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Mahogany Chamber Music Series: “Vocal Juggernauts” at Crosstown Arts

February 26 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Crosstown Arts presents the Mahogany Chamber Music Series: “Vocal Juggernauts” at Crosstown Theater.

Crosstown Theater
Sunday, February 26, 2023
Doors at 5:30 pm | Concert at 6 pm
Tickets: $20 | $5 students


The Mahogany Chamber Music Series is a series of three chamber music concerts curated by Dr. Artina McCain, spotlighting Black and other underrepresented composers and performers.


Angela Yoon, soprano

Paulina Villareal, mezzo soprano

Marcus King, tenor

Jason Terry, piano

Artina McCain, piano

Angela Yoon, soprano

Coloratura soprano Angela Yoon is known for her delightful and beautifully expansive voice and her ability to deliver texts through music. As a soprano soloist, she has been named as a winner and finalist in various competitions and has performed solos, recitals, and concerts as a guest artist throughout the United States, South Korea, Germany, Canada, and France. Her performances include a wide range of genres. She has been featured on radio broadcasts and recordings such as National Public Radio (NPR) and appeared as the soloist and principal artist in oratorios, cantatas, and operas including Poulenc’s Gloria, Phan’s Vietnamese Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Handel’s Esther, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Missa Brevis St. Joannis de Deo, Willcock’s Magnificat, Allegri’s Miserere, Bach’s St. John’s Passion, and Perez-Velazquez’s Ídolos del Sueño. Her roles have included Kitty (The Last Savage), Thi Mao (The Tale of Lady Thị Kính), La fée (Cendrillon), Madame Goldentrill (Impresario), Sandman (Hansel and Gretel), the Plaintiff (Trial by Jury), and Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance).

She is interested in creating interdisciplinary musical experiences for her audiences through collaborating with other fields such as visual art, science, social justice, history, and even political science. Her current performance programs include WWI program Broken Harmony: Reconstructing Art, diversity concert program Colorful Harmony: Melodies from Near and Far, and a social justice concert program on refugee, human trafficking, marginalized youth, and undocumented immigrants entitled Songs of Hope: Unveiling Darkness. Songs of Hope will be premiered at Birmingham Museum of Art in the fall of 2022 followed by performances at Johns Hopkins University and Carnegie Hall.

She serves on the voice faculty at Belmont University, and prior to Belmont she was on the faculty at Samford University and Baylor University. As an educator, Yoon has had diverse experiences with musicians and non-musicians alike. Her voice and musical theatre major students have been accepted to music schools in the U.S. and abroad as well as professional opera houses, theaters, and cruise lines. Non-musicians, too, have benefited from her expertise in vocal pedagogy and voice therapy, helping to place them in nationally-syndicated broadcasting companies.

Paulina Villareal, mezzo soprano

Mexican mezzo-soprano Paulina Villarreal is a prominent recitalist, cabaret, operatic, and musical theater singer around the United States and Mexico. A graduate of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Dr. Villarreal has been a soloist and resident artist in important companies and orchestras around the United States like Opera Saratoga, Cincinnati opera, Opera Fusion: New Works, the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Pops (Boston, MA), Opera Memphis, Opera Steamboat, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Appalachian Symphony Orchestra and the Decatur Millikin Symphony Orchestra. In the entrepreneurship and administrative world, Dr. Villarreal is the founder and artistic director of the annual concert series “Cantos para Hermanar al Mundo”, devoted to the promotion of classical vocal genres hosted in Northern Mexico. She is currently a professor of voice at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, and the Young Singer Program Director at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, a prestigious summer training program in the United States.

Trained as a classical vocalist, Villarreal is now in demand for her singing versatility in musical theater, and commercial music genres. An advocate of new music and crossover works, she has closely collaborated with contemporary American composers like William Bolcom, Laura Kaminsky, Ricky Ian Gordon and Derek Bremel, and recognized by important foundations like the Kurt Weill Foundation in New York, and the Comic Opera Guild in Michigan for performing a wide variety of vocal genres.

Recent performance credits and career highlights include the world premiere of Mango Suite with the Princeton Symphony, Simply Sondheim: Stephen Sondheim’s 85th Birthday Celebration with the Boston POPS, Sondheim vs Webber with the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Macy’s ArtWave Sampler with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Alma de España with Cincinnati Song Initiative, featured performances with the Wagner Society of Cincinnati, HPAF’s Hollywood Hits season opener at the Big Island of Hawaii, a tour of William Bolcom’s Complete Cabaret Songs (Die Neue Galerie, NYC; National Women Museum of Arts, Washington DC, Cohen Studio Theater, Cincinnati) and multiple recitals promoting her extensive research on Mexican composer Maria Grever.

Marcus King, tenor

Marcus King is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a bachelor’s degree in music education, cum laude, and a master’s in vocal performance. In the summer of 2009, he premiered the John Baur opera Magdala at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY, in the role of St. Peter. During the summer of 2008, he attended the International Institute of the Vocal Arts program in Chiari, Italy, studying with Mrs. Mignon Dunn. His home voice teacher is Pamela Gaston of the University of Memphis. He is the 2010 first-place winner of the Memphis Beethoven Club Competition, district winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions (2008 and 2009) and first-place winner of the N.A.T.S competition district level in Memphis, TN. He also participated in the AIMS program in Graz Austria, where he made it to the finals of the annual Aims Meistersinger Competition. In 2013 he made his European debut in Norfolk, England, as Demetrius in the Yorke Trust Summer Opera production of Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream and in 2014 rejoined the company as Ubalde in Gluck’s Armide. In December of 2014, he traveled to Japan as a soloist in the New York-based professional touring group, D&P Joubert LLC/ The Glory Gospel Singers. He has been a young artist for the Utah Festival Opera as well as The Charlottesville Opera, formerly known as Ash Lawn Opera. For Charlottesville Opera, he played the role of Monterone in Verdi’s Rigoletto. For Opera Memphis, he has had many solo roles, such as Mr. Gobineau in The Medium, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Samuel in Pirates of Penzance, Joe Harland in Later the Same Evening, and the doctor in La Traviata. In the Spring of 2018, he played the role of Erminio in The Triumph of Honor for Opera Memphis’ Midtown Opera Festival. Soon after, he debuted at Opera on the Rock in Little Rock Arkansas, in a new work entitled Troubled Island

