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A Little Lunch Music (Fall 2016)

November 3, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 12:00pm on Thursday, repeating until December 15, 2016

A Little Lunch Music is an informal performance presented by Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and musician Patrick McCurry, series coordinator. You can sit and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Café from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., browse the shop or explore the galleries.

If you are interested in supporting this program at JCSM, contact Noemí Oeding at 334-844-1675. These events are updated frequently with schedule information as it becomes available. Please check back with us for musician photos and bios.

A Little Lunch Music Schedule as of August 2016

September 1 - Just Friends with double bassist Jackie Pickett, violinist Lorna Wood, and double bassist David Ballam

On September 1 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present “Just Friends,” a free concert in the Auditorium led by double bassist Jacqueline Pickett that will also feature violinist Lorna Wood and double bassist David Ballam. The program will include music by Dave Anderson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Benedetto Marcello, Astor Piazolla, Duke Ellington, and others.

Jacqueline Pickett

Bassist Jacqueline Pickett is an accomplished artist in a variety of styles. She has performed with musicians ranging from country singer Allison Krauss to avant-garde composers Terry Riley and Pauline Oliveros. As a student of acclaimed bassist and political activist Richard Davis, Jacqueline has a deep passion concerning music for social change. To this end, she worked with pianist Consuela Lee in Snow Hill, Alabama, teaching young people how to play improvised music. Their duo, the Lee/Pickett duo, brought down many great artists, including Max Roach and Milt Jackson, to audiences in rural Alabama to inspire young people. Pickett now heads a 501c3 non-profit called Torch Academy (torchacademy.org) that is dedicated to music education through community involvement. Pickett is also the leader of Metro Atlanta Women’s Jazz Society (MA JAZZ), an organization that promotes female jazz artists.

Lorna Wood 2013

Based in Auburn, Alabama, Lorna Wood is concertmaster of the LaGrange Symphony and the Auburn Community Orchestra, and a member of the Columbus Symphony. In addition to having maintained her own violin and viola studio in Auburn since 1994, she has taught in the Montgomery Music Project, the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music’s Young Artist Program, and LaGrange’s Ovation Music Camp. Lorna enjoys playing programs for the A Little Lunch Music series at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and has soloed with the Auburn Orchestra. She received her BM in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Marilyn MacDonald. She has a PhD in English from Yale and has published poetry, fiction, and scholarly essays.

David Ballam

Dr. David Ballam has taught at Auburn University since 2013. Prior to joining the faculty at Auburn, Dr. Ballam taught and performed extensively in central Texas and Chicago, IL.

As an orchestral musician, Dr. Ballam has performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, Austin Lyric Opera, Mid-Texas Symphony, Round Rock Symphony, and the Austin Singers. While living in Chicago, Dr. Ballam performed with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Dupage Symphony Orchestra, Wheaton Summer Symphony, Skokie Valley Symphony, and the Music Institute of Chicago. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with the Northwestern University Summer Orchestra and Ensemble Settecento, and in recital at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Ballam holds a DMA from the University of Texas at Austin studying under DaXun Zhang, and completed his master’s degree at Northwestern University in double bass performance and string pedagogy under the instruction of both Peter Lloyd and DaXun Zhang. A graduate of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, Dr. Ballam holds diplomas in both music education and double bass performance. He has performed in masterclasses for noted double bassists Tim Cobb, Joseph Guastafeste, Paul Ellison, and Francois Rabbath and has studied privately in violone and baroque performance practices with Jerry Fuller.

Dr. Ballam is a member of the International Society of Bassists (ISB). He has been invited to the biennial ISB Summer Convention as a presenter on the topics of establishing and running a private music studio and using technology in the private studio. Dr. Ballam has also been actively involved in the Young Bassists Program at convention since 2011, coaching and working with many talented young bassists.

As an early music performer, Dr. Ballam performed with the University of Texas’s Bach Cantata Project and Northwestern University’s Baroque Music Ensemble. He is a founding member and past performer with Ensemble Settecento, billed as “Austin’s Newest Period Music Ensemble”. Outside of rehearsals, David managed the ensemble’s marketing, media and communications.

September 8 - baritone Matthew Hoch with pianist Jeremy Samolesky: Schubert's ``Die schöne Müllerin``

On September 8 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by baritone Matthew Hoch with pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The performance will be in the Grand Gallery and will include a single song cycle, Franz Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin.

