She is an alto, keyboardist and teacher born in
Pennsylvania who won honours as a singer and pianist in high school and
took her further studies for a music degree in piano performance at the
Peabody Conservatory of Music.
In 1969 she took on the positions of accompanist and
repetiteur at Temple University’s Music Festival and continued in that post
for 6 years until 1975.
Performing as a keyboardist, she has worked with her husband
Ifor Jones, Gian Carlo Menotti and Eugene Ormandy and has played organ
continuo with the Ama Deus Ensemble in St. Matthew Passion staged at
Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center.
She also recorded G.F. Handel: Fireworks as a harpsichordist
for them. She currently
holds the position of Executive Director of Vox Ama Deus, who she joined in
1989, and has appeared on Ama Deus recordings such as Vivaldi’s
Magnificat, Verdi’s Requiem and Bach’s Mass in B Minor.
As an alto and mezzo-soprano she has performed with
The Philadelphia Singers, appearing on their 1987 album Gloria! Gloria!,
the Bach Society of Baltimore, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and was
executive director of the Cantata Singers in Quakertown from 1982 to
1988. She has also appeared in
opera productions in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States and been a
member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Making concert appearances she has toured with Michael
Crawford and Barbra Streisand and her solo performances have been given
with the Ama Deus Ensemble and the Vox Renaissance Consort.
Involved in direction she was the director of
Pittsburgh’s Carnegie-Mellon University Graduate Opera Program from
1976-1981 and Moravian College Music Department’s Opera Ensemble.
In the field of musical education she has been a piano
teacher at Lebanon Valley College, a Guest Artist Voice Teacher at the
University ot Pennsylvania and Drexel University, teaches studio voice and
diction at the Music Department of Moravian College and is a Voice teacher
artist on the faculty at Bryn Mawr Conservatory of Music.
The Philadelphia Singers recordings
Adeste Fidelis (John Francis Wade)
RCA 6559-2-RC (Gloria! Gloria!)
Soprano – Benita Valente
Concerto Soloists Chamber
Orchestra of Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Singers
Liner Notes: Gloria! Gloria!