In the early weeks of 2018, the Vocal Arts Ensemble completed its final recording session for the album release of Kile Smith’s Canticle at St. Boniface Church. As the exhausted singers reveled in the completion of their hard work on the new album, they noticed that everyone’s cars had been covered in several inches of snow over the course of the evening. She and fellow singers Caroline Keith and Kelly Haney (pictured here) rushed outside to clean off the technicians’ cars as they packed up their gear inside the church. Stephanie remembers how quiet and beautiful the snow made everything, and how euphoric they each felt after a project well-done.
Stephanie Nash has played many roles during her twenty-four years with the Vocal Arts Ensemble. As the organization has evolved, Stephanie has been there to fill in wherever she is needed, in both administrative and artistic roles. Nowadays, Stephanie’s role at the Vocal Arts Ensemble is more artistic in nature. Each season includes one concert which she conducts – usually the annual Holiday Concert. In those years in which the Ensemble welcomed new Artistic Directors who lived elsewhere, Stephanie worked extra hard to make sure the group was prepared for the new Director’s planned visits.
Stephanie enjoys her role as the most senior woman in the Vocal Arts Ensemble, serving as a mentor to younger singers and helping them further their choral and solo careers by recommending their employment to other conductors.
At 5’ 10”, Stephanie is the most petite member of her family, which includes husband Keith and adult sons Eric, David, and Andrew. She is, however, taller than her three young grandchildren. Over the past several months, she has enjoyed the opportunity to slow down and cook more (since she isn’t out at rehearsals 4 nights a week), allowing her to perfect the art of baking bread. Lately rye has been the Nash Family favorite recipe.
In addition to Stephanie’s work with the VAE, she is Director of Music at Lakeside Presbyterian, which is presenting strictly digital services at the moment. (In addition to baking bread, Stephanie has also developed skills she did not think she would ever need to use: audio and video editing to produce music segments for the online services each week.) Stephanie is also the Artistic Director of the Northern Kentucky Community Chorus. While the pandemic has shut down this group’s rehearsals they have repertoire ready to “dust off” as soon as a performance can be planned. Additionally, Stephanie conducts the Kol Rinah Choir at Isaac M. Wise Temple, where she has been involved for over 15 years. Unfortunately, they are also not rehearsing at this time. Who would have guessed that choral singing and conducting would be one of the last professions that will be “back to normal” after COVID.
Although her professional work has not given her much opportunity to sing in a group, Stephanie has found community among members of The Self Isolation Choir, based in England and operated through YouTube livestreams. While there are no live performances scheduled for this ensemble, it does provide much needed rehearsal opportunities and connections with other choristers missing their choir families. Through this choir, Stephanie has recorded and submitted vocal tracks for their online performances which has provided great training for her to use when explaining to her church choir members how to record for her.
We are honored to count the prolific and talented Stephanie Nash among our ranks at the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Get to know her even better by listening to her Spotify playlist here