Christopher W. Powell, Director of Cathedral Music
Christopher W. Powell is the Organist and Music Director of Christ Church Cathedral in Mobile, Alabama, where he directs the Cathedral Choir – an ensemble of volunteer and professional singers, the Cathedral Handbell Choir, and manages an active concert series, Cathedral Concerts Downtown. During his time at Christ Church, the music ministry has organized a Diocesan Choir and a Diocesan Choir Festival, as well as hosting guest musicians from the city of Mobile and beyond. Christ Church is known for musical excellence, innovation, leadership, and championing new works. One of Christopher’s main goals has been to regularly program the works of living, American composers.
As a performer, Christopher has concertized widely on the organ as well as the piano and harpsichord. Equally at home in classical music and musical theatre, he is in demand as a collaborative artist working with singers and instrumentalists. While in Mobile, Christopher has served as an accompanist for Mobile Opera and the University of Mobile, where he recruits new members for cathedral ensembles.
As a composer, Christopher has premiered many new works in the fields of church music, choral music, art song, chamber music, and jazz. He holds both bronze and silver medals from the Global Music Awards competition. In summer of 2019, Christopher studied in Paris at the Nadia Boulanger Institute (EAMA) with David Conte, obtaining honors in the study of harmony.
Christopher is also the Anthony and Alma Fisher Music Director at Springhill Avenue Temple (Congregation Sha’arai Shomayim) in Mobile, and the pianist and assistant director of Mobile’s Singing Children.
Mollie Adams, Cathedral Cantor
Mollie Adams is a warm, vibrant soprano gaining a reputation for her "animated stage presence and vivacious and strong soprano voice." Cultivating a wide-ranging career of singing opera, oratorio, art song, jazz, and chamber music, Ms. Adams has been seen in a wide scope of musical performances. She has been an active recitalist and soloist, with an emphasis on art song interpretations.
Ms. Adams recently performed the role of Annina, from Verdi's opera La Traviata, with Mobile Opera. She was last seen on the stage with Mobile Opera Company in the role of Mary Stone in The Devil and Daniel Webster, by Douglas Moore. Previous roles and performances have included The Mikado, Dvorak requiem, and several solo performances.
Her collaborations with the Magnolia Chamber Orchestra have brought her throughout the Gulf Coast, presenting early chamber works of Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach. Equally at home with new works, Ms. Adams premiered the role of Ms. Dara in Dan Shore’s NOA chamber award winning opera, An Embarrassing Position. She was also praised for her “fine acting and vocal performance” as the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Throughout her career, Ms. Adams has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The White House, Mount Vernon, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Disney World, The Cutler Majestic Theater, and performed with numerous touring shows and performers.
Ms. Adams is a dynamic performer of sacred music ranging from Jewish folk song to Anglican music, with an interest in both solo and choral collaborations. Her educational outreach and interpretations of jazz and art song has also proven to be a favorite of audiences.
Ms. Adams is a Voice Instructor and Adjunct Professor at the University of Mobile and keeps an active teaching studio. She is continually studying the importance of voice science in pedagogy and her use of functional voice technique helps her students to thrive in both the classical and contemporary realms of singing.
2020-2021 Music Series Guest Artists
Welcome to an exciting new season of music at downtown Mobile’s Episcopal Cathedral. Join us as we host some of the best musicians from our area and beyond.
Rebekah Atkinson is principal harpist for Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida, Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra in Biloxi, Mississippi, and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra in Meridian, Mississippi. She is often heard in venues around the Gulf Coast and as part of the Atkinson Duo. Rebekah studied the French school of playing the harp, in the legacy of Henriette Renie and Susann McDonald, and also participated in master classes with notable harpists such as Delaine Fedson and Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton.
