Giving Voice to the Future

Chorus Master Andrea Drury conducts the vocal side of the Evansville Philharmonic

Chorus Master Andrea Drury nods, and 40 blended voices flow out across the candlelit church pews. Drury and Evansville Philharmonic Conductor Laureate Alfred Savia were weaving their musical forces in George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” at Trinity United Methodist Church, an Evansville holiday tradition each December.

Drury rehearsed her professional and amateur singers for weeks to deliver the music’s full emotional impact.

Photo by Zach Straw

“In Andrea, chorus members have someone who extensively studied vocal techniques and is an extraordinary soprano herself,” Savia says. “For those who haven’t formally studied singing, her rehearsals are like lessons with a very good voice teacher.”

“I enjoy helping singers find their best singing voice, and develop a passion for singing and choral music,” Drury says.

After earning her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from The Ohio State University in 2000, Texas-born Drury and her husband Tom — himself a musician — moved to Evansville. She led North High School’s choir from 2005 to 2014 before becoming EVSC’s fine arts specialist for vocal music. This is her 11th year leading the philharmonic chorus, with Tom its accompanist.

“Not only is Andrea a fantastic conductor and teacher, she has a stunning voice,” Philharmonic Music Director Roger Kalia says. And it was on full display in January during the University of Southern Indiana’s inaugural opera “Ruth.”

“The soprano role she sang is extremely demanding technically and musically, and she did a beautiful job,” says Kalia, who conducted. The chorus performs up to six times a season and rehearses weekly. Drury’s interest in diverse musical genres is helping Kalia
reach younger audiences.

“I enjoy collaborating with Andrea, because she is a wonderful artistic partner and a joy to work with,” Kalia says. “We both want to perform music that inspires the audience.”

Their recent Pops season opener, “Universe of Superheroes,” did just that. It featured music from movies “Black Panther” and “Spiderman” and video games “Halo” and “Final Fantasy.” In the video game music, Drury had the chorus emulate a synthesizer. “Without words, the meaning had to come completely from the music,” she says.

“‘Universe’ brought an entirely new audience to the Victory and was one of our season’s most successful concerts,” Kalia says.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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