Wednesday, September 18

Shannon Arnold named artistic director of Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers

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The Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers has named Shannon Arnold as the group’s new artistic director. She takes over the podium from long-time conductor Jeff Faux as the fourth director in the organization’s 19-year history, a season billed as Passing the Baton.
Arnold, who recently relocated to Southwest Florida from Philadelphia, is currently serving as director of the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and Bell Choir in North Fort Myers.
Arnold completed her undergraduate degree in Music Education at Penn State University where, as a junior, she was chosen choral conducting intern to lead the chamber ensemble, Sine Nomine. After completing her undergraduate studies, she taught superior rated ensembles at Fort Pierce Central High School in Fort Pierce, Florida. After four years of teaching, Shannon moved to Philadelphia and received her master’s degree in Choral Conducting at Temple University. After her first year at Temple, she was awarded the Robert Page Conducting Scholarship. In addition to her fine conducting skills, Arnold is also an accomplished pianist.
“We are very lucky to have brought in a musician of Shannon’s caliber. She comes in with a new voice, a new energy, that will help us to continue to grow and capitalize on the recent successes the group has enjoyed,” said Mastersingers president Anthony Contino.
In Arnold’s first season, the group will perform its usual array of masterworks and imaginative programming that has come to define the area’s premier choral ensemble. The group performs its traditional holiday concerts in December at the Community Church on Sanibel, the Readings and Carols concert for charity at New Hope Presbyterian in Fort Myers, and will, once again, join the Gulf Coast Symphony at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall for Deck the Halls. The choir will also provide the carols at the lighting of the city of Fort Myers Christmas tree.
The Mastersingers will be a sanctioned event of the Edison Festival of Light in February at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church for a performance that will travel through time examining milestone inventions and significant pieces of music that accompanied them.
The 19th season culminates with two performances in April celebrating the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. The program will feature Beethoven’s Mass in C along with the winning composition from the 2nd annual Sanibel-Captiva Trust Prize in Choral Competition.
In talking with Shannon about her appointment as director, she said, “Working with an ensemble like the Mastersingers is an incredible opportunity. I am excited to continue their illustrious history of performing masterworks at a high level. I look forward to building relationships with the members as well as the entire Fort Myers community.”
This promises to be yet another entertaining season from the Mastersingers as the baton is passed to a new conductor while the fine musicianship, well-loved masterworks, and cutting edge new choral repertoire continue. For information on how to audition to become a member of the group, or for complete information on the season schedule visit www.mastersingersfm.com.

Shannon Arnold
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