Matthew Hoch headshotMatthew Hoch is Associate Professor of Voice at Auburn University, where he teaches applied voice, diction, vocal literature courses, and serves as coordinator of the voice area. Prior to coming to Auburn in 2012, he spent six years as Assistant Professor of Voice at Shorter College, where he taught applied voice, vocal literature, and served as Coordinator of Vocal Studies. Dr. Hoch’s students have gone on to successful careers in both classical and musical theatre genres and have won awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Music Teachers National Association, the American College Theater Festival, and others.

Dr. Hoch has appeared as an oratorio soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the United States and as a soloist with professional ensembles including the Oregon Bach Festival; the Santa Fe Desert Chorale; the Vox Consort; Harmonie Universelle; the Hartford, Rome, and Nashua Symphony Orchestras; the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra; and the United States Coast Guard Chamber Players. He also has experience as a professional chorister, performing with all-professional ensembles such as the Spoleto Festival Choir (Italy), Conspirare, and the Carnegie Hall Choral Workshops.

Dr. Hoch is the 2016 winner of the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship, awarded jointly by the Voice Foundation and NATS. He is the author of three books, including A Dictionary for the Modern Singer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Welcome to Church Music & The Hymnal 1982 (Morehouse, 2015), and Voice Secrets: 100 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Singer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016) coauthored with Linda Lister. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Singing, Opera Journal, Chorister, and Journal of the Association of Anglican Musicians, among others. From 2008–2016, he served as Editor-in-Chief of VOICEPrints: The Official Journal of NYSTA.

Dr. Hoch has presented his research at national and international conferences, including the International Congress of Voice Teachers, Pan-European Voice Conference, Pan-American Vocology Association, NATS, College Music Society, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, National Association for Music Education, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, National Opera Association, Acoustical Society of America, International Horn Symposium, Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, Voice Foundation Symposium in Philadelphia, and the International Symposium on Singing and Song in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. He is a “double alumnus” of the NATS Intern Program, completing the program as an intern in 2006 and hosting the program at Shorter College in 2009. In 2007, he was awarded the NATS Voice Pedagogy Award and completed all three levels of Somatic Voicework™ certification with Jeannette LoVetri. In 2013, he was selected as a Master Teacher for NYSTA’s Comparative Pedagogy Weekend at Columbia University.

Dr. Hoch earned the Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College with a triple major in vocal performance, music education, and music theory; the Master of Music degree from The Hartt School with a double major in vocal performance and music history; and the Doctor of Musical Arts in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory. He has studied advanced voice pedagogy with Johan Sundberg, Scott McCoy, and Ingo Titze, and in 2015 completed the Certificate in Vocology at the National Center for Voice and Speech in Salt Lake City. In 2016, Dr. Hoch was a named a Fellow-in-Residence at the University of the South. In addition to his academic life, he serves as Choirmaster and Minister of Music at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Auburn, Alabama, where he lives with his wife, Theresa, and three children: Hannah, Sofie, and Zachary.

Jeremy Samolesky 2012Jeremy Samolesky, a native of Manitoba, Canada, currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano at Auburn University, where he teaches piano and serves as Piano Area Coordinator. Known for his passion for both solo and collaborative performances, Samolesky has appeared in concert as soloist and chamber pianist throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, including a full recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., which was broadcast nationally on National Public Radio’s Performance Today.

Samolesky enjoys maintaining a rigorous performance schedule, with recent concert tours of China and Hong Kong, along with over 100 recitals and masterclasses at universities spanning 20 states throughout the U.S over the past seven years. In 2013, he was a featured lecturer and soloist at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, and in 2014 gave a series of concerts and taught at music conservatories in Colombia and Ecuador. In the summer of 2015, he completed his fourth residency as a teacher and performer throughout Malaysia, sponsored by the Perak Society of Performing Arts.

Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Samolesky often works directly with living composers in preparing performances of their works, having given recent premieres by composers such as David Maslanka, David Plylar, and Carl Vollrath. Praised by critics as “brilliant,” “distinguished,” and “full of intensity and drama,” Samolesky’s debut solo CD was released on the Centaur label in 2015.

A regular orchestral performer, Samolesky has presented concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. Festival appearances include the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Orford Arts Centre (Quebec), the Agassiz Music Festival (Winnipeg), the Courtenay Music Festival (B.C.), the Methow Music Festival (WA), the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival (Bonefro, Italy), and the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Broadcasts of his performances have been heard on Seattle’s KING FM, Canada’s CBC, CJOB, WDAZ (ND), and Troy Public Radio (AL). Dr. Samolesky was also featured in a documentary on the piano music of Sergei Prokofiev, produced by the Manitoba Television Network.