Eric Botto is a is an up-and-coming tenor originally from Houston, Texas, currently residing in Gulfport, Mississippi. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Colorado State University, and recently received his Master of Music from the University of Mobile, under the tutelage of Dr. Maryann Kyle. During his Master’s degree, he was privileged to perform roles such as Roméo in, Roméo et Juliette, the Magician in, The Consul, Le petit villiard in, L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Earl Tolloller in, Iolanthe.
In June of 2020, Eric was slated to make his debut with Chautauqua Opera, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Chautauqua Opera effectively transformed its summer festival into a digital experience, utilizing Eric in a multitude of aria concerts, masterclasses, and an a capella song cycle world premiere, written by Frances Pollock and Jerre Dye. Other recent notable performances include both the Vain Man and Lamplighter with First Coast Opera’s, The Little Prince, Don Ramiro in Operafestival di Roma’s, La Cenerentola, Colorado State University credits as Rinuccio in, Gianni Schicchi and Gabriel von Eisenstein in, Die Fledermaus, and appearances with Opera Mississippi as Rodolfo in, La bohème and Pong In, Turandot.
Dr. Gosia Leska currently serves as a Strings Instructor within Gulfport School District. She is also a member of various ensembles, including the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, Magnolia Chamber Orchestra and Oaklawn String Quartet. Gosia Leska is a native of Poland. She grew up in Warsaw where she first began her musical education. As a teenager, she attended the prestigious Zenon Brzewski Music Lyceum and had an opportunity to perform solo at the famous Filharmonia Narodowa (National Philharmonic Concert Hall). At the age of eighteen she came to America, granted a full-tuition scholarship to attend Rice University where she studied violin with Kenneth Goldsmith. Upon obtaining her bachelor's degree, she continued her studies and pursued her master's degree at the University of Maryland. There she studied with William Preucil, famous concertmaster of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Leska later attended the University of Alabama where she was awarded a Narramore Fellowship and received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree. While pursuing her doctorate in Tuscaloosa, she studied with renowned artists and pedagogues including Patrick Rafferty, Peter Rovit and Daniel Szasz. Dr. Leska has participated in various festivals such as the Verbier Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Roundtop Music Festival, and the Brevard Music Festival. She has vast performing experience, serving for many years as the concertmaster of the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, and associate concertmaster of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with numerous ensembles such as the Houston Ballet, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Huntsville Symphony Orchestra.
Corinne Reece is a second year master’s student in Vocal Performance under the direction of Dr. Kathryn Hedlund at the University of Mobile. Recently, Corinne won first place in the graduate chapter of Alabama NATS and performed the role of Irene Molloy in Joe Jefferson Playhouse’s, “Hello Dolly!” and the role of Juliette in Gounod’s, Roméo et Juliette in February. Upon graduation, Corinne hopes to pursue performance opportunities and teach adjunct at a local university. Corinne holds a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University and currently teaches voice at Bay Area Performing Arts in Daphne, Alabama.
and Guo-Sheng Huang
Enen Yu and Guosheng Huang, are no strangers to Christ Church Cathedral. As co-concertmaster of the Mobile Symphony Orchestra and principle cellist of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, the duo has performed in many concerts, opera productions, and ballet productions all across the Gulf Coast region. Most recently, Ms. Yu was featured as soloist in concert with the Panama City Orchestra, and Dr. Huang performed as soloist with Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. With pianist Dr. Robert Holm of University of South Alabama, they perform as the Archduke Piano Trio in USA Concert Series, Creagan Concert Series, Woodlawn Chamber Music Series, St. James Music Series, and Christ Church Music Series. Ms. Yu is also the strings director of University Mobile, and was given the Arty (performing artist) Award by the Mobile Council of the Arts in 2018.
For nearly two centuries, Christ Church has enjoyed beautiful organ music within its walls. Over the years, four different pipe organs have occupied this space. Ours is an organ tradition we can be proud of and must maintain. Our pipe organ has been the “voice of our space,” and with continued maintenance it can play this role for generations to come.
Please support our historic organ by contributing to the Cathedral Organ Fund.