Wed, Jun 07|
Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series: Gigi Mitchell-Velasco
As an organist, flutist and choral conductor with an award-winning, critically acclaimed career as an international concert and opera singer, Boston-based Gigi Mitchell-Velasco brings a unique wealth of talent, knowledge and experience to her multiple overlapping careers in music.
Time & Location
Jun 07, 2023, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Epsilon Spires, 190 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA
About the Event
Lunchtime Pipe Organ Series Program for Wednesday, June 7th, 12pm
Toccata in Seven -John Rutter (b. 1945)
Fantasia in G, BWV 572 -Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Adagio, Organ Symphony No. 3, Op. 28 -Louis Vierne (1870-1937)
Suite No. 1 for Organ -Florence Price (1888-1953)
Gigi Mitchell-Velasco brings a unique wealth of talent, knowledge and experience, enjoying multiple overlapping careers in music as Director of Music, Organist and Conductor of First Church Boston. Organ was her first instrument, taking lessons by the time she was able to reach the pedals.
Self-taught on the piano, she was an award-winning accompanist and has worked as a repetiteur and an opera coach. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in Flute from the Curtis Institute of Music, she was engaged as principal flutist of Sarah Caldwell’s Opera Company of Boston and Opera New England, a position she held for 8 seasons when OCB closed its doors in 1990. She was a Semifinalist in the 1988 National Flute Association’s International Young Artist Competition being the only American in the top 6 players. She then began her award-winning, critically acclaimed career as an international concert and opera singer as a protégée of the late Kammersängerin Christa Ludwig, performing in a span of 20 years with the symphony orchestras of Boston, Boston Philharmonic, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Phoenix, San Diego, St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s; the opera companies of Braunschweig (Germany), Minnesota, Milwaukee (Florentine), Toledo, Opera Orchestra of New York, Washington Concert Opera; the Prague Autumn Festival, Newport Music Festival, Snowshoe Music Festival; Washington Chorus; at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Wolftrap.
Choral conducting studies include participation as a Scholar at Chorus America’s Conducting Academy, a Fellow at UMass Amherst’s Conducting Institute, and at Westminster Choir College’s Summer Workshop working closely with Sabine Horstman and James Jordan. Orchestral conducting studies include as a Fellow at the Conductors’ Institute of South Carolina, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra’s Summer Conducting Seminar and Stony Point’s International Conducting Masterclass of Markand Thakar, as well as private lessons with Paul Vermel.
She was invited to the International Conductor’s Festival in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2020. Finishing a Master of Music in Organ Performance degree from Boston University in 2017, she has been Music Director, Organist and Choirmaster for several churches of different denominations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, having produced, presented and directed many special events such as John Rutter’s Gloria and Requiem, Adolphus Hailstork’s Seven Songs of the Rubaiyat, Advent Lessons & Carols, a Pentecost Evensong, an Interfaith Hymn Sing, A Grand Night for Singing opera fundraiser, and Bayanihan – a Philippine fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan.
She has also produced silent film showings with the exciting live organ soundtrack of Peter Krasinski, such as King of Kings and Wings. Gigi is a frequent organ recitalist at Trinity Church Boston, Christ Congregational Church Brockton, Old West Organ Society Boston, First Lutheran Church Boston, Marsh Chapel at Boston University, Providence’s Grace Church and Newport’s Zabriskie Memorial Church of St. John the Evangelist. On December 31, 2022, she was one of three organists to play at Boston AGO’s First Night offering at First Church of Christ, Scientist (The Mother Church).
She is also the official organist of the opening ceremonies of NecronomiCon in Providence, a biennial convention held at First Baptist Church America dedicated to the life and works of weird fiction novelist H.P. Lovecraft. She is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Society, a Colleague of the AGO (CAGO) and is the current Dean of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
Aside from music, Gigi is passionate about knitting, her Pomeranian Max and her husband, tenor Noel Espíritu Velasco.