Dr. Samolesky achieved the rare distinction of graduating with two doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music: Piano Performance and Literature under the direction of Barry Snyder, and Accompanying and Chamber Music with Jean Barr. Eastman has permitted this double-doctorate just once before in the school’s history. In his four years at Eastman, Samolesky garnered top honors including the Barr Award, the Barbara M. King Scholarship, the Brooks Smith Scholarship, the “Excellence in Accompanying” award for three years in a row, first place in the Kneisel Lieder Competition, and the Performer’s Certificate for distinguished artistry in performance.  He holds the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Washington and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba.

As a teacher, Dr. Samolesky’s students are frequent competition winners and receive prestigious scholarships and assistantships at renowned graduate music programs throughout the U.S. For his achievements, he was awarded the 2012 “Excellence in Teaching” award from Auburn University. Samolesky currently serves on the executive board of the Alabama Music Teachers’ Association and would like to thank the Manitoba Arts Council for their continued support throughout his career.

September 15 - the Woodson Sellers Johnson (WSJ) Trio

On September 15 from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by the WSJ Trio, made up of saxophonist Coleman Woodson, Jr.; pianist Tom Sellers; and drummer Ben Johnson. The jazz trio will present a program of lesser known jazz standards.

WSJ Trio 2016After working on a Latin jazz project for the late percussionist Al Lewis, Coleman Woodson, Jr. (saxophones); Tom Sellers (keys and key bass); and Ben Johnson (drums) decided to get together weekly and work on their jazz repertoire by choosing challenging material, avoiding tunes already known by any one member. The goal was to stretch their musical boundaries by working on compositions that would provide growth for each individual and for the group. Pleased with the results and personal camaraderie, the Woodson Sellers Johnson (WSJ) Trio was born, The group then started booking selective performance dates to showcase this material. Each member’s personal tastes for improvisational music are on display when the group performs, creating a unique collective sound that honors the American jazz tradition while paying tribute to the music of their jazz heroes, Horace Silver, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Chet Baker, and many others.

(W) Coleman N. Woodson Jr., (saxophone) hails from Selma and Montgomery AL. He holds an artist diploma from Selma University, a Bachelors Degree in music and a Masters degree in music education from Alabama State University. Performance credits include the US Army Band, the Alabama National Guard band (retired 28 yrs), the Coleman Woodson Group, the Montgomery Recreators Big Band, and the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. He is currently the Band Instructor at Floyd Middle Magnet School in Montgomery. Honors include the Outstanding Middle School Educator award (2014), and being past president of the Alabama Jazz and Blues Federation Board.

(S) Montgomery native Tom Sellers (Piano/Key Bass) earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Alabama. He performed with the US Air Force Band for four years and is currently a full time musician, performing solo and with bands Tapestry, the Lo Fi Loungers, the Montgomery Recreators, the Spike Graham Orchestra, WitchChord, Little Lee and others. He is past president of the Alabama Jazz and Blues Federation and the Alabama Roots Music Society.

(J) Drummer Ben Johnson, is from Montgomery, Alabama by way of Lincoln, Nebraska. he attended Concordia University and has performed extensively with Magic Slim, National Endowment for the Arts lecturer David Lamar, Session Guitarist Larry Park, and the Zoo Bar House Band (Lincoln). He studied with drummers Stanton Moore, Johnny Vidacovich, Frank Briggs, and Ignacio Berroa. Currently on extended Military assignment at Gunter AF Base in Montgomery.

September 22 - the Auburn University Faculty Hot Jazz Band

On September 22 from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by the Auburn University Hot Jazz Band. Faculty personnel includes Mike Pendowski (leader, clarinet, soprano sax and alto sax), Mark Degoti (trumpet), Matt Wood (trombone), Josh Pifer (piano), David Ballam (bass), and Doug Rosener (drums). AU student Taylor Pierce (banjo, guitar) joins the group. It will present a concert of jazz from the 1920s and 30s. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for supporting these musicians.

The group features tunes that are considered hallmarks of the era of “Hot” bands. It includes the music of Louis Armstrong, Bix Beiderbecke and Sidney Bechet. Each song is recreated as close as possible to the original recording, including the solos. he transcriptions of these works were all created by Dr. Michael Pendowski, instructor of jazz and saxophone at Auburn. This ensemble allows a number of Auburn music faculty to perform together in a genre they would not normally have the opportunity to do. The band has performed both on campus and for community functions.

MichaelPendowskiMichael Pendowski is currently the Director of the Jazz Ensemble and Instructor of Saxophone at Auburn University. Previously he taught at Eastman School of Music, VanderCook College of Music, Northwestern University, DePaul University, Harper Community College, and Wheaton-Warrenville High School. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music with a doctorate in Jazz and Contemporary Media, and of Northwestern University with Degrees in Conducting and Music Education.

