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The Romanian-American soprano Dr. Mariana Mihai-Zoeter has been described as having "an inborn instinct for emotional coloring, a sense of coming from inside the poetry and the music rather than approaching it from outside." Mariana's musical journeys have taken her to different continents such as Europe, South America, North America. Highlights of her singing career include performing at the “George Enescu" Philharmonic at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, Opera Constanta, The National Operetta Theater “Ion Dacian”, Bucharest, Romania, OSESP The Symphonic Orchestra of the State of Sao Paulo at the Sala Sao Paulo, the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus, the Teatro da Paz in Belem, the Teatro “Jose de Alencar” in Fortaleza, Brazil, the Family Theater at Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Library of Congress, and many more.

            Dr. Mariana performed her first recital with arias and lied at the age of fifteen and the age of eighteen was contracted as a full-time opera singer by the Opera and Operetta Theater “N. Leonard” in Galati, Romania.

            A remarkably versatile artist, Mariana sings in many genres of music from renaissance music  to lied, from opera to sacred music,  from chamber ensemble to contemporary music.

            For seven years Dr. Mariana sang with the Philharmonic “George Enescu” in Bucharest and was the soprano soloist of the Constanta Opera Theater. In 1999 she served as the musical director for National Television in Bucharest.

            She has also sung with the “Ion Dacian National Operetta and Musical Theater” in Bucharest having as performance partners the very well-known tenor Dorin Teodorescu, and soprano Eugenia Ilinca.

            As a resident of Brazil for four and a half years, she was a contracted full-time singer in the chamber and symphonic choruses of the State Symphonic Orchestra of São Paulo (OSESP). She also participated as a soprano soloist in the 6th annual Opera Festival in the Opera House Manaus, Amazonas, and the 2nd Annual Opera Festival at the Opera House in Belem, Para, Brazil.

            A dedicated and beloved teacher, Mariana has taught at the State University of Amazonas, as voice teacher and choir conductor, at the Federal University of Amazonas, and as a professor of voice at the "Carlos Gomes" Conservatory at the State University of Para in Belem, Pará Brazil, Frostburg State University, MD and served as the head of the Opera and Voice Department at the University of Southern Maine.

Described by her students and her colleagues as being passionate, supportive, creative, inspired, dedicated, knowledgeable, and an outstanding leader in May of 2016 she won the 2016 Outstanding Faculty Award at the 2015-16 Leadership Awards Reception at Frostburg State University. In 2012, Mariana received a Diploma and Medal of Excellence from her native city of Braila, Romania for artistic and pedagogic contributions to the vocal arts.

As a clinician, Dr. Mihai-Zoeter is frequently invited to teach master classes and summer courses at different universities, and festivals.

As a church music director in the last 30 years Dr. Mariana served at churches at different denominations such as the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helena in Bucharest, Romania, Saint Ann Catholic Church in Milford CT, The Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Conception in Manaus, AM, Brazil, the Summit Presbyterian Church in Stafford, VA.

            Dr. Mihai-Zoeter graduated from the Bucharest University of Music with a BM in Vocal Performance, and Vocal Pedagogy, and she received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Vocal Performance from Shenandoah Conservatory. Dr. Mihai-Zoeter is also a certified voice teacher of the Institute for Contemporary Commercial Music, Vocal Pedagogy Somatic Voicework™, The LoVetri Method. (Musical Theater, Pop, Rock), and in 2014 she received a certification in A Practical Approach to Directing from the Yale University, School of Drama.

            Besides all of her performing and teaching endeavors, Dr. Mariana loves passing on her knowledge and artistry about voice and music to the younger generation. Currently, she serves as the Director of Music at Holy Cross Church and the music and performing arts teacher at the Holy Cross School. 

GARRICK ZOETER, Clarinet      

           Clarinetist Garrick Zoeter's passionate and exciting way with the clarinet has been acknowledged around the world. The Clarinet recently described his playing as "remarkable, his tone is beautiful and he shows complete mastery of all the technical demands and effects that are required of this piece, His artistry and virtuosity are compelling. This is one of the finest clarinet performances I have reviewed."

           A native of Alexandria, VA, Mr. Zoeter received his bachelor’s degree from the Juilliard School and his master’s degree from Yale University. He has won numerous competitions as a soloist including the 1991 International Clarinet Society International Clarinet Competition, as well as prizes in chamber music – the Grand Prize in the 1998 Fischoff, Coleman, and Yellow Springs chamber music competitions, the silver medal in the 1997 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2002 Concert Artists Guild competition.  

