Victory! Introducing Victor Simonson
Multi-talented, multi-genre musician Victor Simonson currently serves as the Associate Conductor for Oprah Winfrey's national tour production of The Color Purple; was nominated for the 2007 Helen Hayes Award for Best Music Director in a Musical Production; served as Music Director for Three Mo' Divas; Music Director for Three Mo' Tenors; Interim Music Director for the Boys Choir of Harlem; has a composition, Another Chance, on the Grammy Nominated CD by Total Praise; composed the music for A House is Not a Home and Common Realities; served as Orchestrator with the production team for Donny McLurkin's CD, The McLurkin Project; and joined the creative music team as Music Director and Conductor for the Broadway show, Brooklyn: The Musical, hailing him as the youngest African American Musical Director for a Broadway bound show. Mr. Simonson worked with Grammy award winner John McDaniel (Rosie O'Donald), G.E. Smith (Mark Twain Awards), and Rickie Minor during the NAACP Image Awards. He has served as Director of Organ Music at Metropolitan Baptist Church with Richard Smallwood and has performed on stages with Harry Belafonte, Phil Driscoll, Robin Williams, Chris Tucker, Celia Cruz, Felicia Rashaad, Cedric the Entertainer, Wanda Sykes, Billy Crystal, En Vogue, Mercedes Ellington, (granddaughter of the great Duke Ellington), Vanessa L. Williams, Heather Headley, and Fantasia and Michelle Williams (Destiny's Child) in The Color Purple. Mr. Simonson has been seen on ABC Nightline, Rosie O'Donnell, Good Morning America, PBS, Maryland Public Television, and the WORD Network, performed at the memorial services for the Rosa Parks, the funeral services for the Honorable Thurgood Marshall, at the funeral services for the late wife of Paul McCarthy, at President Bill Clinton's Inaugural concert with the Howard University Choir; performed for New York City Mayor Bloomberg's Opening Reception for Harlem Week at Gracie Mansion; and was seen on ESPN for the opening of the US Open Golf Tournament with champion Tiger Woods. Having collaborated and performed with classical singers including, but not limited to; sopranos Denyce Graves, Angela Brown, N'Kengé, Adina Aaron, Kishna Davis, and Alfreda Burke; tenors Richard Leech, Roderick Dixon, Michael Crouse, Issachah Savage, baritone Eric Greene, and others, Mr. Simonson has also conducted the 60 piece Cobb Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, GA, performed for Cincinnati's Opera's production of "Opera Goes to Church", performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Queens Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir, the Morgan University Choir under the direction of Dr. Nathan Carter; and accompanied gospel great, Shirley Caesar for the Ben Vereen Gala. The Boys Choir of Harlem currently performs Mr. Simonson's composition, I Will Give You All the Praise, internationally and nationally, in addition to being featured on their CD, God's By Design. The award-winning musician attended Howard University under the tutelage of Dr. J. Weldon Norris and the Eastman School of Music where he obtained his Bachelor's degree. He studied with John Maloy and Michael Crouse for voice, Dr. Raymond Jackson and Rebecca Pennys for piano and Dr. Stanley Ralph (father of actress Sheryl Lee Ralph) for organ. In addition, Mr. Simonson and his sister, soprano Pamela Simonson Ferguson (Washington National Opera & Wolftrap Opera), perform concerts together. The Simonson Siblings are hailed as the 'Only African American Brother Sister Classical Vocal Duet in the USA!'