Christopher Meerdink, tenor
Les Petites Histoires Françaises
All the way from Texas tenor Christopher Meerdink and pianist Denise Parr-Scanlin bring French flavor to a menu of music that includes Automne by Chaminade, Poulenc’s song cycle Banalités, and his beloved Story of Babar the Little Elephant for piano and narrator as well as some favorites by that American who was in Paris, George Gershwin.
Dr. Christopher Meerdink has performed extensively in recital, concert, and on the opera stage. Some of his roles include: Tamino in The Magic Flute, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado, Dr. Caius in Falstaff, Marco in The Gondoliers, the tenor roles in Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s Regina Coeli, and Haydn’s Mass in Time of War. He is recorded on the NAXOS label on two CD collections, Jewish Operas, v. 1, and Schonfield: Viola Concerto, Four Motets, The Merchant and the Pauper.
In 2012, Dr. Meerdink founded the Song Collaborators Consortia, and organization dedicated to art song. The Song Collaborators Consortia has hosted five national conferences, the latest at Syracuse University and the historic Barnes Hiscock Mansion in Syracuse, NY.
Dr. Meerdink has chaired the Committee on Youth Opera for the National Opera Association. He is the President of Young People’s Musical theater, of which the Youth Opera of El Paso is a DBA. In his commitment to youth music opportunities, he has taken part in Bowling Green State University Opera for Youth, Toledo Opera Education and Outreach Program, Young People’s Theater of Ann Arbor, and Evanston Light Opera Works in Evanston, Illinois.
Dr. Meerdink is a licensed Massage Therapist (TX121366), and licensed Massage Therapy Instructor (TX3204). In addition, Dr. Meerdink is currently pursuing a master’s degree in counseling. Dr. Meerdink has presented on applications of both massage and counseling to his work in music at international, national, regional, and local conferences.
Currently, Dr. Meerdink is Associate Professor of Music, Voice at West Texas A&M University. Previously, Dr. Meerdink has previously served on faculties at Delta State University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and at Taylor University.
He earned his B.Mus. from Houghton College in Houghton, New York, his M.M. degree from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and his D.M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has studied under George Shirley, Andreas Poulimenos, Spiro Malas, Martin Katz, Hartmut Höll, and Betty Giles.
Denise Parr-Scanlin joined the music faculty at West Texas A&M University in 1998. She formerly taught at Mercer University Atlanta and the University of North Georgia. Her Doctor of Musical Arts degree is from the University of Texas at Austin (piano studies with Anton Nel) and her Bachelor of Music and Master of Fine Arts degrees in piano performance are from the University of Georgia (piano studies with Despy Karlas). Additional study was at the American Conservatory of Music in Fontainebleau, France where she was privileged to be in one of the last classes of private students of Nadia Boulanger. As a recipient of the Harriet Hale Wooley Scholarship, she spent a year in Paris, France as a piano student of Yvonne Loriod. There she appeared in recitals at the Fondation des Etats-Unis and at the American Church. From 2006 – 2012 she was a member of the Artist Faculty of the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival at Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, and Luther College, Iowa. Among her many festival performances were the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Omega String Quartet and the Quintet for Winds and Piano by Beethoven with members of the Movére Woodwind Quintet. She has presented lecture-recitals on works by Clara Schumann and Cécile Chaminade at the Athena Festival at Murray State University, Kentucky, at the national conference of the Music Teachers National Association. In 2014 she presented solo piano recitals and master classes in China, Taiwan, and Thailand, and the following year performed in London on the Emmanuel International Recital Series in West Hampstead and in Paris at the Fondation des Etats-Unis. Also an active adjudicator, she served on an international panel of judges for the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival in 2009 and 2014 and will return to judge in 2020.
Enjoying a special interest in chamber music, Dr. Parr-Scanlin is featured on the Naxos recording of the Sonata for Cello and Piano by Samuel Jones with cellist Emmanuel Lopez. She was a member of the WT Symphony quartet that won 3rd Prize in the national competition for theErnst Bacon Memorial Award for Performance of American Music in 2016.