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Craig Kenkel

Craig J. Kenkel

Craig J. Kenkel

Craig Kenkel is a Tenor from Buck Grove, Iowa.  He began singing in church as a child and performed as a solo trombonist and vocalist and with bands and choirs throughout his youth including many workshops, competitions and festivals.  He earned honors on trombone and played with the long running, Iowa High School First-Place Jazz Champion Band.  His high school choir sang at the nation’s bi-centennial celebrations in Washington, D.C.  Craig sang as an Iowa All-State Tenor I, in 1990 and 1991, and was a recipient of the 1991 Iowa Choral Directors Association Award.

Craig received a vocal scholarship to Missouri Western State College in St. Joseph, MO in 1991 where he sang in the choirs and studied Voice.  While attending MWSC, Craig performed in productions at the historic Missouri Theatre.  In 1992, Craig moved to New York City and studied Voice with Joyce Hall.  He received a University of Kansas full vocal scholarship in 1993 where he studied Voice with John Stephens, Theatre and Communication Studies. Craig was actively involved in the arts at KU, performing in over a dozen University of Kansas Theatre and Opera productions including the roles of Jesus, in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and Ormindo, in “L’ Ormindo.”  He participated in the school’s choral activities including the University of Kansas Chamber Choir under the direction of Simon Carrington.  In 1997 Craig traveled with the KU choir to Southern England where they performed in several historic landmarks including Salisbury and Canterbury Cathedrals, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle and Magdelen College Chapel, Oxford.  The following year, Craig traveled with the KU choir on tour once again in the Quercy region of Southwest France.

After KU, Craig moved to Los Angeles.  During his 10 years in Southern California, he performed with some of the best choral ensembles in the region.  He sang with the St. James’ Episcopal Wilshire choir for 5 years which included two week-long residencies in Westminster Abbey, London in 1999 and again in 2006.  The St. James’ choir was selected to perform as the featured choir at the 2004 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists.

In 1999, Craig worked in the office of the Fulfillment Fund at The Music Center of Los Angeles County.  He assisted with fundraising efforts, which included raising money for construction of the $274 million Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Other singing opportunities while in LA included a season with the William Hall Master Chorale with which he performed along with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra on their Southern California Holiday Tour.  The group performed in front of an audience in Palm Springs, which included former First Lady Nancy Reagan and President Gerald Ford.  Other performances were included with the chorale at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.  He auditioned for and was accepted into the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the direction of Paul Salamunovich and sang in the 2001 Corona Del Mar Baroque Music Festival.

Many services were sung in Los Angeles at churches such as St. Paul’s, Westwood; and All Saints, Beverly Hills.  Starting in 2003, Craig sang special concerts and services at the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.  The 2005-2006 season was sung with a group called Jouyssance Early Music Ensemble that perform familiar and obscure repertoire from the 14th through mid-17th centuries.  The choir performed select pieces with period instruments.

In 2005, Craig attended the Sarteano Chamber Choral Conducting Workshop in Sarteano, Italy where Simon Carrington is a Master Class Tutor.

In addition to singing in the choir, Craig is an Executive Producer of the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers and is on its board of directors.

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