Pre-Concert Events for the Women in the Arts Conference - University of Missouri-St. Louis

Carmen Dence and Grupo Atlantico:

Bullerengue:  Its history and social significance”

All Events at Unity Lutheran Church, 8454 Glen Echo Dr., Bel-Nor, MO 63121,
Phone (314) 382-4241

November 5, 2011 at 7:30
Free concert

Carmen Sofia Dence is a Colombian-American folkloric dancer, choreographer, founder and Artistic director of the St. Louis-Based dance troupe Grupo Atlantico.

Grupo Atlantico performs at festivals, celebrations and other venues in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. She has taught dance and traditional dance costume making as a Master Artist of the Missouri Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (MAC).

Through performance and educational programs, Mrs. Dence shares the rich tri-ethnic heritage (African, Indian and Spanish roots) of the Caribbean and Pacific coastal regions of Colombia, South America. She is especially knowledgeable in the different music, rhythms and percussive instruments as well as the symbolism of costumes, dance steps and body movements. Her demonstrations of the joyous earthy dance traditions of Latin America offer exciting glimpses of authentic Colombian Carnival, Native American roots and African and Spanish artistic influences in the New World.

More Pre-Women in the Arts Conference events:

November 6, 2011 THE MECHANICAL CAT 7:00 pm: a dramatic reading. Gretchen Hewitt, composer, Janet Goddard, story and lyricist, with students of Visitation Academy.

Reading director, Marty Strohmeyer
Music director, Greg Schweizer
Performers, Visitation Academy of St. Louis Theater Program

November 7, 2011 Selected Piano Students of Alla Voskoboynikova – 7:30 pm: – University of Missouri-St. Louis. Works of Chaminade, Harbach and Zaimont.

1. Daniel Kuehler. -- Barbara Harbach. Phantasy and Fhugue for Solo Piano (1994)
2. Daniel Dickson. -- Maria Hester Park. Concerto in E Flat Major
3. John Nuckols  --   Irene Britton Smith. Prelude for Piano (1953)
4. Robert Carpenter. -- Maria Hester Reynolds. Sonata No.4 for piano and violin, Rondo
5. Hongyun Liu  ---    Cecil Chaminade. Gavotte, opus 9, No.2
6. David Doran -- Judith Lang Zaimont.
                                          Jupiter's Moons.1.The Moons Swim in Orbit,  6.Callisto    
7. Marta Kersulis -     Cecil Chaminade. Piece Romantique, opus 9, No.1
8. Thomas Winkler -  Judith Lang Zaimont. Calendar Collection. November, Secret Thunder

Alla Voskoboynikova, Piano

Alla Voskoboynikova has held the position of Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis since 2004. She extensively performs and collaborates with area musicians and regularly accompanies and coaches for the Union Avenue Opera Company as well as Webster University in St. Louis.

Before moving to the United States in 1996, Alla was a pianist and vocal coach at the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theater in Ukraine. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Music College in Voronezh, Russia and her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the Gnessins Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia. Her teachers were Oleg Milman and Lina Bulatova (student of Elena Gnessina and Henry Neihaus). Alla was an accompanist in the Tchaikovsky Competition in 1996 and has performed solo recitals along with chamber music in several European countries.

Since moving to the United States, Alla has collaborated  performing chamber music with St. Louis Symphony Orchestra members including concert master David Halen, violin,  Heidi Harris, violin,  John Sant' Ambrogio, cello, Darwyn Apple, violin, Saveliy Shuster, cello, and the STLSO Trombones . In 1998, she performed at Carnegie Recital Hall with flautist Brenda Hagni and in 2002, Alla performed  Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto with the Voronezh Philharmonic Orchestra and Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with the Webster University Symphony Orchestra. In February 2004, Alla was the Russian coach for the Saint Louis Symphony performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky and coached the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus for the performance of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Vespers in November 2006.  As a member of a duo, Alla performed John Adams’s Halleluiah Junction with pianist Orli Shaham in 2008. In the several past years Alla has organized a series of thematic chamber music recitals, including a commemoration of Dmitri Shostakovich's 100-year anniversary, a commemoration of Felix Mendelssohn's 200-year anniversary , piano and winds recitals and others. 
Alla resides in St. Louis with her husband Ilya Litvin, Russian born trumpet player and teacher and their son, Boris.


November 8, 2011On Love and Life – Women Composers for Voice - 7:30 pm: Katharine Lawton Brown, mezzo soprano, Mieko Hironaka Bergt, piano

Katharine Lawton Brown

Katharine Lawton Brown’s singing career extends to opera, oratorio, musical theatre and jazz. She started performing professionally in high school at St. Louis Muny Opera. Earning her BA from Rollins College (FL), she became principal contralto and soloist with the United States Air Force Band’s elite “Singing Sergeants,” under the direction of renowned conductor, Col. Arnald D. Gabriel. She was the first woman to be a featured soloist with the USAF Concert Band on tour. After her service, she received her MM from James Madison University (VA), and has taught in colleges and universities in Virginia, Georgia, Missouri and Illinois. She joined the music faculty of Greenville College in 2007, serving as Interim Director of Vocal Studies in 2010-11.

