah and on the Naxos label in the world premiere of the song cycle Vedem by Lori Laitman. He is also a cellist and serves as a professor of voice on the faculty of Seattle University. He frequently programs sacred concerts for churches and Christian universities, and leads an arts ministry at his church in the Northwest.

JEANNETTE SORRELL
artistic director & harpsichord

Award-winning harpsichordist and conductor Jeannette Sorrell has been credited by the U.K.’s BBC Music Magazine for forging “a vibrant, life-affirming approach to the re-making of early music… a seductive vision of musical authenticity.” Sorrell made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2013 as conductor and soloist in the complete Brandenburg Concertos. With standing ovations every night, the event was hailed as “an especially joyous occasion” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review). Other guest conducting engagements include the Seattle Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the New World Symphony (Miami), Utah Symphony, Handel & Haydn Society (Boston), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis with the St. Louis Symphony, Omaha Symphony, and the Houston Early Music Festival where she filled in for British conductor Richard Egarr on five days’ notice, leading the complete Brandenburg Concertos and playing the harpsichord solo in Brandenburg No. 5.

Sorrell and Apollo’s Fire record for the British label AVIE RECORDS, and have released 24 commercial CDs, of which seven have been Top 10 bestsellers on the Billboard Classical chart. Her recordings include the complete Brandenburg Concerti and harpsichord concerti (with Sorrell as harpsichord soloist and director), which was praised by the London Times as “a swaggering version… brilliantly played by Sorrell.” She has also released four discs of Mozart, and was hailed as “a near-perfect Mozartian” by Fanfare Magazine. Billboard bestsellers include the Brandenburgs, the Monteverdi Vespers, and Sorrell’s 4 crossover/folk programs: Come to the River – An Early American Gathering; Sacrum Mysterium – A Celtic Christmas Vespers; Sugarloaf Mountain – An Appalachian Gathering; and Sephardic Journey – Wanderings of the Spanish Jews.

Sorrell has attracted national attention and awards for creative programming. She is a two-time recipient of the prestigious “American Masterpieces” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the research and production of early American music. Her awards include an honorary doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, the Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society of Early Music and the Noah Greenberg Award from the American Musicological Society, given for her work in reconstructing early American repertoire. As a teenager, Ms. Sorrell lived in the rural Shenandoah Valley, where she grew to love Appalachian music and Southern harmony.

TINA BERGMANN
hammered dulcimer

is one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument and was described by folk musician Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard anywhere.” Playing in the aural tradition as a child, she made her solo debut at age 12 and led her first string band at age 16. Since then, she has been in demand at folk festivals and has performed as soloist with several symphony orchestras. Her contradance bands, Strings & Things and Hu$hmoney, have explored traditional American and Celtic music. She can be heard on the Apollo’s Fire CDs Come to the River, Scarborough Fayre, and Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers.

BRIAN KAY
lute, guitar, banjo & long-neck dulcimer

is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.

SUSANNA GILMORE
fiddle

enjoys a multifaceted career as solo artist, chamber and orchestral musician. She is concertmaster of the Omaha Symphony, a position she previously held with the Memphis Symphony for fifteen years. Her chamber music performances have been featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, A Prairie Home Companion and America’s Music Festivals. Her recent classical solo performances include Jennifer Higdon’s The Singing Rooms (for violin, choir and orchestra) in Paris at the invitation of Ms. Higdon, as well as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Prokofiev and Korngold violin concertos with the Omaha Symphony. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in music from Oxford University (UK) and a Master’s degree in violin performance from the New England Conservatory (Boston). She learned to play Celtic fiddle in her youth through sitting in on Irish sessions during her years in Nashville and England, and for several years performed regularly with the Memphis-based Irish band Planet Reel.

RENÉ SCHIFFER
cello

is a composer in historical styles as well as a leading baroque cellist in the international early music scene. A protégé of the great baroque cellist Anner Bijlsma, he toured internationally for 16 years as a member of La Petite Bande under Sigiwald Kuijken. He has also performed with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Ton Koopman), Les Musiciens du Louvre (Marc Minkowski), and in over 50 projects with Tafelmusik (Toronto). His compositions and reconstructions in historical styles have been performed by orchestras in North America, Europe and Australia, and appear on several Apollo’s Fire CD recordings. He can be heard on the Harmonia Mundi, Philips, Virgin Classics, Erato, Sony and AVIE labels.

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