Nazareth Academy High School Chorale will be performing in Christ Church Cathedral at 13:15, directed by Katherine Chmelko and accompanied on piano by Susan Clark. Weather permitting, Nazareth’s Academy Saxophone Quartet, directed by David Zagorski, will play a few tunes outside the cathedral, after the chorale concert. Admission to the recital is included in the regular cathedral entry.
Nazareth Academy High School is a Catholic, all-girl, private college preparatory secondary school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. At Nazareth, students have the opportunity to Major or Minor in Music. Nazareth boasts three vocal ensembles and five instrumental ensembles. The Nazareth Academy Chorale has toured Canada, Italy, England, Austria, and most recently, Switzerland in 2020.
They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Vatican. As the school’s most advanced vocal ensemble, the Chorale annually participates in adjudication through the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association consistently earning superior ratings. In support of new music for women’s voices, the Chorale is also a member of the Women’s Choir Commission Consortium through the American Choral Director’s Association.
Katherine Chmelko is the Director of Performing Arts at Nazareth Academy High School. She conducts the Chorus, Chorale, and Pandamonium, a select a cappella pop ensemble, at Nazareth Academy. Under her direction, the Chorale has been on five international performance tours. In September 2015, for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia, she prepared the High School Papal Choir to sing under the direction of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin for the Papal Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
Katherine made her Kimmel Center conducting debut in March 2016 as the conductor the All-Catholic High School Honors Choir as part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Concert of Excellence. Katherine is an avid choral singer and has sung with the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia and the Archdiocesan Choir of Philadelphia. She is also the Director of Music at St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Collingswood, New Jersey. Katherine holds a B.M. in Music Education from Saint Mary’s College – Notre Dame, Indiana and a M.M. in Choral Conducting from Messiah University.
Susan Clark is the accompanist of the Nazareth Academy Chorus and Chorale. She has been involved in music ministry for over 30 years and currently serves as the Director of Music for the Traditional Service at Huntingdon Valley Presbyterian Church. Susan loves to teach music, listen to music, and worship by singing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” She has music degrees from Westminster Choir College as well as a Biblical Counseling degree from the Masters College.
Susan also serves as the accompanist for the Bucks County Women’s Chorus. She teaches piano privately as well as at Nazareth Academy. Susan is married to Ian and they have three children. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, biking, hiking, swimming, and playing with her seven grandchildren.
David Zagorski is the Director of Bands at Nazareth Academy High School. He conducts the Orchestra, Jazz Band, Chamber Ensemble, and Saxophone Quartet. David is a respected conductor and woodwind player throughout the Philadelphia area. He is the lead alto saxophonist for Big Band Sounds of Swing. David is a proud Mummer and Tenor Saxophonist in the Fralinger String Band.
He also serves as Director of Parish Services at St. John Cantius Parish in Philadelphia. He holds a B.M. in Music Education from Temple University. David studied saxophone with Dr. Neil Wetzel, head of Jazz Studies at Moravian University, and Marshall Taylor, Lecturer at Temple University and a student of Marcel Mule.