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The American Tenors to open new Golden Belt Community Concert season
new slt community concert tenors.icml
The American Tenors: Marcus McConico, Nathan Granner and Ben Gulley, will kick off the new season of the Golden Belt Community Concert Association this week. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

The Golden Belt Community Concert Association will inaugurate its 2011-12 season with a performance by the American Tenors, whose repertoire includes classical opera and hits from Broadway musicals, as well as music from the Great American Songbook and Neopolitan favorites.

Noted as a vibrant combination of voices, humor and genre, the American Tenors will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Great Bend Municipal Auditorium, Lakin and Stone.

The concert is available to concert association members. Full-time students will be admitted for a $5 donation at the door. The auditorium will open at 6:30 p.m.

Founded in 2002, the American Tenors began their journey to popularity with a PBS special recorded at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood after a signing by Sony Classical. The tenors Marcus McConico, Nathan Granner and Ben Gulley boast impressive credentials, having accumulated an array of awards and performed in opera and theater productions from Italy to Hawaii. They have been called "a new generation in American singing."

Marcus McConico recently sang Alfredo in "La Traviata" with Augusta Opera, Opera Roanoke and Baltimore Opera. He made his debut of the role in the Italian American Festival Duluth in April 2004. He has a master’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He currently studies voice with Arthur Levy in New York.

Nathan Granner’s old school timbre and natural abilities are distinctive and rare. His voice has been described as buoyant, compelling, clean and resonant. A native of the Midwest, Nathan now lives in Kansas City, Mo.

He has made principal debuts with Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Tulsa Opera, Tampa Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera Center. Granner also has collaborated with the Kansas City Ballet to bring three world premiere performances to life. He was the featured soloist with the Kansas City Symphony for Maestro Michael Stern’s debut performance as Music Director. He was the tenor soloist in "The Messiah" with the Handel/Haydn Oratorio Society.

Ben Gulley joined the American Tenors in 2010. He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory with a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance. He has been hailed "as an outstanding tenor … with a voice as seamless as simple speech" by the Tulsa World. Gulley is the recent winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council district and regional competitions and a national semi-finalist.

He also is the current tenor apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Gulley recently performed in the PBS televised event "Celebration at the Station" with the Kansas City Symphony under the baton of Michael Stern.