Annual Concert Celebrates Legacy of William Warfield, Benefits Scholarship Fund

December 21, 2011

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057,

Since it was founded in 1977, the William Warfield Scholarship Fund has provided financial aid to more than 35 voice students at the Eastman School of Music, and spotlighted talented recipients during an annual benefit concert. This year’s scholarship holder, bass-baritone Jamal Moore, will be joined by fellow members of the University of Rochester YellowJackets for the annual concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Kilbourn Hall.

Moore will present a varied program, ranging from opera arias to a cappella. He and the YellowJackets competed on the fall season’s national broadcast of The Sing-Off and performed two sold-out concerts in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre this month.

Also performing in the William Warfield Scholarship Fund concert will be baritone Derrick Smith; pianist James Douthit; guitarist Matthew Ardizzone; and Thomas Warfield, founder of PeaceArt International and assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to represent this scholarship for the past three years,” said Moore. “It has been a phenomenal journey, it made me wake up each day eager for more knowledge, and it also made me strive to be a positive role model for younger generations, just like William Warfield.”

A senior at Eastman, Moore is a native of Augusta, Ga., where he sang with various ensembles and churches. In 2008, Moore held the title of State Champion for Boy’s Solo Region 3-AAA. At Eastman, he studies with Professor Jan Opalach and received the freshman and sophomore jury award.  He was invited to sing in the 2009 Gateways Music Festival and he has performed at Rochester area churches, including the Episcopal Church of St. Luke and St. Simon Cyrene, where he is a choral scholar. With Eastman Opera Theatre, he has performed the roles of Buff in Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario), and the Orderly in Hindemith’s Hin und zurück. In February 2012, he will appear in Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Il Matrimonio Segreto. After graduation, he plans on pursuing performance opportunities.

Past recipients of the William Warfield Scholarship have included Derrick Smith, who has performed in operatic roles and as a concert soloist in the United States, Brazil, and Europe; and soprano Nicole Cabell, who in 2005 won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, one of the music world’s highest-profile competitions, and is a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera.

“The William Warfield Scholarship Fund affords talented students the support and opportunity to fulfill their dreams and to bring brilliant music to the world,” said Thomas Warfield, who serves as president of the William Warfield Scholarship Fund and is a nephew of the acclaimed star.

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. Perhaps best known for his portrayals of Porgy in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and of Joe, the dock hand, in the movie Showboat, he won a Grammy Award in 1984 for his narration of Aaron Copland’s A Lincoln Portrait accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonia. Warfield died in 2002 at the age of 82.

Tickets to the “William Warfield: A Legacy of Music” concert are $15 ($10 students) and are available at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (585-454-2100) and at the door. More information about William Warfield, the William Warfield Scholarship Fund, and scholarship recipients is available at

# # #

Sunday, January 15
William Warfield: A Legacy of Music. Benefit concert for the William Warfield Scholarship Fund. Concert featuring current scholarship recipient Jamal Moore, bass-baritone. Guests include the University of Rochester a cappella group the YellowJackets.
4 p.m.
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Tickets: $15 ($10 students) and are available at the Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 East Main St. (Eastman East Wing), 585-454-2100, and at the door.