Kathy has performed extensively throughout the USA, in Canada and in China, has appeared as soloist on international radio and TV, and is much in demand as a guest artist with prominent choral, orchestral and chamber ensembles. Appearances include the Florida Symphony Orchestra, the Bach Chamber Chorale of Rockford, the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and Symphony Orchestra, the Masterworks Chorale, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Folger and 20 th Century Consorts of Washington, DC and the Arianna String Quartet. She premiered Claude Baker’s “Sleepers Awake” with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and has performed regularly with members of that ensemble since 1993 as principal contralto and soloist with the American Kantorei, under the direction of eminent Bach scholar, the late Rev. Dr. Robert Bergt.

For its 2010-11 season, Kathy served as Interim Artistic Director/Conductor of the St. Louis Women’s Chorale, Ensemble-in-Residence at Maryville University. She was Associate Director of the Variety Children’s Chorus from 2007-2009, performing at Cardinals and Rams games, and at the White House. Kathy announces professionally, and served for several years on the staff of KFUO-FM – Classic 99. She also emcees for the Gateway Brass Quintet. Other interests include being a TOUCH Dog handler with her “Golden/Saint,” Diego, for children with special needs and for residents of a local safe house. She is an extremely active veteran, being named the Legionnaire of the Year 2010 by American Legion Post 404. A member of Lambert Airport Rotary Club since 1990, she wrote Rotary’s 1999-00 International Theme Song, and has been honored with R. I.’s “Four Avenues of Service” citation.

Mieko Hironaka Bergt

Mieko Hironaka Bergt, a native of Japan, is a graduated of the Toho Gakuen of Music in Tokyo. She continued advanced music studies in France, under the direction and encouragement of Jean-Yves Thibaudet. While studying in Paris, Ms.Hironaka Bergt was awarded the Prize of Virtuosity, and the Premier Prix at the Conservatoire National de Region de Rueil-Malmaison and at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris - CNR. Her teachers in France, L.Descaves, B.Rigutto, O.Gardon, and E.Heidsieck made a lasting impression on her stylistic development. Ms.Hironaka Bergt received numerous prizes during her stay in France, including first prize at the Claude Kahn Piano Competition, the Maurice Ravel Medal at the Academie Internationale M.Ravel in voice accompaniment, and the Prize from the France Lions Club's Competition of Music Interpretation. Significant performances included Moments Musicaux; at the Chateau de Champs, organized by French Ministry of Culture.

Since moving to St. Louis, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras, in recitals, and has collaborated with the Arianna String Quartet, Kathy Lawton Brown, Anna Hendrickson, Wanda Becker, and Kurt Baldwin. She is currently an accompanist for the Department of Music at the University of Missouri- St. Louis, and Webster University.

November 9, 2011Kathleen Shimeta - 7:30 pm:Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe,” a one-woman show from NYC

Unity Lutheran Church
8454 Glen Echo Dr.
Bel-Nor, MO 63121
November 9, 2011 at 7pm


Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe
a one-woman show from NYC

Kathleen Shimeta , soprano
Martin Hennessey, piano

A versatile interpreter of art songs, mezzo-soprano Kathleen Shimeta celebrates musical and theatrical excellence in Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe! Ms. Shimeta's lively and elegant portrayal of Gena Branscombe has been enthusiastically received from coast-to-coast in America.

For several years Shimeta devoted time to discovering the rich repertoire of American composer Gena Branscombe (1881-1977).  Her one-woman show, “Life! Love! Song! A Visit with Gena Branscombe,” showcases fifteen of Miss Branscombe’s elegantly lyric songs with vivid first-person dialogue.  This one-woman show gives tribute to a woman ahead of her time, a pioneer for today’s women composers.  “Ah, Love I Shall Find Thee: Songs of Gena Branscombe, ” available on Albany Records, is a collaboration of the singer with accompanist Martin Hennessy.

Kathleen, a strong advocate for contemporary American composers, made her New York City debut when she performed the premiere of Michael Linton’s Cantata #2 at Merkin Hall.  She premiered Mr. Linton’s Canti Catulli in Seattle at a national convention of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and was guest soloist performing George Rochberg’s Songs in Praise of Krishna at a Rochberg festival. 

A popular oratorio soloist, Shimeta’s many appearances with orchestra include performances in Verdi’s Requiem, Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody, Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabaeus, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Bach’s St. John Passion, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Purcell’s Ode on St. Cecilia’s Day, Honegger’s King David and numerous other works.

Photo of Kathleen Shimeta © Steffen Thalemann

For more information, call Barbara Harbach at 314-516-4990 or e-mail or go the website: or