As a music teacher and a professional vocalist, former Oaks Christian School teacher Dana Rouse knows the power of music to heal, uplift and unify. As such, she is part of a new all-female quartet, Seraphour, which launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group performs classical vocal music acapella and is dedicated to producing music that will touch people during a time of isolation and social distancing. The ensemble focuses on the "timeless sacred cannon – music that spans centuries and inspires souls."
(story continues below photo)
Seraphour members L to R: Emma Grace Roche, Heidi Vass, Dana Rouse and Melissa Birch.
"We hope to provide some high quality sacred classical music to the world during this difficult time, especially since there are no live concerts in churches or music halls," Rouse said.
In addition to being a former OCS teacher, Rouse and her husband, Edward, OCS Director of Choral and Vocal Music, are also alumni parents of Meg Rouse, Class of 2018, and Olivia Rouse, Class of 2020.
Seraphour - a combination of the Hebrew word seraphim for angels and a phonetic play on the English word four - was envisioned by Heidi Vass, vocal teacher at California Lutheran University and music director at La Reina High School. Rounding out the quartet are vocalists and music professionals Melissa Birch and Emma Grace Roche.
"I am most excited to sing with these three other amazing women! We really enjoying making music together and our voices just fit well in this style of music," Rouse shared.
Rouse, a mezzo-soprano, brings her 25 plus years of teaching and performing to the ensemble. In addition to teaching at Oaks Christian, she has taught at SUNY Fredonia, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School, and California Lutheran University. Rouse also performs regularly both as a chorister and soloist. She has sung with the Eastman Rochester Chorus, Cincinnati Opera Chorus, New West Symphony, Westlake Village Symphony, Westlake Chamber Society, Los Robles Master Chorale, and is currently a member of the Arete Vocal Ensemble in residence at CLU.
In demand as a vocal adjudicator and master teacher, she has presented numerous workshops and master classes to church choirs, high school vocal ensembles, and voice students of all ages.
The Acorn recently did an in-depth feature story on the ensemble's launch and goals.
For more information, visit seraphour.com.