Meet Your Cantor

Meet Your Cantor

can-tor 1530–40; < L: singer, equiv. to can(ere) to sing + -tor -tor alt

An official whose duty is to lead the singing in a cathedral or in a collegiate or parish church; a precentor.

 

Stacy Stephens and Rev. Paul Blankenship
Rev. Paul Blankinship and Soprano Stacy Stephens

Stacy Stephens 

The Cradle of Prayer series has become a labor of love for Ms. Stephens.  Raised as a Methodist, Stacy recalls singing her first solo, The Holy City while watching her grandfather shed tears for the first time.  During college she attended North Phoenix Baptist, and later returned to Sunday services at The American Church in London.  While living in Savannah, she embraced the 1928 Book of Common Prayer at St. John’s Church.  Morning prayer is now part of her everyday routine and actively molds the form of her life in every way.  She currently attends St. Michael and All Angels Church in Arden, NC.

Drawing from an instrumental background and music composition, a vocal scholarship and music degree from Arizona State University, production of a pop album in Los Angeles, and even a corporate career,  Ms. Stephens revived her love of classical music in London by singing at the Savoy Hotel, The American Church in London, and at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

In 2002 she made her orchestral debut with the Savannah Symphony singing “Mein Herr Marquis” from Die Fledermaus and ‘Vilja” from The Merry Widow.  Later in 2002 she appeared in the symphony’s Christmas concert with her passionate “O Holy Night”. In 2004 she performed “Casta Diva” from Norma and “The Easter Hymn” from Cavalleria Rusticana with symphony and chorus.  She continues to study with Doris Yarrick-Cross at Yale University.  In July 2009, Ms. Stephens relocated to beautiful Asheville, NC.  Since then, she has enjoyed working with Asheville Lyric Opera in their recital series singing “The Mad Scene” from Donizetti’s Anna Bolena and “O Mio Babbino Caro” from Gianni Schicchi.  Along with Timothy Wilds she debuted with the Brevard Philharmonic in September, 2009 with music from My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.

As a soprano, Ms. Stephens has enjoyed a wonderful association withYouth Opera International.  During the 2009-10 season, she will perform in eight operas from coast to coast.  Composer Sanford Jones, Choreographer Judy Jones, teachers, parents, and especially the many talented students continue to be an inspiration to her both on and off stage.  Her roles include “Baba” in The Burning Rice Fields, “Miss Nellie” in The Road to Freedom, “Demeter” in Persephone, the “Mother and Dream Seller” in Harlequin, the “Storyteller” in Moonmaiden, “Sirenia” in The Little Mermaid, and “Hachma” in Hachma and Mazel, and five different characters in Rhodopis.