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Rochelle Small Clifford: Bio

Soprano Rochelle Small Clifford’s appearances have been many and varied, ranging from annual commemorations of September 11th in Manhattan Remembers 9/11 at Battery Park in New York City to an open air concert with the Harlem Philharmonic Orchestra at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial. Her solo experiences have ranged from guest appearances with the Philharmonia Oltenia of Romania in an evening of opera arias to a moving rendition of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Unity in Diversity Orchestra in New York City. In 2008, Rochelle delivered a recital with violinist Desiree Cedeno-Suarez for the Shivers Fund. It was there that she met maestro Thomas Wilson, who invited her to return in performance with the Colorado Springs Community Orchestra in 2010, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic in a celebration of Gershwin and Bernstein in 2012.

The North Carolina Classical Voice Journal had this to say about her May 2009 performance with the North Carolina Master Chorale under the expert baton of Alfred E. Sturgis at Meymandi Concert Hall: “The suite of well-loved pieces from Porgy and Bess, arranged skillfully by Robert Russell Bennett, was admirably suited to the fine voices of baritone Jason McKinney and soprano Rochelle Small. These talented singers, blessed with ringing, powerful voices that reached to the back of the hall, took pleasure in singing Gershwin's passionate love songs to each other. In no time at all the audience was pulled into the deeply emotional connection between them, clearly conveyed by their body language and facial expressions.”

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Rochelle enjoys singing in English, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Spanish, and is equally at home in operatic and recital repertoire. She is a rostered artist with Harlem Opera Theatre, the Wagner Theatre and Horizon Concerts. Rochelle was recently honored with an Anacapa Fellowship from the prestigious Thacher School of Ojai, CA where she spent the week guiding students on a journey to explore the artist within. This fall, she joined the voice faculty of Centerstage Conservatory in New York City.

Rochelle is the recipient of the highly prestigious Kansas Cultural Trust’s Promising Young Artist Award. Her greatest passion is sharing classical music with those who might not otherwise be exposed to it, and she was recently honored with Community Partnership Awards by Amber Charter and Adam Clayton Powell schools for her outreach work with Horizon Concerts.