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William Warfield Scholarship Benefit Concert

Event Details
  • Location:
    Eastman School, Kilbourn Hall
  • Date:
    Sunday, January 7, 2018
  • Time:
    4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Event Description

The William Warfield Scholarship Fund

41st Anniversary Benefit Concert

Kilbourn Hall, Eastman School of Music

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, 4:00 P.M.

Featuring recently-appointed scholarship recipient Jonathan Rhodes, Tenor.

Tickets: $20 at the door

$18 by advance purchase at

($10 for students with ID)

Jonathan Rhodes
2017-2018 WWSF Recipient

Eric Townell, Emcee, Artistic Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society

ROCMusic Collaborative, Alexander Peña, Lead Teaching Artist, Director
Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church Male Chorus, Thomas Green, Sr., Director
Taiiz Ocasio, Soprano, School of the Arts(SOTA/RCSD)


Joining Rhodes on the concert program are the Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church Male Chorus, Thomas Green, Sr., Director; ROCMusic Collaborative, Alexander Peña, Founding Director and Lead Teaching Artist; and soprano Taiiz Ocasio, from the Rochester City School District’s School of the Arts.

Rhodes is a sophomore vocal performance major at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Professor Anthony Dean Griffey. Originally from Orlando, FL, Jonathan made his performance debut in the premiere of Memory Boy with the Minnesota Opera’s youth program in the principal role of Kurz. Jonathan’s ensemble experience includes the Eastman Chorale, the Bach Festival Society, as well as a touring choir with Hans Zimmer in 2017. Jonathan was also the recipient of the Eastman Voice and Opera Department’s Freshman Jury award. Last November, he performed the role of Liberto in Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Outside of music, Jonathan is pursuing a dual degree in Political Science at the University of Rochester.

Since its founding in 1977, the William Warfield Scholarship Fund has provided financial aid to more than 35 students at the Eastman School of Music (ESM) and spotlighted talented recipients in the annual benefit concert. The concert, a major fundraiser for the organization, advances its dual missions of promoting opportunity for deserving African-American artists pursuing a career in vocal performance through advanced training at the Eastman School of Music and fostering wider recognition for the life and legacy of William Warfield. Scholarship recipients are nominated by Eastman faculty based on criteria of demonstrated ability and financial need. Many sustain their deep connection to Rochester throughout their careers through performances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Oratorio Society and other professional ensembles.

Recipients of the William Warfield Scholarship have included soprano Julia Bullock, winner of the 2014 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Vocal Competition; soprano Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition; and bass-baritone Jamal Moore, who was featured with the University of Rochester a cappella ensemble The Yellowjackets on the NBC competition The Sing-Off in 2011.

William Warfield was known worldwide for his work as a soloist, recitalist, actor, and narrator. Born in Arkansas, he moved to Rochester with his family as a young boy and attended Rochester city schools. During his senior year, he won the National Music Educators League Competition and a full scholarship to any American music school of his choice. Warfield chose the Eastman School of Music, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1942 and 1946, respectively. He is best known for his portrayals of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and of Joe, the dock hand, in the movie Showboat. In 1984, Warfield won a Grammy Award for his narration of Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonia. He died in 2002 at the age of 82.


Have questions about 2018 William Warfield Scholarship Concert? Contact Thomas Green 585-703-8553

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