Mary Chapman is a graduate of Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, where she received her Music degree in Vocal Performance. From musical theatre to drama to opera, she has appeared on-stage in roles as Laurey in Oklahoma!, Julie Jordan in Carousel, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, Adele in Die Fledermaus, the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro.
Ms. Chapman returned to her native St. Louis and her first musical love, choral singing, when she joined the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. A former section leader for the chorus, she was often assigned to be a rehearsal soloist for upcoming performances, thus affording her the opportunity to be a soloist for some of the world’s most illustrious conductors. Those performances included Haydn’s Harmoniemesse under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, under the direction of the late Robert Shaw; and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection,” Mozart’s Mass in C-minor, and Barber’s Prayers of Kierkegaard, all under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.
Currently, she is a member of the St. Louis Chamber Chorus, a professional a cappella chorus. Touted as the Midwest’s premier professional a cappella ensemble, the Chamber Chorus presents six programs each season which include both canonical works of choral music, as well as the less familiar, and several world premières, and has an enviable history of championing both neglected and newly written repertoire in countless outstanding performances. She has been a featured soloist in several works, including Yakov Gubanov’s The Garden of Roses, Judith Bingham’s The Drowned Lovers, Sir Michael Tippetts Five Spirituals (from A Child of Our Time), and Aaron Copland’s motet for soprano soloist and chorus, In the Beginning.
Ms. Chapman also sings with a touring vocal ensemble, Musica Missouri, which presents the works of choral composers with Missouri associations. The ensemble has performed in Portugal and Spain, giving programs in Lisbon, Oporto and Braga, and then across the Spanish border, in Cambados and Santiago de Compostela. Musica Missouri recently completed a tour of East Anglia in Great Britain, singing in Wymondham and throughout Norwich.
Equally comfortable leading from the podium, Ms. Chapman has served as Assistant Conductor for the Chamber Chorus since 2008, which has afforded her the opportunity to work closely with several of today’s leading composers. She was privileged to conduct the world premiere of Gubanov’s Psalmus XXVII¸ and the American premiere of Bob Chilcott’s arrangement of Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras #5. She also currently serves as the adult choir director for the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, Missouri.
In addition to choral singing and conducting, Ms. Chapman is still an active solo artist, and can be heard in performances throughout the St. Louis area. She has appeared as a guest artist for the Metro Singers, and for the Manchester United Methodist Church and orchestra. Other solo appearances included Saint-Saëns’ A Christmas Oratorio; Handel’s The Messiah; Haydn’s The Creation; John Rutter's Requiem; and Mozart’s incomparable Requiem
Ms. Chapman has also appeared as a guest artist with Collegium Vocale St. Louis, which presents music of the 17th and 18th centuries with historical instruments in architecturally-significant venues. In conjunction with the city-wide celebration of the City of St. Louis's 250th anniversary, Collegium Vocale presented a concert comprised of French music heard in the court during the time of King Louis XV, the namesake of the City. During this concert, the group presented music by Charpentier, Campra, Boismortier, and Moulinie. Ms. Chapman was honored to sing the cantata by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Cantate pour le jour de St-Louis, which was only discovered in 1969, and was performed with harpsichord, viola da gamba, and Baroque violin.
Ms. Chapman was recently interviewed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding her recent career change from the financial field to opening her own voice studio. To read the full interview, click here.
Ms. Chapman is a proud alumna of Sigma Alpha Iota (Nu chapter), the women's professional music fraternity, and is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).