In Focus: A "Taste of Broadway"
Cafe's Evening Arts Series Celebrated Tony Awards
August 13, 2007KINGSPORT, Tenn. — To celebrate the Tony Awards, in June the Madagascar Coffee Company presented lyric/coloratura soprano Monica Case-Harman as part of the cafe's Tuesday Evening Arts series. Monica performed popular favorites, including songs from "Wicked," "Phantom of the Opera," and many more.
Recently Monica released her first CD, entitled "Day and Night....Dark and Light," which she produced as well as performed as vocalist and pianist. Proceeds from this inspirational CD are donated to Abuse Alternatives of Bristol and The Children's Advocacy Center of Sullivan County to contribute to the wonderful work these organizations do for our community. She is currently completing a second CD, entitled "Sophisticated Lady," that includes an enticing collection of 1930s, '40s and '50s music; this CD will be released in September 2007 and proceeds will benefit local breast cancer research.
Since moving to Tennessee, Monica has been an avid performer with the Johnson City Community Theatre, Kingsport Theatre Guild, Theatre Bristol, and the Voices of the Mountains Symphony Chorus in both professional and volunteer capacities. She has also served as Music Director and Choir Master at Wheeler United Methodist Church and St. John's Lutheran Church. Presently, she maintains a private teaching studio, Harmony Studios, where she instructs both vocal and piano students, in addition to performing regularly throughout the Tri-Cities and in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area where she is from.
Monica received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from the University of Maryland where she was accepted to both piano and voice performance departments as a full-scholarship music student. At the age of 14, she began singing as a professional cantor at Seton Parish in an area outside Baltimore and Washington D.C. As a featured soprano soloist in the Crofton/ Annapolis, Maryland area, she additionally performed at many churches as well as with the Chesapeake Choral Society, Roosevelt Symphony, Prince George's Symphony, and Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.
For her appearance at Madagascar Coffee Company, Monica was accompanied by Michael Frazier, a native of Kingsport. Michael grew up in a church parsonage and developed an early love for the organ and the music of the church. His earliest teachers were prominent church musicians in the Kingsport area. He earned a bachelor's degree in music from Tennessee Wesleyan College and engaged in further organ study with John Brock and the late Laura K. White, both of Knoxville, and Wilma Jensen of Nashville. A summer job as a newspaper copy editor and fine arts reporter led him to a 10-year career as an award-winning journalist. When circumstances dictated a career change, Frazier returned to his first love, music.
In May 2000, he was named Director of Music Ministries for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Kingsport, where he directs two adult choirs, youth and children's choirs and a variety of instrumentalists in addition to playing the church's baroque tracker-action pipe organ, the only instrument of its kind in the area. Frazier enjoys theatre and has served the Kingsport Theatre Guild as musical director and vice president of the Board of Directors. He is also a trained Stephen Minister for the Holy Trinity parish.
Michael Frazier accompanied Monica's performance. PHOTOS by Rachel Anglen.