Soprano Sarah Ashcroft, a 2011 Hope College graduate and Holland native who is now pursuing graduate studies in music at Eastman School of Music, will perform at Hope on Saturday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
Ashcroft is currently completing her M.M. in vocal performance and literature at Eastman School of Music, where she studies with dramatic coloratura Rita Shane. Her concert at Hope will be a preview of her master’s degree recital, which she will present in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman School of Music on Monday, May 5. She will continue her doctoral studies at Eastman after completing her master’s degree.
Ashcroft began studies with Linda Dykstra of the Hope music faculty at 15, while still a student at West Ottawa High School. She was awarded a Distinguished Artist Award at Hope, where she majored in vocal performance and music education and continued her voice study with Dykstra.
While at Hope, she was awarded the Joyce Morrison scholarship and the Sakiko Kanmori Award. She performed frequently at Hope events, including the Concerto-Aria concert and three times at the DeVos Showcase. During the 2010-11 academic year, she sang the role Anna Maurrant in the on-campus Department of Theatre/Department of Music production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene.” In 2011, she was the First-Place winner in the Opera Grand Rapids Collegiate Vocal Competition, and she was also a frequent winner at state and regional National Association of Teachers of Singing Competitions.
Ashcroft spent the fall semester 2011 in Philadelphia, where she fulfilled her student teaching requirements and continued her vocal studies. In the spring of 2012, she returned to Michigan as an elementary music teacher with Hamilton Public Schools. In the summer of 2012, she was a member of the Young Artist Program at the Chautauqua Opera.
She entered Eastman School of Music in the fall of 2012 to begin a degree program in opera performance. In the spring of 2013, she reprised the role of Anna Maurrant in Eastman Opera Theatre's production of “Street Scene.” In February 2014, she was a finalist in Eastman’s Friends of Eastman Opera Vocal Competition. Most recently, she sang the role of Madame Lidoine in Eastman Opera Theatre’s performance of “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” produced earlier this month.
Ashcroft will be accompanied during her Hope concert by pianist Lora Clark Kolean, who is an adjunct assistant professor at Hope and 1997 Hope graduate. Kolean has performed solo and chamber works at the Herrick District Library Concert Series, All Saints’ Episcopal Church Recital Series in Saugatuck, Hope College Faculty Recital Series, Brown Bag series and Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, and with the Hope College Symphonette. She is a member of Holland’s Amici Trio. She studied with Joan Conway at Hope College, Lori Sims at Western Michigan University, and Fabio Bidini at Accademia Musicale Umbra in Perugia, Italy. She has been a finalist or won several local competitions and has worked with numerous well-known artists in master classes and festivals.
Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.