Duelin' Sopranos

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Vanessa Jump Nelson and April Brookins Duvic

About the duo: Vanessa Jump Nelson and April Brookins Duvic were both born in April, adore singing in French, and make a mean apple pie.  It was through their activities in a variety of professional organizations, primarily the National Association of Teachers of Singing that they met in 1994.  They were featured artist of the month in May, 2003 by Nettleingham Audio, and their Christmas CD, "Christmas Joy" with pianist Paulette Hanchett and flutist Viorel Badiceanu, caught the attention of ChristmasReviews.com, where it was named one of the top picks of 2003.

With and without sabres, the Duo's concertizing has taken them all around the Northwest, including private French dinner garden parties where they have continued singing despite dogs jumping on them and a blessing from automatic sprinklers.   One of their favorite adventures was their trip to France, where, with pianist Mary Dibbern, of Paris, they performed in the Atelier Concert Series.  There they presented a concert of music by the composer and opera star Pauline Viardot, and the composers she influenced.  They returned to the United States where Mary joined them to record "Under Her Spell:  The Viardot Effect." This album has received high praise in a number of national music reviews, and was a finalist for Best Album in the category Best Opera/Classical Vocal CD for 2004 by the Just Plain Folks Music Awards.   Duelin' Sopranos, with Portland-based pianist Paulette Hanchett, flew to LA for several performances in conjunction with the awards, where they rubbed elbows with some of the world’s best independent musicians from as far away as Japan and Lithuania.  They were honored to accept the invitation to present excerpts from their nominated CD, not only at the fourth annual Pre-Awards Showcase Concert in Huntington Beach, California, but also at the 2004 JPF Music Awards Show at the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana, California.  Demonstrating musical diversity, they are pictured with rap group Rawbeats in the Fifth Anniversary Issue of Singer Magazine.

In addition to their concert in Paris, the Duo’s performances have included appearances for Frends of Chamber Music, Eclipse Music School, Wallowa Valley Music Alliance, Wally’s Top of the Month Concert Series, Sherman Clay Pianos’ “First Thursday/Art for the Ears” Concert Series, Western Oregon University’s “Seasons of Music” Concert Series, The Vancouver Children’s Opera benefit concert, Whitman College Concert Series, Mount Hood Community College Faculty Recital Series, The Say-It-In-French Language School’s “La Fete”, Linfield College Concert Series, Multnomah County Library’s "Saturdays@Central” Concert Series, Clark College’s “Cultural Tapestry Series”, Oregon Music Teachers Association, Portland State University’s “Think Lincoln” Concert Series, The Old Church, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing Regional Conference.

Both sopranos are members of MTNA (Music Teachers National Assocation) and OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association). Duvic and Nelson are also members of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and ACDA (American Choral Directors Association). Duvic is a member of the Music Educators National Association (MENC) and both Nelson and Duvic maintain memberships in the Portland Alumni Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon music fraternity alumni group.

  Duelin' Sopranos



JPF Quote for 7/25/2004
We are all millionaires, billionaires even. Because right now we have today. And today is worth more than all the wealth we can imagine. So spend today wisely. Spend tomorrow wisely. Enjoy the wealth of today, and realize it is worth far more than all the money and possessions of tomorrow and beyond. - Brian Austin Whitney
Vanessa Jump Nelson and April Brookins Duvic
Photo by Corona

"Our students were treated to a full concert of vocal perfection.  Every phrase was executed with precision and taste, intonation was flawless.  The duo selected a variety of literature and styles, and quickly connected with the audience."
Susie M. Jones, Music Director
Mt. Hood Community College
January 2003

Duelin' Sopranos: Singing in harmony, raising voices in song, has been part of the musical tradition since the beginning of time.  Why do we choose to du-it?  For the joy of music, for the feeling of creating something greater than just one singer can produce, and to enjoy the indescribable sensation that takes hold when two such musical energies mesh.

Dueling Sopranos!

"Your CD sounds great. You two ladies are precision and light! Very well matched voices and the Pauline Viardot complexity...Wow!"
Leslie Fudge, director of Vocal Art Works, Reno, Nevada.


“The concert was just wonderful…It was such a treat…Their program was so much fun, with comedy and also serious music offerings….”
Citizens for Cultural Arts (C4CA)
Vancouver, Washington
April 21, 2001


"The Duelin' Sopranos is a resource unlike any other, in bringing to life music history, foreign language, drama.  Their program has spontaneity, color and is full of emotion, which make the listener eager for more."
Doug Mrazek, Clark College
Cultural Tapestry Days, May 8, 2002


"This is magic time. Imagine that you have an angel on each shoulder, and that they both possess pure voices of satin that lift and intertwine in ethereal beauty on classical holiday selections."
--excerpt from review of "Christmas Joy"
which was rated a Top Pick by Christmas Reviews.com, 2003


"Delightful!", "Beautiful!", and "very humorous"
Thank you very much,
Lillian McGovern
OMTA, Portland District

Through the positive and supportive examples we are setting, it is becoming apparent that where our Just Plain Folks lead, the music world will follow! -Brian Austin Whitney

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 (Updated 14-Jun-2009)