Dr. Pendowski’s career has encompassed a wide variety of musical styles and venues. His film projects have included the restoration of Orson Welles “Othello”, “Dead Presidents”, “Our Father”, and “Groundhog Day”. In addition, he has composed, arranged, and produced over a dozen albums and has scored for off-Broadway productions, as well as animated features including the “Getting to Know the Artist” series. This video collection (Rembrandt, DaVinci, & Michelangelo) won the American Library Video award. He has scored works for The Four Freshmen, Peter Cetera, Doc Severinsen and most recently for Jake Shimabukuro. He has written and produced music for hundreds of TV and radio commercials, and his work has won numerous awards including two Golden Lions and an Eddy. Mr. Pendowski also wrote original soundtracks to the John Madden Football and NCAA Football and Basketball games created by Electronic Arts.

Dr. Pendowski is a prominent composer in the educational field. He has published dozens of compositions, writing for the full spectrum of ensembles available in today’s schools and universities. His music has been performed in the United States, Europe, South America and Japan. His Jazz compositions are considered to be at the forefront of the field and are performed throughout the United States, Japan and Europe. In 2003 he was commissioned by the Illinois Music Educators Association to write the Allstate Jazz composition for the State of Illinois, and in 2009 conducted the Pennsylvania Allstate Jazz Ensemble. His original arrangements for competitive marching shows have won dozens of competitions and are performed by both college and high school ensembles, including Northwestern University, University of Delaware, Southwest Missouri State and University of Colorado. He has also written original school songs for Robert Morris College and Deep Run High School.

Dr. Pendowski has worked extensively as a freelance performer, appearing with Natalie Cole, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Carol Lawrence, George Shearing, Ray Charles, the Four Freshmen, and The Jazz Orchestra of America. In addition to these professional activities, he is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and has served on its board of governors.

September 29 - soprano Jin Lee with pianist Laurelie Gheesling

On September 29 from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by soprano Jin Lee with pianist Laurelie Gheesling. The program will offer a glimpse of European, American, and Korean culture from the classical era to the present day through the genres of opera, art song, and folk song. Music by Richard Strauss, Francis Poulenc, Lori Laitman, and Giacomo Puccini will be featured as well as traditional Korean folk songs by Jang Il Nam and Kim Dong Jin.

This is in collaboration with Showcase: The Work of Creative Scholarship, which features the creative scholarship and work by Auburn University faculty and students in the fields of fine art, performing arts, creative writing, applied design and other related disciplines. Click here for more about the Showcase.

Jin Lee 2016Soprano Jin Lee is a two-time Alabama regional winner and national semifinalist in the student auditions of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Twice she won Emerging Artist Distinction at the Vann Vocal Institute in Montgomery and has earned second place awards at Alabama Music Teachers National Association performance competitions.

Ms. Lee has performed leading roles with the Auburn University Opera Workshop, and in 2015 was named one of four winners in the the school’s biennial concerto competition. Her operatic roles have included The Pirates of Penzance (Edith), scenes from Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz (Ännchen), and Giacomo Puccini’s Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica).

After graduating Kaywon High School of Arts (Seoul) and completing her freshmen year in South Korea, Ms. Lee transferred to Auburn University. Now a senior in the Department of Music, she is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Vocal Performance under Dr. Matthew Hoch. She intends to pursue a graduate degree in music or music industry.

LAURELIE GHEESLING

Pianist Laurelie Gheesling joined the Auburn Department of Music in the fall of 2009. Her experience includes a diverse background in vocal arts, opera, choral, instrumental and musical theater. Teaching activities include collaborative piano, applied piano, chamber music and the Alexander Technique. Performance activities include faculty and student solo and chamber recitals.

She previously served as Professional-in-Residence/Accompanying in the School of Music at Louisiana State University. There, she was the musical director and pianist for the LSU Opera Outreach Program. Ms. Gheesling was the rehearsal accompanist for the Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus from 1993 to 2008. From 1994-2000 she was the Staff Accompanist at University of New Orleans.

Additional activities in New Orleans included Metropolitan Opera Master Classes with Phyllis Curtin, George Shirley, Ruth Falcon and others. She has performed frequently in New Orleans as a recitalist at Loyola and Tulane Universities, and was an orchestra member for Broadway tour shows including The Producers, Hairspray, 42nd Street, and others at the Saenger Theater in New Orleans.