            Mr. Zoeter is the founding member of the acclaimed multi-award-winning clarinet, violin, cello, piano quartet Antares. From 1997-2013 with Antares, he annually gave performances around the United States at such prestigious venues as The Kennedy Center, La Jolla Chamber Music Society, Aspen Music Festival, Strathmore, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, Carnegie Recital Hall, Market Square Concerts, The Library of Congress, The Los Angeles Museum of Modern Art, and Cincinnati Chamber Music Society.

            Mr. Zoeter is also a frequent performer with such diverse groups as Trio Solisti, The Audubon String Quartet, The Ensemble for the Romantic Century, the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, the University of Buffalo's Slee Sinfonietta, The Post Classical Ensemble, the Pressenda Chamber Players, the Monadnock Music Festival, and the New Orchestra of Washington. Recent performances have included Donald Martino’s Triple Concerto in Buffalo, NY, and chamber music appearances in Strasbourg, France, and Medellin, Columbia, as well as an appearance at The Cactus Pear Music Festival in San Antonio, TX. and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference in Vermont.

            A committed teacher as well as performer, Mr. Zoeter serves as the Anna Lee Van Buren Professor of Clarinet at the Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. His students from Shenandoah include numerous competition winners and can be found performing in professional ensembles such as the President’s Own Marine Band, teaching in university and public schools positions, and serving as music therapists throughout the country and abroad.

Come visit him at his YouTube channel:


            Critics have called Sarah Nelson’s work “exceptional,” (St. Louis Limelight Magazine) with the ability to take a “score that’s all over the map and make it flow seamlessly” (BroadwayWorld).

A graduate of NYU’s collaborative piano program, she has music directed shows across the country, including the Off-Broadway premiere of the new opera-musical #Adulting.  Sarah is a member of the acclaimed BMI Lehman-Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and her dance adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit is now playing at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

In addition to her musical direction experience, Sarah has worked as an accompanist for Northern Arizona University, Webster University, and New York University.

Sarah Nelson is the pianist and organist for Holy Cross Church in Garrett Park while she maintains a private piano studio.

English translation


O gloriosa Domina (O Blessed Virgin)


O blessed virgin, maid most holy,                O blessed virgin maid most pure

Of heav’nly stars the fairest                          Thou art the way to heaven’s mystery

Lord of the sky thy child became                 Most shining light of the firmament

Bearing a crown of innocence                      Since the virgin has our life renewed

                                                                          Let all the nations now rejoice,

O blessed virgin, maid most pure               O blessed virgin maid most pure.

The loss of Eve, who fell from grace            Amen.

Thou hast again restored to us.

Thou once again to sinful man

Opened the gates of Paradise.

Traditional Romanian Carols

Steaua sus rasare (The Rising Star)

1.Who wants to welcome the beautiful and shining star,

With numerous small points,

From the birth of Christ,

2.The Star is rising up

As a great mystery.

The star is shining

And is speaking to the world

3.That today, The Pure,

The Blessed

Virgin Mary

Is giving birth to Messiah.

4.In the famous country

Of Bethlehem

As the Magi saw

The Star, they began their journey.

5. Following the beam,                                        6.With meaningful gifts

To see Christ.                                                           Only for Christ,  

And when they found Him,                                   Each of them having

They approached Him                                            A great joy.


7.Which joy?

The one we also wish to have

From our youth

To our old age,

From our youth

To our old age.


Trei crai de la rasarit (The Three Kings)

1.Three magi from the east

Travelled towards the star

And they went, just like it's written

Until they reached Jerusalem

2.When they reached it (the city)

The star went into hiding

And they had to walk around

The city, asking around


3.Asking where is the biggest magi

That was born these days

But when Herod The Emperor heard that

He went mad.

4.He sent for the magi

And asked them in secret,

Tempting them

To reveal Christ' location


5.When the magi left

The star showed up

It moved (a lot) until it (finally) stopped

Where the baby was born


6. All of them where happy

When they found Jesus

They brought gifts and bowed to him

Like (you do in front of) a King.


Domnulet si domn din cer (Sweet little Lord, and Lord in Heaven)


1.This night is a great night,
Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;
this night is no ordinary night,
Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;
It is Christmas night,
When Old Father Christmas comes,
When the Holy Son was born,
The Holy Son here on Earth.

2.The Son is crying, He is restless,
Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;

In His mother’s arms,
Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;
We wish you good health,
And well-being to all,
May Christ give you everything,
A long life, and health.

3.We are out caroling,
Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;
We wish you all the best,

Sweet little Lord and Lord in Heaven;
Lord in Heaven.


La poartă la Țarigrad (At the Gate of Țarigrad)


At the gate of Țarigrad
Day dawn
Stays a King's Son
Day dawn
With his little hair cut
Day dawn
In a little crib rested
Day dawn
Where Jesus was born
Day dawn
Messiah, with shining face
Day dawn
Up the hill of Galilea
Day dawn
In God's home
Day dawn
Small and swaddled
Day dawn
In a cotton cloth
Day dawn.




