Angela Brown, soprano
Angela Brown personifies the ideal soprano: sheer vocal power; luxurious finesse; and shimmering, high pianissimos. With a charming personality larger than life, she unites opera, pops, and gospel in one sensational voice and has graced the leading opera and symphonic stages across six continents. A featured artist on the two-time Grammy Award® winning recording “Ask Your Mama,” Angela’s international reputation continues to grow.
Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted Angela onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. Headlines from The New York Times read: “At last an Aida,” and CBS Weekend News proclaimed: “the future of opera has arrived!” followed by features on the front page of The New York Times, on CNN, in Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Classical Singer, Reader’s Digest, and Psychology Today.
While opera is the main catalyst for her career, Angela’s performance experience includes everything from star hostess on stage to producer, recording artist, and program creator. Her most recent endeavor is launching Morning Brown, Inc., a nonprofit with the mission of bridging the gap between accessible, live-music programs and underserved individuals, schools, and communities. Drawing on the success of her groundbreaking show, Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View©1997, Morning Brown, Inc., works to bring cultural experiences and awareness to cultural deserts. She launches a new podcast with Classical Music Indy and co-host Joshua Thompson this year titled “Melanated Moments in Classical Music.”
Other milestones for Angela include singing on the Grammy Award®-winning recording of “Ask Your Mama,” composer Laura Karpman’s setting of the poem by Langston Hughes of the same title and co-starring in the new American opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird in the 2015 world-premiere performance with Opera Philadelphia. She reprised the role of Addie Parker in historic performances at The Apollo in New York City in 2016, for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Madison Opera, and in London at The Hackney Empire in 2017. This season, Angela sings Addie for Seattle Opera and New Orleans Opera and performs her outreach show Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View in Portland, Atlanta, Indianapolis, and Seattle.
Earlier career highpoints include her collaboration with American composer Richard Danielpour. Her early success as Aida was immediately followed by world premier performances of Danielpour’s opera Margaret Garner in the role of Cilla with Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera and Michigan Opera Theater. The result was a triumph that led Mr. Danielpour to set the poetry of visionary Maya Angelou for Angela’s voice in an orchestral song cycle, A Woman’s Life, co-commissioned by Pittsburgh Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra, recorded in 2012 with the Nashville Symphony and released on the Naxos label in 2013.
A noted interpreter of African-American spirituals, Angela released Mosaic, a collaborative recording featuring spirituals with guitar and piano, in October 2004 from Albany Records. In 2005, a live Christmas concert with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Indianapolis Opera Chorus was recorded by WFYI-PBS and broadcast throughout the United States. She guest starred on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor radio show in 2009. In July 2010, Angela was presented in Shanghai at the World Expo 2010 as a guest of USA Pavilion and the United States Consulate. Angela was the only opera singer invited to perform for the USA Pavilion. She also opened the One Nation Working Together Rally in Washington, DC, by singing the National Anthem on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and was selected by Marvin Hamlisch to premier his song composed for her and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in honor of The Indianapolis Prize.
Throughout her career, Angela has joined forces with symphonic pops legends Marvin Hamlisch, Jack Everly, and Erich Kunzel while traveling the world for classical performances at Lincoln Center, Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Capetown Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Edmonton Opera, Calgary Philharmonic, Shanghai World Expo, Moscow Performing Arts Center, and more. But, she always welcomes a return home for appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony for their Yuletide pops extravaganza, the Indianapolis Opera, or to sing the National Anthem for the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers, and Indy Eleven. Adding the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 (2017) to this list only deepened her love affair with her beloved Indianapolis and it with her.
Ms. Brown’s previous solo appearances include: Metropolitan Opera; National Opera of Paris; Bilbao Opera, Spain; Teatro La Fenice; Hamburg Opera; Vienna Staatsoper; Capetown Opera; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Opera Philadelphia; Cincinnati Opera; Pittsburgh Opera; Opera Pacific; Florentine Opera; Indianapolis Opera; Michigan Opera Theater; Opera Birmingham; Dayton Opera; Florida Grand Opera; The Philadelphia Orchestra; Pittsburgh Symphony; Auckland Philharmonia; Leipzip Radio Orchestra; Latvian National Symphony; Moscow Symphony Orchestra; Festival of St. Denis, France; Indianapolis Symphony; Cincinnati Pops; Cincinnati Symphony; Brevard Festival Orchestra; Phoenix Symphony; Roanoke Symphony; Madison Symphony; El Paso Symphony; Knoxville Symphony; Chautauqua Institution; Carmel (Indiana) Symphony; residencies and recitals at Skidmore College and Acadiana Symphony Orchestra; Calgary Philharmonic; Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic; The Trumpet Awards; The Walker Theatre in Indianapolis; The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference; The Marian Anderson Award Ceremony; the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. Angela has performed in recital throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand and Africa.