Ms. Gheesling is a certified teaching member of Alexander Technique International and teaches in group and private settings. As an ATI member, she attended and performed at the 7th International AT Congress in Oxford, England. She is also a recipient of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Southern Division James Ronald Brothers Achievement in Accompanying Award.

A native of Atlanta, GA, Ms. Gheesling holds the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Mercer University in Atlanta and the Master of Music degree in Accompanying from Florida State University. Former teachers include William Knight, Pamela Ross and Carolyn Bridger.

Opera and musical theater credits include work with the Atlanta Repertory Opera, Savoyards Light Opera, The New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, Vineyards Opera, Asbury Music Theater, The Florida State Opera, South Georgia Opera, Seaside Music Theater in Daytona Beach, Florida and Tulane Summer Lyric Theater.

October 6 - trombonist Matthew Wood with pianist Joshua Pifer (duo and piano solo)

On October 6 from noon to 1:00 pm in the Grand Gallery, the series will present a free concert by trombonist Matthew Wood and pianist Joshua Pifer. The program is one of solos and duos highlighting lyrical pieces and songs. Composers featured will be Michael Davis, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Joseph Canteloube, Alexander Tcherepnin, Astor Piazzolla, Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Edward Elgar, Robert Schuman, and Richard Strauss.

Matthew WoodMATTHEW WOOD is Associate Professor of Low Brass at Auburn University. His duties include maintaining the trombone, euphonium, and tuba studios as well as conducting the trombone choir and tuba/euphonium ensemble.

A native of Columbia, Missouri, Dr. Wood received both a BM (Summa Cum Laude) and MM from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a DMA from the University of Texas-Austin.

Before moving to Auburn, Dr. Wood was an active performer, educator, and clinician in both the Austin and San Antonio areas. He performed with San Antonio-based BrassFX and the Austin City Brass as well as with the Austinbones trombone quartet. He also performed and recorded with several pop, rock, and latin groups including Drew Smith and His Band. During his time in Austin, Dr. Wood taught in the Austin, Round Rock, and Pflugerville Independent School Districts and served on the faculty of the Austin Chamber Music Center and the Texas Brass Camp.

Dr. Wood was a member of the University of Texas-Austin Trombone Choir that won the 2002 and 2007 Emory Remington Trombone Choir Competition sponsored by the International Trombone Association. He has also been a finalist in the ITA Lewis Van Haney Mock Orchestral Audition Competition.

His principal teachers are Nathaniel Brickens, Professor of Trombone at the University of Texas-Austin and Timothy Myers, Principal Trombone, St. Louis Symphony.

JoshPifer-playingJOSHUA PIFER pianist, pedagogue, and chamber musician is currently Lecturer in Piano at Auburn University, and has also held positions at The Florida State University, Wittenberg University, and Miami University. In the summer, Joshua is faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan, and he has served as faculty at the Orfeo Music Festival in Vitipeno, Italy.

Joshua enjoys maintaining an active performance schedule throughout the United States and Europe. He has premiered music written by Andre Cormier, Justin Aftab, Gary Shields, Douglas Townsend, and Andrea Clearfield. He is a founding member of the Oto Trio which explores the interconnections between the music and art of Japan with the internationally acclaimed Japanese artist, Chikuen Kato whose art displays at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum.

Joshua leads masterclasses and provides clinics at universities, music teacher associations, and international conferences. His favorite presentations include “The Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin”, “Arm Usage and Injury Prevention in Piano Playing”, and “Teaching Improvisation”.

Joshua holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance with honors from the University of Southern California with secondary foci in piano pedagogy, choral conducting, and music history. He has a Masters in piano performance from Miami University and Bachelor degrees in piano performance, organ performance, and pre-medicine from Wittenberg University.

When not performing or teaching music, Joshua can be found playing tennis or practicing culinary arts with his family.

October 13 - violinist Guy Harrison with pianist Jeremy Samolesky

On October 13 noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by violinist Guy Harrison with pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The duo will preform the Sonata for Violin & Piano in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven and the Sonata in A Major for Violin & Piano by Cesar Franck.

Guy HarrisonViolinist GUY HAARRISON has held principal positions with the Jackson Symphony (MI) and Lubbock Symphony (TX) Orchestras as well as Associate Concertmaster of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra (MI). Originally from Australia, he performed regularly with both the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras before moving to the United States. Dr. Harrison has performed with the Arkansas, South Bend, Saginaw, Traverse, Northwest Indiana and Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestras, and has toured extensively in Australia, as well as the USA, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, and New Caledonia.