Villancico Andaluz (Andalucian traditional carol)

1.A bell above a bell

And above a bell one more;

Come up to that window

You will see a Child in a manger.

Bethlehem, bells of Bethlehem

That the angels ring

What news do you bring me?


2.Gathering up your flock,

Where are you going, dear shepherd?

I'm going to take to the stable

Ricotta cheese, lard and wine.

Bethlehem, bells of Bethlehem

That the angels ring

What news do you bring me?

3.A bell above a bell

And above a bell two more;

Come up to that window

Because God is being born.

Bethlehem, bells of Bethlehem

That the angels ring

What news do you bring me?

4.Traveling at midnight,

Where are you going, good shepherd?

I'm taking to the Child who is born,

As to God, my heart.

Bethlehem, bells of Bethlehem

That the angels ring

What news do you bring me?

Traditional Catalonian


El Desembre Congelat ( The Icy December)

1.Cold December's winds were stilled

In the month of snowing.

As the world fell dark one night,

Springtime's Hope was growing;

Then one rose-tree blossomed new,

One sweet Flower on it grew.

On the tree once bare,

Grew the Rose so fair,

Ah, the Rose, ah, the Rose,

Ah the Rose tree blooming,

Sweet the air perfuming.


2.When the darkness fell that night,

Bringing sweet reposing,

All the land was hid from sight,

Sleep our eyes was closing.

Suddenly, there came a gleam

From the sky, the wondrous beam

Of a heav'nly star,

Giving light afar;

Ah, the star, ah, the star,

Ah, the star-beam glowing,

Brightness ever growing.


3.Now the month of May was here,

Filled with God's own radiance;

Now the purest Lily bloomed,

Flow'r of sweeted fragrance.

To the people far and near

Came a breath of heav'nly cheer;

O, the incense rare

Of the Lily there!

Ah, the scent, ah, the scent

Of the Lily blooming,

All the air perfuming!

El Noi de la Mare (The Son of Mary)

1.What shall we give to the Son of the Virgin?
What can we give that the Babe will enjoy?
First, we shall give Him a tray full of raisins,
Then we shall offer sweet figs to the Boy.
First, we shall give Him a tray full of raisins,
Then we shall offer sweet figs to the Boy.

2.What shall we give the Beloved of Mary?
What can we give to her beautiful Child?
Raisins and olives and nutmeats and honey,
Candy and figs and some cheese that is mild.
Raisins and olives and nutmeats and honey,
Candy and figs and some cheese that is mild.

3.What shall we do if the figs are not ripened?
What shall we do if the figs are still green?
We shall not fret; if they're not ripe for Easter,
On a Palm Sunday, ripe figs will be seen.
We shall not fret, if they're not ripe for Easter,
On a Palm Sunday, ripe figs will be seen.

                                 We wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 

A Christmas Recital
                                            DIGITAL PROGRAM

P. I. TCHAIKOVSKY          Overture to The Nutcracker

Arr. A. Chabod                                     For Clarinet and Piano


PETER CORNELIUS          The Christmas Tree (I)

                                                            Christ the Friend of Children (V)

                                                            From Christmas Songs Opus 8

                                                                   For Soprano, Clarinet and Piano


CHARLES IVES                  A Christmas Carol

                                                        For Soprano, Clarinet and Piano


MICHAEL HEAD               The Little Road to Bethlehem

                                                         For Soprano, and Piano


GUSTAV HOLST                 In the Bleak Midwinter    

Arr. Craig Courtney                        For Soprano, Clarinet and Piano


 JOHN JACOB NILES         The Carol of the Birds

                                                           For Soprano and Piano


ANTONIO VIVALDI           Concerto No. 1-Allegro con moto

                                                            For Clarinet and Piano


MICHAEL HEAD                O gloriosa Domina (O Blessed Virgin)

                                                             For Soprano and Piano


ANTONIO VIVALDI           Concerto No. 1- Presto

                                                              For Clarinet and Piano


ROMANIAN CAROLS        Steaua sus răsare

                                            Trei crai de la răsărit

                                            Domnuleț și domn din cer

                                            La Poartă la Țarigrad

MICHELE MANGANI        Romanza          

                                                                 For Clarinet and Piano


 JOAQUIN NIN                     Villancico Andaluz         

                                                                    For Soprano, and Piano


Traditional Catalonian        El desembre congelat

                                                            El noi de la Mare

                                                                    For Soprano, and Piano


CHARLTON BOZARD       Rejoice!

                                                             For Soprano, Clarinet and Piano

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