Personal Summary / Bio
Soprano Margaret Carpenter is in demand as a soloist and professional chorister both in the United States and abroad. A passionate proponent of early music, she regularly performs works by composers such as Bach, Clérambault, Couperin, and Monteverdi. Recent engagements include performing and recording Antonio Lotti's Gloria No. 1 in C and BWV 1 with the Piedmont Baroque Consortium; soprano soloist in Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 with the choirs of St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge and His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts; Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres in York Minster (UK), St. Thomas Whitemarsh (PA), and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (NC); and a tour of French Baroque music including Courbois’ Ariane and Jacquet de la Guerre’s Le Sommeil d’Ulisse with L’Académie du Roi Soleil, an early music consort she co-founded along with UK-born organist and continuo player Nicolas Haigh.
Educated as a Gates Cambridge Scholar at Clare College, University of Cambridge, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Margaret's experience is broad. She holds the M.Mus in Choral Studies from Clare College, where she studied conducting with Stephen Layton; created a scholarly edition of Henry Aldrich’s Morning Service in F under Geoffrey Webber; had the privilege of conducting the Choir of King’s College, among others; and regularly sang under Tim Brown, director emeritus of The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge. Her undergraduate degrees are in voice performance (B.M.) and organ (B.A.) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she studied voice under Nancy Walker, conducting under Carole Ott, and organ under André Lash and Robert Burns King. While at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Margaret served as assistant chorus-master to the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorus. In 2012, she was selected as a conducting fellow at the Yale Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in Norfolk, CT, where she received tutelage from Simon Carrington; she has also conducted in masterclasses under David Hill (BBC Singers) and Graham Ross (The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge). In 2010, she served as acting associate director of the Keele Bach Choir, Keele Philharmonic Choir, and Keele Philharmonic Orchestra in Keele, Staffordshire (UK).
Margaret sings and has recorded two CDs with the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers (Kansas City, MO) under the direction of Simon Carrington, and she also appears with the South Dakota Chorale (Sioux Falls, SD) under Brian Schmidt. She has toured Israel, Germany, and France under Timothy Brown with the Academy of English Voices, Robinson College Choir (Cambridge), and Clare College Music Society (Cambridge), respectively. Her most recent staged performances include the role of Belinda in a performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas at the Fressingfield Music Festival in Suffolk, UK; and the role of Liesgen in Bach's "Kaffee-Kantate" in Davidson, NC. She has performed as soloist on the acclaimed Easter at King's Concert Series at King's College, Cambridge, and in 2011 she was selected to perform at the Boston Early Music Festival in the twelve-voice Young Performers Festival Ensemble under the direction of Scott Metcalfe, where she was soprano soloist in Praetorius’ Vater unser in Himmelreich.
In the 2014/2015 season, Margaret looks forward to touring the United States with the acclaimed Baroque orchestra Apollo's Fire as well as singing with Ensemble Vermillian and Quire Cleveland. August will see her take up residency in Cleveland, OH as a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Historical Performance Practice at Case Western Reserve University, where she will serve as assistant for the Early Music Singers.
Honours and awards include the Gates Cambridge Scholarship for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge and the Ethel Virginia Butler Centennial Scholarship for undergraduate study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Margaret serves as a representative on Early Music America’s Youth Advisory Board.