Dr. Harrison works with middle school, high school and youth orchestras and in 2013 was the clinician for the All-West Middle School Honor Orchestra (Memphis, TN). He is a certified classroom teacher and has taught in the Texas public school system as well as having established private studios in Texas, Michigan, Indiana, Arkansas and Alabama. He served as the Director of Education for the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. His research interests include string teacher preparation, youth ensembles, musician wellness, string pedagogy and new music.

Dr. Harrison is Assistant Professor of String Music Education at Auburn University where he teaches applied violin & viola, chamber music and music education courses. He serves as musical director of the Auburn University Youth Orchestra and in 2015 launched the Auburn University Music Project, an after-school orchestral string program for local elementary students. Dr. Harrison completed his Doctoral degree in Violin Performance at Michigan State University in 2012 under the direction of Dr. Walter Verdehr. He also holds degrees from the University of Adelaide (B.M. with Honors), and Michigan State University (M.M.).

Dr. Harrison performs on a J.B. Vuillaume circa 1858.

Jeremy Samolesky 2012JEREMY SAMOLESKY, a native of Manitoba, Canada, currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano at Auburn University, where he teaches piano and serves as Piano Area Coordinator. Known for his passion for both solo and collaborative performances, Samolesky has appeared in concert as soloist and chamber pianist throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, including a full recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., which was broadcast nationally on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Samolesky enjoys maintaining a rigorous performance schedule, with recent concert tours of China and Hong Kong, along with over 100 recitals and masterclasses at universities spanning 20 states throughout the U.S over the past seven years. In 2013, he was a featured lecturer and soloist at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, and in 2014 gave a series of concerts and taught at music conservatories in Colombia and Ecuador. In the summer of 2015, he completed his fourth residency as a teacher and performer throughout Malaysia, sponsored by the Perak Society of Performing Arts.

Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Samolesky often works directly with living composers in preparing performances of their works, having given recent premieres by composers such as David Maslanka, David Plylar, and Carl Vollrath. Praised by critics as “brilliant,” “distinguished,” and “full of intensity and drama,” Samolesky’s debut solo CD was released on the Centaur label in 2015.

A regular orchestral performer, Samolesky has presented concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. Festival appearances include the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Orford Arts Centre (Quebec), the Agassiz Music Festival (Winnipeg), the Courtenay Music Festival (B.C.), the Methow Music Festival (WA), the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival (Bonefro, Italy), and the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Broadcasts of his performances have been heard on Seattle’s KING FM, Canada’s CBC, CJOB, WDAZ (ND), and Troy Public Radio (AL). Dr. Samolesky was also featured in a documentary on the piano music of Sergei Prokofiev, produced by the Manitoba Television Network.

Dr. Samolesky achieved the rare distinction of graduating with two doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music: Piano Performance and Literature under the direction of Barry Snyder, and Accompanying and Chamber Music with Jean Barr. Eastman has permitted this double-doctorate just once before in the school’s history. In his four years at Eastman, Samolesky garnered top honors including the Barr Award, the Barbara M. King Scholarship, the Brooks Smith Scholarship, the “Excellence in Accompanying” award for three years in a row, first place in the Kneisel Lieder Competition, and the Performer’s Certificate for distinguished artistry in performance.  He holds the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Washington and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba.

As a teacher, Dr. Samolesky’s students are frequent competition winners and receive prestigious scholarships and assistantships at renowned graduate music programs throughout the U.S. For his achievements, he was awarded the 2012 “Excellence in Teaching” award from Auburn University. Samolesky currently serves on the executive board of the Alabama Music Teachers’ Association and would like to thank the Manitoba Arts Council for their continued support throughout his career.

October 20 - Donald Tipton's ``Musa``

Musa FlyerOn October 20 from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present Musa, a piece by pianist and composer Donald Tipton from Columbus, Georgia. Tipton composed Musa with eleven movements, six of which are inspired by six paintings in the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum.

Tipton was inspired by Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition. He states, “These paintings have moved me deeply, and these six movements are my musical impressions.” The process presented the idea for the piece’s subtitle, “art inspiring the creation of art.” Like Pictures, Donald Tipton’s Musa begins with a Promenade that returns at various points in the piece. The Promenade is used to set the mood for the next painting’s musical impression.

“In Musa, I have combined the musical styles of jazz with classical and a bit of gospel to produce something different. Of course, combining jazz with classical is as old as Rhapsody in Blue from the 1920’s, but there is always something new for the composer to explore,” says Tipton.

As the piece is inspired in part by jazz, the concert will conclude with a few jazz standards.