Jason Terry, piano

Praised for his “passion and commitment” at the keyboard, Jason Terry has given performances throughout North America, Asia, and Europe as both a soloist and collaborative pianist. His performances have been broadcast on NPR stations from border to border. During the 2022—23 season, he will appear throughout the U.S. including Carnegie Hall, the Peabody Institute, and the National World War I Museum. In addition to live performances, he was recently invited to serve as a recording artist for Steinway’s Spirio piano and is a recording artist for a forthcoming music theory textbook which promotes diverse examples of literature. An artist-teacher, he continues to serve as a piano faculty member for the world-renowned Interlochen Arts Camp and has been on faculty for the Beijing International Music Festival as a master teacher. He is an enthusiast of arts advocacy, especially in matters of social and cultural diplomacy. Since 2017, he has been affiliated with the NGO American Voices and has traveled to teach and perform throughout the Middle East. Moreover, recent grants have supported his work using art to fight against social injustices such as human trafficking.

Aside from teaching and performing, Terry is interdisciplinary in his research. Since 2020, he has worked with physical therapist Dana Daniel Blake (DPT) to create resources for pianists to better understand the musculoskeletal system and how it most efficiently operates while sitting at the piano. So unique is this research that it was selected for presentation at the 2021 national conference of the American Physical Therapy Association and the 2022 Performing Arts Medicine Association’s International Symposium. Moreover, this research earned him the 2022 Innovator of the Year national award from Physical Therapy Learning Institute. Alongside his interest in the physical requirements needed to play the piano is his work with the physical instrument itself. Since 2020, Terry has been an apprentice in the piano technology field and is currently working towards earning the Registered Piano Technician (RPT) credential. Merging physical performance techniques and a comprehension of the mechanics of the instrument is the basis for a graduate piano pedagogy course he has developed.

Jason remains active as a music researcher and writer and continues to present and publish throughout the world. During this past year, he has received invitations to present and perform on a range of diverse topics such as “Genderism & the Arts” (University of Gothenburg-Sweden), “Music & Cultural Diplomacy” (Tampa, FL), and “The Solo Piano Literature of Hazel Scott” (University of Arizona). Since 2018, Jason has authored and published biographies for Steinway & Sons’ Immortal Artists. His scholarship in the field of piano performance history is extensive, and portions were recently included in the Carnegie Hall archives. Furthermore, his investigation on the origin of the plagal-amen cadence has been accepted for presentation at several prestigious institutions around the world including Oxford University.

Dr. Jason Terry is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at Samford University where he serves as Director of Keyboard Studies.

Artina McCain, piano

Described as a pianist with “power and finesse”, “beautiful and fiery” (KMFA Austin) and having a “sense of color, balance and texture” (Austin Chamber Music Center) Artina McCain, has built a three-fold career as a performer, educator and speaker. As a recitalist, her credits include performances at Wigmore Hall and Barbican Centre in London, Weill Hall at Carnegie and Merkin Hall in New York City and more. Other highlights include guest appearances with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Dedicated to promoting the works of Black and other underrepresented composers, McCain curates Underrepresented Composers Concerts for multiple arts organizations. She is an American Prize winner for her solo piano recordings of these works and won a Gold Global Music Award for her recent album project Heritage. In 2021, Hal Leonard published her transcriptions of Twenty-Four Traditional African American Folk Songs. In 2022, she was the mistress of ceremony for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

McCain was a featured inspirational leader in the award-winning PBS documentary series Roadtrip Nation: Degree of Impact in an episode exploring the real-world impact of professionals with doctoral degrees in and outside of academia.

McCain’s performances have been heard on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), Germany’s WDR and television appearances including features on CSPAN for the MLK 50 Commemoration. McCain is a three-time Global Music Awards winner including collaborative projects I, Too (Naxos), with soprano Icy Monroe, focused on African American Spirituals and Art Songs and Shades, a collaboration with her husband and duo partner Martin McCain.

After not performing for 6 years while battling a performance injury, she now enjoys a prolific concert career with more than 10 years of full injury recovery. She uses her recovery to serve as an advocate of musicians’ wellness–curating articles, lectures, and forums to educate teachers and students. Her article on performance injury and Muscle Activation Techniques was published in the Piano Magazine. McCain has presented on wellness and other topics at Universities and the Music Teachers National Association Conference and the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy.

McCain graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University. She received her Master of Music from Cleveland Institute of Music and holds a doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the Keyboard Area at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis and Co-Founder/Director of the Memphis International Piano Festival and Competition.

In her spare time, Artina enjoys boutique shopping, traveling internationally and is an avid tea aficionado.

Artina McCain is a Yamaha Artist.


February 26
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Crosstown Theater

1350 CONCOURSE AVE • MEMPHIS, TN • 38104 • 901.203.8300