B.A., St. Olaf College; M.M., Michigan State University; Ph.D., Florida State University
Mark Jennings is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of music at Truman State University, a position he assumed in the fall of 2003. At Truman, he conducts Cantoria, Truman’s premiere choral ensemble, and the University Chorus, a large, non-auditioned choir that performs choral masterworks. Jennings has led Cantoria in international performances in Austria, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, and Latvia and has led the choir in three invited performances at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference. In addition to his conducting duties, Jennings leads the master’s program in choral conducting–overseeing the treble, auditioned chamber choir Voci, and teaching graduate courses in conducting and choral methods–and he also teaches applied voice. Jennings has held similar teaching positions at Western Kentucky University and Eastern Illinois University.
Jennings received the Ph. D. in Music Education/Choral Music from the Florida State University, studying with Andre Thomas and Rodney Eichenberger, his master’s degree in choral conducting from Michigan State University, and his bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College. Jennings also enjoys composing – his piece “O Crux” is published by Hinshaw Music.
Ophelia Parrish 1370
Active as a soloist and chamber musician, Soprano Kristin Newbegin has recently been featured as Mimì with Opera 180 in their “re-imagined classic” (KC Independent) production of La Bohème. The fall of 2018 brought her to the Lyric Opera of Kansas City to sing the role of Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Thief.
Newbegin has an affinity for new music. She currently sings with The Meadowlark Project, a new contemporary music ensemble, whose mission is to bring fresh classical music to new audiences. The ensemble recently commissioned and recorded “There Will Come Soft Rains” in partnership with Reach Out Kansas, The Spencer Art Museum, and composer Allison McIntosh. The 2018-2019 season took The Meadowlark Project on a tour of Kansas with “Sounds of the Plains”, a recital featuring newly commissioned art songs by Kansas-based composers and poets.
Newbegin is also an active choral singer and was a member and featured soloist in Kantorei KC, a Kansas City based professional choral ensemble, during the 2018-2019 season. She has also sung with KC Vitas as a featured soloist and recorded newly commissioned works, including several premieres.
Additionally, Newbegin has sung with companies such as Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera for the Young, New Ear Contemporary Music Ensemble, Kansas City Metro Opera and Seagle Music Colony. Previous roles have included Mimì (La Bohème), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Female Chorus (Rape of Lucretia) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni).
She received her Doctorate and Master of Music degrees from the University of Kansas where she studied with Joyce Castle. Newbegin currently serves on the music faculty at Truman State University and Benedictine College. She has previously served on faculty at Central Methodist University, Missouri Western State University, and Haskell Indian Nations University. As a NASM certified personal trainer, her research interests include the application of proprioception and somatics in the vocal studio. In her free time she enjoys knitting, fostering dogs, and racing as a competitive cyclist.