Rod Kelly Hines, baritone; Celeste Marie Johnson, piano
Hosted by composer Abbie Betinis, our popular Courtroom Concerts take place at noon most Thursdays in the Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul. This series features accomplished musicians and composers from the Twin Cities and surrounding area, as well as occasional musical newcomers to the area. These one-hour concerts are free and open to the public.
About the Artists:
Rod Kelly Hines is a classically trained baritone and versatile artist who enjoys performing in a variety of genres. He feels most at home in choral ensembles, enjoying the spectrum of artistry that he is able to explore within a vast range of musical styles. From 2018-2021 he was a member of the Brooklyn-based ensemble Choral Chameleon, under the direction of Vince Peterson. In 2019 he became an inaugural member of EXIGENCE Vocal Ensemble, directed by Dr. Eugene Rogers. He is currently based in Minneapolis and in his third season singing Baritone with Cantus.
Pianist Celeste Marie Johnson, described as “eloquent” by the Baltimore Sun, is dedicated to exploring the compelling intersection of text and music in vocal repertoire. She has been a Resident Artist with Minnesota Opera since 2020, where her projects have included designing and performing a program for the Apart Together Artist Showcase series and serving as music staff for Opera in the Outfield, Albert Herring, Ópera Afuera L’Amant Anonyme, Voices United, and Carmen.
Earlier in 2020, Celeste was selected to be a participant in Renée Fleming’s SongStudio at Carnegie Hall and completed her DMA in collaborative piano at Boston University. In 2018-19, she was a Young Artist with Opera Saratoga, received the Marc and Eva Stern Fellowship at SongFest, and was a faculty coach at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Previously, Celeste has played for productions with the Boston University Opera Institute, Odyssey Opera, Inland Northwest Opera, Atlantic Music Festival, Hawai’i Performing Arts Festival, and Peabody Opera Theatre. An avid choral pianist, she has performed with the Massachusetts Music Educators All-State Choir, Coro Allegro: Boston’s LGBTQ+ and Allied Classical Chorus, and choirs at Boston University, Gonzaga University, and Boston University.
In addition to a DMA from Boston University, Celeste holds degrees in piano performance from Baylor University (BM) and vocal accompanying from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (MM). In November 2021, she became a Certified Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. When not at a piano or working on her new life coaching business, Celeste enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, reading, and doting on her cat, Pushkin.