Secunda Museum to host music recital

Posted: April 12, 2013

HOWELL – The Arthur Secunda Museum at Cleary University will host a music recital Saturday, April 20 from 2-4 p.m. at Chrysler Hall North on the Livingston Campus. Admission is free and donations will be accepted to support the museum. For information, call 517-586-3002 or email

“We want to utilize the Secunda Museum at Cleary University to provide cultural opportunities for the community,” said Grace Farley, coordinator of the museum. “We are so fortunate to live in an area with such a rich fine and performance arts community. We thought this would be a great way to bring them together and showcase Secunda.”

The recital, which is a preview event for a future concert series at Secunda, will feature soprano Elizabeth Mitchell and pianist Shawn McDonald, both of Ann Arbor.

Mitchell is a versatile performer whose repertoire ranges from opera to cabaret to art song. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Mitchell received her bachelor of music degree from the University of Utah and her master of music degree at the University of Michigan, both in vocal performance and with scholarship. While at the University of Michigan, Elizabeth studied with renowned pedagogues George Shirley, Martin Katz, Timothy Cheek and Melody Racine and currently studies with Prof. Caroline Helton.

Professionally, she has performed with Ohio Light Opera, Friends of the Opera of Michigan, Arbor Opera Theater, Comic Opera Guild, Michigan Opera Theater, Primo Passo Ensemble, and Utah Opera. Favorite past roles include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore, Lady Jane in Patience, 2nd Lady in Dido and Aeneas, and Mistress Page in Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

McDonald trained as a tenor with his mentor, Caroline Rogers of Marygrove College. He then continued his studies on a full scholarship at the University of Michigan, working under George Shirley and Shirley Verrett, as well as Martin Katz and Joshua Major. He earned a bachelor of music degree from Eastern Michigan University, studying organ with Pamela Ruiter-Feenstra and Mary Ida Yost and voice with Glenda Kirkland.

McDonald was director of vocal activities at Marygrove College, where he established a unique collaboration with AOT that allows the college to produce full, professional quality productions that utilize both students and professional artists. In May 2008 the organizations joined to produce a "Motown" staging of The Magic Flute that was enthusiastically received. He also helped to produce, design, and musically direct productions of The Marriage of Figaro, and Amahl and the Night Visitors.

As a collaborative pianist, Mr. McDonald has also worked with such organizations as Michigan Opera Theatre’s community programs, The Tuesday Musicale of Detroit, Young Peoples Theater of Ann Arbor, Friends of the Opera of Michigan and the Verdi Opera Theater. He is minister of music for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ann Arbor, directing numerous choirs and ensembles, as well as serving as pianist/organist since 1995. He also currently works as staff pianist/choir director and composer/arranger in residence at Temple Israel, West Bloomfield. Temple Israel is currently the largest reform congregation in the United States, and their numerous musical programs and services have grown and flourished with his assistance and musical direction.

There will be a reception following the recital.

To learn more about the Arthur Secunda Museum at Cleary University go to

Cleary University ( is an independent, not-for-profit, multi-campus, specialized business university, committed to the betterment of society through the success of its alumni and their employers; to operate as a role model of responsible business practice; to embrace quality management principles, innovation, and an attentive customer focus; and to aspire to a better future.

Cleary’s mission is to provide a practical, application-based education, which equips students to advance their careers.