A 1997 National Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions Winner, Ms. Brown received her Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, where she studied with Ginger Beazley. She attended the Indiana University School of Music as a student in the studio of Virginia Zeani. Ms. Brown received the Indiana University African American Arts Institute’s inaugural Herman C. Hudson Alumni Award in 2006, given annually to recognize outstanding contributions made in the arts by former members of the Institute. Ms. Brown is featured in “Nineteen Stars of Indiana,” a book by Michael S. Maurer about nineteen, living Hoosier women with successful and inspirational life stories, released by Indiana University Press in December 2008. Angela is a proud recipient of the Indiana University Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the Governor’s Arts Award from the Governor of Indiana, a Spirit of the Prairie Award from Conner Prairie in Indiana, and a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame.
Ted N.C. Wilson
Ted N. C. Wilson was elected as president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church in July 2010 during the General Conference Session in Atlanta.
Wilson began his church career as a pastor in 1974 in the Greater New York Conference. He married Nancy Louise Vollmer Wilson, a physical therapist, in 1975. The couple has three daughters: Emile Louise, married to Pastor Kameron DeVasher; Elizabeth Esther, married to Pastor David Wright; and Catherine Anne, married to Dr. Robert Renck. The Wilsons have 11 wonderful grandchildren. Born in Takoma Park, Maryland on May 10, 1950, the son of former Adventist world church President Neal C. Wilson and Elinor E. Wilson, Wilson spent part of his childhood in Egypt.
Wilson served as an assistant director and then director of Metropolitan Ministries in New York from 1976 to 1981. He went on to serve in the church’s then Africa-Indian Ocean Division, based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, until 1990. There he served as a departmental director and later as executive secretary.
Following his post in West Africa, he served for two years at the Adventist world church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States, as an associate secretary. He went on to accept the position of president of the church’s Euro Asia-Division in Moscow, Russia, which he held from 1992 to 1996.
Pastor Wilson returned to the United States to serve as president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, until his election as an Adventist world church vice president in 2000.
An ordained minister, Pastor Wilson holds a doctor of philosophy degree in religious education from New York University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University, and a master of science degree in public health from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health. In addition to English, he speaks French and some Russian.
Daniel R. Jackson
Daniel R. Jackson, the president of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, was elected June 28, 2010, by delegates of the world church at their business session in Atlanta, Ga., and reelected to this position on July 6, 2015 at the 60th General Conference Session held in San Antonio, Texas. The General Conference Session is the highest governing body in the Church.
Jackson is a native Canadian and, with the exception of five years of service in the Southern Asia Division, has lived and ministered in the North American Division. He is a graduate of Canadian Union College (now Burman University) and Andrews University, from which he holds an M.A. in Religion in Systematic Theology.
During his career, Jackson has served the church as a pastor, teacher and administrator. Jackson and his wife, Donna, enjoy the three children and four grandchildren the Lord has given them.
But foremost, Jackson says that he is a fellow traveler on the same path as every Christian headed toward the Kingdom.
Michael Kruger is president for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. The international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serves in 118 countries and has roughly 6,000 employees and volunteers. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief.
Kruger provided ADRA auditing and consulting services for nearly a decade prior to joining ADRA as Vice President for Finance in 2014. As the agency’s chief financial officer, he was responsible for leading the agency’s fiscal and auditing functions and managed contractual agreements.
Earlier, he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1992 in his homeland South Africa where he worked as an auditor for 16 years. He moved on to open a private practice in early 2000 specializing in local and international tax planning and worked to turn around businesses that were in financial distress.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, and obtained a certificate in the theory of accounting, with honors, from the University of South Africa.
He is married with three grown children and lives in Maryland.