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WIU Assistant Professor Penelope Shumate
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Shumate performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as a soloist for a recording of "Messiah" at historic Abbey Road Studios.
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WIU's Shumate Records with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios

August 22, 2019

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MACOMB, IL – Since Western Illinois University Assistant Professor Penelope Shumate's appointment to the School of Music in Fall 2014, she has performed as a soloist consecutively every year at either Carnegie Hall or David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.

This fall, she will return for her 15th soloist appearance at Carnegie Hall. This summer she debuted with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London as a soloist for a recording of "Messiah" at historic Abbey Road Studios conducted by Maestro Jonathan Griffith, of Distinguished Concerts International New York. Abbey Road Studios has hosted recording sessions for iconic groups such as The Beatles and Pink Floyd, and has also been the location of film score recordings including "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter," among many others.

This summer, Shumate also debuted at the Wayne Theatre Ross Performing Arts Center in Virginia with a recital of Opera Arias, Art Songs and musical theatre selections, and for her third consecutive season, with the Muddy River Opera Company in Illinois, she performed the role of Laurie in "The Tender Land." 

Shumate was recently selected as the winner of both The American Prize in Vocal Performance and the Chicago Oratorio Award. At WIU, Shumate was honored as the winner of the 2018 Provost's Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative/Performance/Professional Activities.

For two years in a row, she was also the winner of the College Of Fine Arts and Communication's Dean's Award of Excellence for Scholarly/Creative/Performing Activities (2017 and 2018). 

Her WIU voice students' accomplishments include being selected for international and national voice training programs, winning awards and placing in vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and NATS, being hired for professional performance engagements, and at WIU, being selected as winners of the School of Music Aria/Concerto Competition for both 2018 and 2017, performing leading and supporting roles in the Opera Theatre main-stage productions, appearing as soloists with university ensembles, Opera Workshop and Student Showcase Convocation concerts, and being awarded vocal scholarships.

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