A mezzo-soprano with warm tones and versatile style, Valerie Vernon is a native of northwestern Pennsylvania, earning degrees in Latin, English, psychology and education at Westminster and Point Park Colleges. She is an alumna of Mendelssohn Choir dating to 1998 under direction of Robert Page and was a professional core member with under Betsy Burleigh. As a featured soloist with Mendelssohn, she performed Mendelssohn’s motet Aus Tiefer Noth at the Library of Congress in Washington DC in 2009 and was Alto soloist in Rachmaninoff’s Vespers at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Pittsburgh during the same year. She appeared with Mendelssohn Choir as a soloist in the Haydn Heiligmesse with the Academy Chamber Orchestra of Pittsburgh and achieved minor solos at Heinz Hall such as a choral soloist in the Gospel Hallelujah Chorus for the 2006 Holiday Pops series as well as for the Video Games Live concerts.
Among her most cherished experiences are performing the Agnus Dei solo in Bach’s Mass in B minor at East Liberty Presbyterian church in Pittsburgh with Mendelssohn Choir in 2010, singing under the baton of Marvin Hamlisch in an ensemble cast of The Music Man along with Shirley Jones, and in the staged version of The Messiah in 2011 at Heinz Hall. In November, 2014 she was selected to be part of the Music for the Spirit Chamber Choir, performing with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. As a guest soloist with the Slippery Rock University Choir, she was the Mezzo soloist in Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh where, during the last several years, she also performed Mezzo solos in several Bach Cantatas.
A former oboist, Valerie was a member of the Greenville symphony in northwest Pennsylvania, where she has regularly performed liturgical solos in numerous churches and premiered as a soloist for the Mercer Community Band, performing a Richard Rodger’s Medley and operatic favorites. She teaches Latin and English at Thiel College and is also a technical writer and editor. She resides in Grove City with her husband and two daughters.