At noon on Thursday, April 23, soprano Noemí de Silva with pianist Laurelie Gheesling will perform a free concert at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University as a part of the museum’s weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.” The performance is sponsored by sponsored by Anonymous Friends of the Series. The café menu is available online.
Initially trained as a violinist, soprano Noemí de Silva (née Pérez Silva) began her vocal studies at the University of Florida where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance. After graduating, she has continued her training with Theresa D’Aiuto Andrasy-Sokol, Linda Mulé Switzer and David Okerlund. She graduated with her Master’s Degree from the Florida State University in May 2012.
Ms. de Silva has been praised by critics for her ability to “enact a simple, beautiful [portrayal] utilizing a sweet vocal tesatura befitting the character” (La Gaceta). She has enjoyed what she considers a rich working relationship with the Spanish Lyric Theater in Tampa, FL. Among her roles, she has portrayed the title character in “Cinderella,” Julietta in “El Conde de Luxemburgo,” Asia in “Agua, Azucarillos y Aguardiente,” and Rosaura in “Los Gavilanes.” Ms. de Silva has also appeared in productions with Opera Tampa, Florida State Opera, and St. Petersburg Opera.
Ms. de Silva is currently the director of the Montgomery Music Project. The group’s stated mission is to develop young people and bring communities together through music by delivering affordable, high-quality music instruction to the children of Montgomery and the River Region, and by uniting diverse geographic, ethnic, and socio-economic communities under the umbrella of the arts.
Pianist Laurelie Gheesling joined the Auburn Department of Music in the fall of 2009. Her experience includes a diverse background in vocal arts, opera, choral, instrumental and musical theater. Teaching activities include collaborative piano, applied piano, chamber music and the Alexander Technique. Performance activities include faculty and student solo and chamber recitals.
She previously served as Professional-in-Residence/Accompanying in the School of Music at Louisiana State University. There, she was the musical director and pianist for the LSU Opera Outreach Program. Ms. Gheesling was the accompanist for the Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus from 1993 to 2008. From 1994-2000 she was the Staff Accompanist at University of New Orleans.
Additional activities in New Orleans included Metropolitan Opera Master Classes with Phyllis Curtin, George Shirley, Ruth Falcon and others. She has performed frequently in New Orleans as a recitalist at Loyola and Tulane Universities, and was an orchestra member for Broadway tour shows including The Producers, Hairspray, 42nd Street, and others at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.
In July, 2013 Ms. Gheesling was an accompanist for the Buffet Clarinet Summer Academy, Jacksonville, FL. Other recent performances include a recital with early music specialist, soprano Julianne Baird and the College Music Society Southeast Region Conference with the Auburn Faculty Wind Trio. She presented Alexander Technique and Collaborative Piano sessions at the 2012 Alabama MTNA conference at Jacksonville State University.
Ms. Gheesling is a certified teaching member of Alexander Technique International and teaches in group and private settings. As an ATI member, she attended and performed at the 7th International AT Congress in Oxford, England. She is also a recipient of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Southern Division James Ronald Brothers Achievement in Accompanying Award.
A native of Atlanta, GA, Ms. Gheesling holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Mercer University in Atlanta and the Master of Music degree in Accompanying from Florida State University. Former teachers include William Knight, Pamela Ross and Carolyn Bridger.
Opera and musical theater credits include work with the Atlanta Repertory Opera, Savoyards Light Opera, The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Vineyards Opera, Asbury Music Theater, The Florida State Opera, South Georgia Opera, Seaside Music Theater in Daytona Beach, Florida and Tulane Summer Lyric Theater.