Vanessa Jump Nelson

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Vanessa Jump Nelson, well acquainted with most styles of music, completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music at Portland State University in 1986 and remains an eclectic musician particularly interested in the study and performance of 19th Century French Art Song and Jazz. She has been a featured soloist with the Oregon Symphony Pops Orchestra, Columbia Chorale of Oregon, I-Sing Community Choir, St. Helens' "Live: On-stage!" and Portland Symphonic Choir.

Vanessa toured Spain with I-Sing Community Choir of Beaverton, where she was featured soloist for the world premiere of composer Steve Galvan's work for choir and soloist, "The Risk of Birth." The tour included concerts in Avila, Aranjuez, Alcala, and the famed cathedral El Escorial, one of the largest cathedrals in the world.

She and her singing partner April Brookins Duvic, are better known as Duelin' Sopranos, whose first CD "Christmas Joy" was a best pick with Christmasreviews.com. Together they created a historical program around the life of 19th Century composer Pauline Viardot. This collection of songs, sung entirely in French, led to a concert in Paris, France, with Paris Opera pianist Mary Dibbern, who then recorded a CD in Portland with the vocal duo. Duelin' Sopranos received recognition as "Featured Artist of the Month" with Nettleingham Audio for their internationally released CD of French vocal duets, "Under Her Spell: The Viardot Effect," which was then recognized as a finalist for the Best Classical Vocal Album of 2004 by the Just Plain Folks Music Organization. A number of compositions have been written specifically for Duelin' Sopranos by local composer, Fred Strong.

In addition to their concert in Paris, the Duo's performances have included appearances for Friends of Chamber Music, 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, Vancouver Children's Opera, Whitman College Concert Series, Mount Hood Community College Faculty Recital Series, 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, Eclipse Music School, Rogue Valley Music Alliance, Mu Phi Epsilon, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

She has worked as Staff Soprano Soloist at St. Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Portland, Staff Soprano Soloist at St. Philip Neri Church, was a first place winner of the 1997 American Mothers, Inc. Oregon State Vocal Competition, and was featured soloist for the 2001 Mayor's Prayer Breakfast of Washington County. An early participant in jam sessions at The Jazz Quarry of Portland with the Sky Trio, she also had her own jazz trio, and was a member of the vocal ensemble Clazz, whose performances included guest features with the Dick Schwary Big Band, and a televised performance with the Walter Bridges Big Band. She has sung all styles professionally, including singing in a 50's Rock Band called "Dewey and the Dipsticks," backup vocals for an Elvis Impersonator, and a short stint in a country western band. She has been "Featured Jazz Vocal Artist" at the Westside Jazz Jam. She has participated as soloist, backup singer, and ensemble member in a multitude of other classical, jazz, and commercial music recording projects. She has also worked as pianist for Taize services at Grace Episcopal and St. Gabriel's Episcopal Churches.

She has been a member of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Chamber Singers, David York Ensemble, and Bel Canto Northwest. In 2008, she was a featured entertainer on the Portland Spirit for a conference cruise attended by the Oregon Music Teachers Association, and was featured guest vocalist with Too Grand, an 8-hand piano group, in their 88th performance. Performance highlights have included singing the role of Mrs. Bedwin in Oliver for Shoestring Community Players in St. Helens, fronting a jazz ensemble at an airshow at Pearson Airport in Vancouver, and providing contemporary keyboard and vocals for an airport wedding for two pilots while a small plane made an aerial display for the crowd.

Mrs. Nelson successfully taught high school and middle school choral music in Scappoose, Oregon immediately following college. She left her position in Scappoose to develop her private voice studio, which for the past 20+ years has given her more flexibility for performing and raising a family. In 2006, the Beaverton School District recruited her to fill a part-time temporary teaching position that included two 50-voice 8th grade choirs at Whitford Middle School from October to June of the 2006-7 school year and since then she has subbed occasionally at Westview, Aloha, Beaverton, and Southridge for their high school choir directors. She has judged Oregon and Washington District Solo/Ensemble competitions, NATS Vocal Festivals, and the Clark College Jazz Festival. She participated four years in the Eichenberger Choral Conductors Retreat at Cannon Beach, and has been hired as consultant at several school districts and churches to work with their choirs on vocal technique.

Her private students encompass all ages and have included church choir directors, singing actors, and winners of local and regional competitions. In addition to school performances, her students have made strong contributions to the vocal community, including Portland Opera, Northwest Children's Theatre, Broadway Rose, Lakewood Theatre, Gallery Theatre, The Singing Christmas Tree, and Portland Symphonic Choir. A number of her students have gone on to colleges and conservatories across the U.S. including Chapman Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Oklahoma City University, and Belmont University.

Mrs. Nelson performs regularly as a vocalist and keyboardist with the "Carroll Raaum Swing Orchestra", a 17-piece "Big Band" that plays 40's swing music in the style of Glenn Miller and Count Basie. Recent performances have included featured guest vocalist with Americana Band "Folsom", rock band "Wild Soul", and as an oratorio soloist in traditional Handel's "Messiah" performances. Mrs. Nelson teaches voice privately in her Bethany area studio, substitutes occasionally for choral directors in the Beaverton School District, and once in awhile takes a student for credit from Portland Community or Mt. Hood Community Colleges. Mrs. Nelson is a member of Oregon Music Teachers Association, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a past member of the American Choral Directors Association.

A licensed pilot whose hobby is flying antiques, she is a member of The Ninety-Nines International Organization of Women Pilots, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Western Antique Automobile & Aeroplane Club. In her spare time, she enjoys flying her award-winning restored 1946 Piper J-3 Cub, which she flew to "Airventure" in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2012, a memorable 4,000-mile roundtrip. Since then, her summers have included flights to Lompoc, California for an annual Cub Fly-in, and Oregon fly-ins such as Jordan, Madras, and Hood River, where she and her husband typically camp under the wing.  



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