Donald TiptonDONALD TIPTON received his Bachelor of Music from Columbus College in 1980 but has worked as a video producer and commercial photographer with special expertise in underwater image making. His most recent film, “Dreaming into Blue,” makes use of Donald’s own music for it’s film score. “Music has always been a part of whatever I do,” Said Donald. “It seems natural for me in interpret the visual in a musical context.”

Donald has been teaching both music and photography since 1985. He feels it is essential that the teacher must tap the students potential and passion for learning and help the student to realize their own goals.

“It seems that Donald has always played the piano, but in 1994 it took on a new and profound place in his life.” Said Angelyn Tipton, Donald’s wife. As a result, Donald’s career has shifted to include playing piano professionally. His study of jazz piano has been further influenced by studying with Shirantha Beddage, Dr. Alexander Pershounin, and Dr. Kevin Whalen, jazz studies professors at Columbus State University. Donald is currently working on his Masters of Music Education at CSU.

Donald is a founding member of the Amadeus Jazz Quintet and a board member of the Columbus Jazz Society. Recent performances include The RiverCenter, The Loft, Belloo’s, Cascade Hills Church, The Georgia Aquarium, Columbus Uptown Jam, Ben’s Chop House, The Chattahoochee River Club, W.C. Bradley Museum, The Columbus Museum, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Maxi’s in Barnesville, GA.

October 27 - soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick with pianist Cheryl Cellon Lindquist

On October 27 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by soprano Jennifer Piazza-Pick with pianist Cheryl Cellon Lindquist. The program is titled, “An Afternoon of American Song,” and will include music by Leonard Bernstein, John Duke, Florence Price, Emma Lou Diemer, Juliana Hall, Lori Laitman, Vartan Aghababian, and Ben Moore.

Jennifer Piazza-Pick 2016Soprano JENNIFER PIAZZA-PICK has been active in oratorio, concerts, and opera in the United States and Europe. She was a member of the House Chorus at the Nationaltheater Mannheim in Mannheim, Germany for five years, where she performed in over 50 different productions. She sang several small roles with the theater as well, including Turandot’s handmaiden in Turandot, first Mädchen in Le Nozze di Figaro, and the first soprano solos in Schumann’s Requiem für Mignon. She has also performed with Ithaca Opera, Long Beach Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Theater of Lucca, Opera Piccola of San Antonio, and the Princeton Festival. Her operatic roles include Nannetta in Falstaff, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, the First Lady in The Magic Flute, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Minnie Lansing in The Village Singer, and Mrs. Gobineau in The Medium.

Active also as a concert singer, Ms. Piazza-Pick has performed in several concert series as a soloist and ensemble singer, including a concert tour of Poland, Belarus, Latvia, and Lithuania with the U.S. Army Europe Band. She has sung concerts in collaboration with Alamo City Ballet and Opera Piccola of San Antonio as part of the San Antonio Symphony’s featured composer concerts. In 2012, she premiered works of three different composers for the spring concert of the Composers Alliance of San Antonio, featuring poetry from San Antonio’s poet laureate, Carmen Tafolla. In that same year, she gave the premiere Texas performance for CMASH, a California-based music repertory group, where she premiered a song cycle by award-winning composer Liam Wade. Last year, she gave her first lecture recital in both San Antonio, TX and Petersburg, VA on 21st century American Song. As an oratorio soloist, she has performed such works as Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Bach’s St. John’s Passion, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.  She is also a professional chorister, having performed with Pacific Chorale, San Antonio Chamber Choir, Virginia Chorale, and the Oregon Bach Festival.

Ms. Piazza-Pick is the winner of the George Cortes Award for Classical Singing by the Artist Foundation of San Antonio, the Art Song Contest of Hawaii Public Radio, and was a finalist for the American Prize in the professional women’s art song division. She has taught at Our Lady of the Lake University, the University of the Incarnate Word, Wayland Baptist University, and Trinity University. Currently at Virginia State University, she teaches Applied Voice, Voice Class, Sight Singing and Ear Training, Music Appreciation, and Opera Workshop. Ms. Piazza-Pick holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance and Music Education from Ithaca College.

cherylcellonlindquistCHERYL CELLON LINDQUIST, pianist and coach, is a collaborator who has worked with an array of singers, instrumentalists, choirs, chamber ensembles, and symphony orchestras. Dr. Lindquist has served on the faculty of the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and was a featured accompanist at the Songfest Music Festival at Pepperdine University and at the Acadèmie Internationale d’Été de Nice in Nice, France. She has collaborated with Martin Katz, John Wustman, and Dalton Baldwin through a variety of masterclasses and festivals. As a champion of new music, she has worked with such notable composers as Tobias Picker, John Harbison, Krysztof Penderecki, and Jake Heggie.

