Dr. John Carlton Banks is a professional classical musician and music teacher with over two decades of experience. He has worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Washington Opera, Natchez Opera, Ash-Lawn Highland, and Bregenzer Festspiele. Dr. Banks has appeared in concert with Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, including recordings and video by Sony.
Willsonia Boyer, soprano, performs both as an opera singer and as a concert artist. Presented by the Hans and Rosy Epstein Memorial Committee, Ms. Boyer made her New York recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall to critical acclaim. Operatic appearances include engagements with New York City Opera, Bregenz Festspiele, Virginia Opera, The Bronx Opera, and New Jersey Concert Opera and performance venues include Europe and South America, as well as the United States.
Operatic roles include the title role of Aida, Serena in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Helen in Schubert’s The Conspirators, the Countess and Sandrina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and La Finta Giardiniera, respectively. In addition, Ms. Boyer has appeared with the New Jersey Concert Opera in the title role of Tosca and as Helmwige in Die Walküre in 2006, in New York City Opera’s premier of Margaret Garner in 2007 and in Sherry Boone’s and Sean Jeremy Palmer’s Ellen Craft in 2009.
Concert engagements include the inaugural concert of the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, Virginia, a series of all-Mozart recitals given under the auspices of the Friends of Mozart Society, opera excerpts with the Petersburg (VA) Symphony Orchestra and guest appearances with the Ars Musica Chorale of New Jersey and with the Hodie Ensemble of New York.
An active recitalist, Ms. Boyer has appeared in concert throughout the eastern United States. B. Art Presenter presented Ms. Boyer in a celebratory tribute to Dorothy Maynor at Merkin Concert Hall in 2010 and will again present Ms. Boyer at Merkin Concert Hall in an all-women composer concert on March 25, 2012.
Ms. Boyer, a native Virginian, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Hollins University, a Master’s degree from Virginia State University, where she studied with Dr. Richard Edwards. She also studied in France at the Conservatoire de Neuilly, specializing in contemporary music under the tutelage of Francois Bernard Mâche, a pupil of Olivier Messiaen.
Ms. Boyer is currently regular soloist for Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist in New York City and currently studies with retired Metropolitan Opera baritone, John Fiorito.
Mr. Bradford is an accomplished attorney and arts producer. As an attorney, he has worked in the private sector and for city, state, and federal government. In 2009, he founded the arts firm, B. Arts Presenter, which provides highly talented visual and performing artists with the opportunity to work professionally. Through B. Arts, Mr. Bradford was instrumental in bringing the African American painter and sculptor James B. McMillian (1925-) to a larger audience, including co-producing exhibitions of his works across the county.