the duo: Vanessa
Jump Nelson and April Brookins Duvic were both born in April,
adore singing in French, and make a mean apple pie. It was through their
activities in a variety of professional organizations, primarily the National
Association of Teachers of Singing that they met in 1994. They were
featured artist of the month in May, 2003 by Nettleingham Audio, and their
Christmas CD, "Christmas Joy" with pianist Paulette Hanchett and
flutist Viorel Badiceanu, caught the attention of ChristmasReviews.com, where
it was named one of the top picks of 2003.
With and without sabres, the Duo's concertizing has taken them all around the
Northwest, including private French dinner garden parties where they have
continued singing despite dogs jumping on them and a blessing from automatic
sprinklers. One of their favorite adventures was their trip to
France, where, with pianist Mary Dibbern, of Paris, they performed in the
Atelier Concert Series. There they
presented a concert of music by the composer and opera star Pauline Viardot,
and the composers she influenced. They returned to the United States
where Mary joined them to record "Under Her Spell: The Viardot
Effect." This album has received high praise in a number of national music
reviews, and was a finalist for Best Album in the category Best
Opera/Classical Vocal CD for 2004 by the Just Plain Folks Music
Sopranos, with Portland-based pianist Paulette Hanchett, flew to LA for several
performances in conjunction with the awards, where they rubbed elbows with some
of the world’s best independent musicians from as far away as Japan and
Lithuania. They were honored to accept
the invitation to present excerpts from their nominated CD, not only at the
fourth annual Pre-Awards Showcase Concert in Huntington Beach, California, but
also at the 2004 JPF Music Awards Show at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana,
California. Demonstrating musical
diversity, they are pictured with rap group Rawbeats in the Fifth Anniversary
Issue of Singer Magazine.
In addition to their concert in Paris, the Duo’s
performances have included appearances for Frends of Chamber Music,
Eclipse Music School, Wallowa Valley Music Alliance,
Wally’s Top of the Month Concert Series,
Sherman Clay Pianos’ “First Thursday/Art
for the Ears” Concert Series, Western Oregon University’s “Seasons of
Music” Concert Series, The Vancouver
Children’s Opera benefit concert, Whitman College Concert Series, Mount Hood
Community College Faculty Recital Series, The Say-It-In-French Language
School’s “La Fete”, Linfield College Concert Series, Multnomah County
Library’s "Saturdays@Central” Concert Series, Clark
College’s “Cultural Tapestry Series”, Oregon Music Teachers Association,
Portland State University’s “Think Lincoln” Concert Series, The Old
Church, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Conference.
Both sopranos are members of MTNA (Music Teachers National Assocation) and
OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association). Duvic and Nelson are also members of
NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association).
Duvic is a member of the Music Educators National Association (MENC) and
both Nelson and Duvic maintain memberships in the Portland Alumni
Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity alumni group.
JPF Quote for 7/25/2004
We are all millionaires,
billionaires even. Because right now we have today. And today is worth
more than all the wealth we can imagine. So spend today wisely. Spend
tomorrow wisely. Enjoy the wealth of today, and realize it is worth far
more than all the money and possessions of tomorrow and beyond. -
Brian Austin Whitney
Photo by Corona
"Our students were treated to a
full concert of vocal perfection. Every phrase was executed with
precision and taste, intonation was flawless. The duo selected a
variety of literature and styles, and quickly connected with the audience."
Susie M. Jones, Music Director
Mt. Hood Community College
Singing in harmony, raising voices in song, has been part of the
musical tradition since the beginning of time. Why do we choose
to du-it? For the joy of music, for the feeling of creating
something greater than just one singer can produce, and to enjoy the
indescribable sensation that takes hold when two such musical energies
sounds great. You two
ladies are precision and light! Very well matched voices and the
Pauline Viardot complexity...Wow!"
Fudge, director of Vocal Art Works, Reno, Nevada.
“The concert was just
wonderful…It was such a treat…Their program was so much fun, with
comedy and also serious music offerings….”
Citizens for Cultural Arts (C4CA)
April 21, 2001
"The Duelin' Sopranos is a
resource unlike any other, in bringing to life music history, foreign
language, drama. Their program has spontaneity, color and is full
of emotion, which make the listener eager for more."
Doug Mrazek, Clark College
Cultural Tapestry Days, May 8, 2002
"This is magic time. Imagine that you have an angel on each
shoulder, and that they both possess pure voices of satin that lift and
intertwine in ethereal beauty on classical holiday selections."
--excerpt from review of "Christmas Joy"
which was rated a Top Pick by Christmas Reviews.com, 2003
Thank you very much,
OMTA, Portland District
Through the positive and
supportive examples we are setting, it is becoming apparent that where
our Just Plain Folks lead, the music world will follow!
-Brian Austin Whitney