posted February 29, 2008

Megan Sharp and Jonathan Schakel to Perform

Hope College will feature soprano Megan Sharp and harpsichordist Jonathan Schakel, two guest artists with local connections, on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The performance is titled "The Birds & the Bees," and will feature Baroque music concerning all things avian, apian and amorous. The first half of the program will contain music by Henry Purcell, Thomas Arne, Johann Casper Ferdinand Fischer, and George Frideric Handel. The second half of the performance will feature music by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Francois Couperin, and Louis-Nicolas Clerambault.

Schakel and Sharp are husband-and-wife musicians who together direct the music program at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Va., and perform together frequently.

They both grew up locally and with strong Hope ties. Schakel, who graduated from Holland Christian High School in 1990 and is a 1994 Hope graduate, is the son of Hope English faculty member Dr. Peter Schakel and Karen Schakel of the college's Van Raalte Institute. Sharp, who graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, is the daughter of retired Hope music faculty member Dr. Stuart Sharp of Holland and of Susanne Geerdink of Newaygo.

Schakel graduated from Hope with a history major and holds a Master of Music degree in organ performance from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., where he studied organ and harpsichord with Peter Sykes and continuo with Frances Conover Fitch. He was previously a student of James David Christie and has also participated in the McGill organ academy in Montréal and the Haarlem organ academy in the Netherlands. Schakel has performed on organ, harpsichord, and fortepiano throughout the Boston area, the eastern United States, and Germany.

Sharp has performed a wide variety of musical styles throughout New England and in Germany. She has sung with the Boston Early Music Festival, the Connecticut Early Music Festival, Ensemble Chanterelle, the Schola Cantorum, Longwood Opera, and Granite State Opera. In opera, she has sung such diverse roles as Amor in Cavalli's "L'Egisto"and Baby Doe in "The Ballad of Baby Doe"by Douglas Moore. Her oratorio credits include Mendelssohn's "Elijah"under the direction of Louis Lane, and the Mozart "Mass in C Minor" at Trinity Church in Boston, Mass. She holds a bachelor's degree in music from the College of Wooster in Ohio, and a master's degree in opera from the Boston Conservatory.

Nykerk Hall of Music is located at the former 177 E. 12th St. between College and Columbia avenues.