October 02, 2009

Melton to tour with Cornerstone Chorale and Brass

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The road between Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Carnegie Hall gets more travel this month as Paula Melton, director of the SIUC Community Music School, joins the nationally acclaimed Cornerstone Chorale and Brass, directed by Bruce Vantine, on a tour that concludes at Carnegie Hall.

Melton, who also directs the SIUC Egyptian Suzuki School, the John Thomas String Program in Carbondale and the fledgling string program in Cairo, is one of two narrators during the Cornerstone performance.

The program, “The Courage to Care,” is on a three-week, 16-city tour that includes Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati and Philadelphia, finishing up in Carnegie Hall mid-October.

In addition to her musical education activities, Melton is a violinist, performing with orchestras including the Illinois Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony and Paducah Symphony Orchestra. As a public speaker, she serves as a fund-raiser and advocate for children’s arts on both live and taped radio and television programs throughout the Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri region. She is also a professional portrait painter. When not engaged in artistic and musical pursuits, Melton enjoys open water swimming and kayaking.

Cornerstone is a not-for-profit corporation and professional musical ensemble. The ensemble includes musicians recruited through national auditions. Besides the narrators, the ensemble for this tour includes 22 vocalists, a brass quintet and a pianist. The faith-based programming use narration sources ranging from the Bible through news accounts and literature along with music to inspire and build communities.