Trio Pronto! is a new Anchorage chamber ensemble – harp, soprano and piano. Harpist Megan Bledsoe Wardwas born and raised in Anchorage and earned two degrees at Eastman plus a doctorate in harp performance at the Univ of Washington; she lives in Honolulu – but commutesregularly to play with the Anchorage Symphony, AK Chamber Singers and Anchorage Opera (keeping her Alaskan roots alive!) – and was the featured guest artist with the Hiland Mountain Women’s Correctional Center orchestra in December. Soprano Kara Guggenmos won the prestigious 2002 NATS competition, had a Carnegie Hall debut and has had too many opera roles to count; she moved to Alaska two years ago and is adjunct voice faculty at UAA plus has a lively voice studio in Palmer and is a welcome addition to the vocal adjudicator community. She was recently the soprano soloist with Anchorage Concert Chorus in “Elijah” and will be soloist with the Anchorage Symphony in April, 2020 in Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with singers from four Anchorage high schools. Pianist Susan Wingrove-Reed moved to Anchorage in the 9th grade and is the keyboardist for the Anchorage Symphony, a collaborative and rehearsal pianist with West, Bartlett and Dimond HS, AK Chamber Singers, Sitka Music Festival, Sitka Fine Arts camps, Hiland Prison Orchestra, & is the pre-concert lecturer/program annotator for the SMF and ASO.
The three music-loving friends collaborated on school concerts and a museum program in 2018 and have decided to make it formal, so more concerts are being planned. Trio Pronto! repertoire includes pieces originally written for harp and piano or voice, orchestral reductions, and transcriptions – and a shared passion for presenting little-known gems by female composers. Highlights of the Talkeetna concert include a set of songs by beloved American composer Amy Beach and piecres featuring harp then piano about thrushes and their bird songs. Also, an excerpt from a romantic harp concerto by Henrietta Renie. PLUS – splendid works by Debussy, a haunting Civil War song, a Broadway tune, Spanish music by Turina and much more! We love to play and sing together – join us for some unique, joyful music – the harp and company are excited to share our unusual music with you!
Short INDIVIDUAL BIOS:
Megan Bledsoe Ward has been hailed by Downbeat Magazine for her “sharp musical intelligence” and “scintillating plays of light and subtle colors.” Her debut album, Pacific Harp Project, was awarded the 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts. Ward holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from Eastman School of Music and earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from University of Washington. Ward currently performs as a soloist, orchestral harpist, and chamber musician with ensembles throughout the United States and regularly performs with the Anchorage Symphony and other Anchorage groups; she was the soloist with the ASO in March, 2017. Ward is an adjunct professor at Pacific Rim University and Chaminade University, in addition to instructing private harp students of all ages and ability levels. In addition to performing and teaching, she is a gifted composer and arranger. In December, she was the soloist with the AK Chamber Singers and the guest artist with the Hiland Women’s prison orchestra!
Lyric Soprano Kara Guggenmos is best known for her renditions of the Strauss Four Last songs, her operatic roles of MIMI in LA BOHEME and DONNA ANNA in DON GIOVANNI, as well as her deep love for art songs and recitals. Drawn especially to French art songs, she is equally at home with Sacred concert repertoire, especially the arias of Handel’s MESSIAH and the Verdi and Mozart Requiems. Ms. Guggenmos, the 2002 winner of the prestigious NATS competition, has toured with Met Opera Bass Keith Miller and relocated to Alaska from Colorado where she is excited to continue her career of passionate singing. She received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her Bachelor of Sacred Music from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. She was soprano soloist with Anchorage Concert Chorus in “Elijah” in October and will be the featured soprano soloist with the Anchorage Symphony in April 2020 in Vivaldi ‘s “Gloria.”
Susan Wingrove-Reed has been the principal keyboard player for the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra for over 30 years and also collaborates with the Sitka Summer Music Festival (& has performed in Talkeetna with cellist Zuill Bailey), Sitka Fine Arts camps, Alaska Chamber Singers, Hiland Mountain Correctional Center orchestra, Alaska All State Choir and a variety of community and student ensembles including the West, Bartlett, Dimond and Romig choirs. Reed writes program notes and gives pre-concert chats for the ASO and the Sitka Music Festival. Her family moved to Anchorage when she was in the 9th grade; she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and Master of Arts in Teaching at Indiana University and taught music and drama in the Anchorage School District for 27 years. She received an Alaska Governor’s Award for her contributions in arts education and the 2016 Alaska Music Educator Advocacy award. In February, she will be performing in the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes with the AK Chamber Singers AND is super thrilled about the keyboard parts in the Harry Potter film with the Anchorage Symphony!