The Fifth Annual Musical Vespers and Benefit for Villa Infantil Orphanage takes place Wednesday, February 6, 4 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Riberas del Pilar.
The program will again include a wide variety of musical selections, ranging from baroque and contemporary organ pieces to choral classics and inspirational vocal and trumpet solos.
The concert features returning organist Neal Biggers; local vocalists Patteye Simpson, Doug Voet and Juan Navaro; and trumpeter Norma Province. The St. Andrew’s Anglican choir directed by Timothy Ruff Welch will participate this year.
Attendees will be welcome to make cash donations at the door, which will be given to the Villa Infantil orphanage (villainfantil.com.mx).
Organizers express appreciation to the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church for graciously allowing the use of their facility this year, and to Fr. Basil G. Royston and the English Mass Community at San Andrés Catholic Church in Ajijic for hosting the event for the past four years and for their continuing involvement and support.
The program this year will include a special guest singer, Voet, who will join Simpson in contemporary duets and solos to soothe the spirit and inspire the heart. Voet has had a remarkable singing career both on and off Broadway, and is now joining the arts community in Ajijic. His career has encompassed acting, dancing, designing, directing, coaching, instructing, performing and producing Las Vegas shows and managing tours.
Voet spent five years as the director of operations and production for the multiple Tony Award winning theater group, Dallas Summer Musicals, where he continues to design, teach and direct.
Simpson is a mezzosoprano/alto with a master’s degree in Voice Performance. She has participated in Los Cantantes de Lago for the past decade, sung professionally with the Chautauqua Opera Company of New York, the Portland Opera Company and with numerous regional orchestras, singing classical and Broadway music. She also performed on a USO Mediterranean tour. Since moving to the area in 2007, Simpson has taken several singing and acting roles at Lakeside Little Theatre, including Kate in “Kiss Me, Kate,” the chaperone in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” Mama Morton in “Chicago,” and Virginia in “The Clean House.” Many people remember her singing in “Always Pasty Cline” in Jayme Littlejohn’s My, My How Nice! Productions. Simpson has performed for the past five years in the Musical Vespers fundraiser for the Villa Infantil Orphanage.
Biggers, who helped establish the annual Vespers tradition with Fr. Basil, currently lives in Indiana and visits friends in the Lakeside area each February. He has served as organist and music director for churches in several U.S. states. In addition to teaching organ, he has held leadership positions in and performs regularly through the American Guild of Organists.