Dr. Lindquist earned her Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance from Florida State University, as well as Masters of Music degrees in both Piano Performance and Conducting. She currently serves on the faculty of both the University of Texas San Antonio and the University of Incarnate Word as the coach/musical director of opera productions and singer’s workshop. In addition, she works with “Opera on the Run,” a joint outreach production between the San Antonio Opera Guild and UTSA. She maintains an active performing schedule with the San Antonio Symphony, Opera San Antonio, and CMASH, a repertory group focused on new works and fostering long-term collaborative relationships between composers and performers.

Dr. Lindquist maintains a private coaching studio and is an avid recitalist, passionate about promoting works of living American composers and preserving and revitalizing art song repertoire.

November 3 - flutist Alina Windell with oboist Sue Tomkiewicz and pianist Jeremy Samolesky

Alina Windell 2016Praised for her vibrant sound, flutist ALINA WINDELL has captivated audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In the summer of 2016, as a winner of the National Flute Association (NFA) Convention Performers Competition, she was invited to play in the Newly Published Music Concert at the NFA Convention in San Diego, CA. She also performed as an Artist in Residence and faculty at the Orfeo Music Festival, in Vipiteno, Italy, and played newly composed chamber music at the International Double Reed Society annual conference at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.

In 2015, she appeared as a featured soloist in a concert tour of Malaysia, sponsored by the Perak Society for the Performing Arts, and was a finalist in the Byron Hester Solo Flute competition in Houston, Texas. Recent or upcoming solo engagements include recitals at Columbus State University and the Houston Flute Club’s Flute Fest.  Recent masterclass engagements include the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy, and Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur and the Kinta Valley Wind Ensemble in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Dr. Windell has performed regularly with professional orchestras, first as a member of the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, is currently a member of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, and regularly plays at the Springer Opera House. She has also performed with the Columbus Symphony, the Lynn Philharmonia, the Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, the National Orchestral Institute Festival Orchestra, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival Orchestra of Lucca in Italy, and in concerts at the Duxbury Music Festival, as well as professional freelancing in New York City.

An avid chamber musician and advocate of new music, she recorded the music of Carter Pann for the Naxos record label, premiered Circles by Rachel Matthews at the Pendulum Concert Series at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and performed for two years as a member of the Chinook Winds, the graduate wind quintet in residence at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Dr. Windell’s flute students have received honors, which include entrance and scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy, first chair in the Alabama All-State Band in Mobile, AL, and have been prizewinners in competitions including the Music Teachers National Association, the Atlanta Flute Club, and the Alabama All-State Band Solo Festival Competition.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, her Masters Degree with renowned flutist and pedagogue Carol Wincenc at Stony Brook University, and her doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying with Christina Jennings. She teaches music appreciation at Auburn University and Southern Union State Community College, and maintains a private studio.

Sue TomkiewiczAn active proponent of new music, Dr. SUSAN HATCH TOMKIEWICZ has commissioned, premiered and recorded many new solo, electronic and chamber works for oboe and English horn by such composers as Brian Cherney, Brooke Joyce, Bruce Pennycook, Jeremy Baguyos, Matt McCabe, John Lato, Nancy Galbraith and Fred Cohen.

As a performing artist, Susan has been a recitalist in the United States and Japan at the International Double Reed Society, SEAMUS, Electronic Music Midwest, the College Music Society and the 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th Annual English Horn Masterclasses with Carolyn Hove. She has also performed with a number of ensembles and productions across the country including the Columbus Symphony, Springer Opera House, Omaha Symphony, Wicked, the Austin Symphony, the Maine Chamber Ensemble and the Bangor Symphony.

Susan has participated in numerous recording projects including Bells for Stokowski, Fandango, the PBS Texas Parks & Wildlife theme show music and, most recently, Rebecca Henderson’s latest CD entitled “Gobo.” She holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated summa cum laude, the University of New Mexico and the University of New Hampshire. Her primary teachers include Rebecca Henderson, Kevin Vigneau and Margaret Herlehy.

Susan is the Associate Professor of Oboe at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and the Director of RiverPark Honors. Previous academic appointments include the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Bowling Green State University, Luther College and Texas Lutheran University.

Susan was the director and host of the English Horn Masterclasses with Carolyn Hove from 2011-2015, and co-hosted the 2016 Conference of the International Double Reed Society in Columbus, Georgia.

Jeremy Samolesky 2012JEREMY SAMOLESKY, a native of Manitoba, Canada, currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano at Auburn University, where he teaches piano and serves as Piano Area Coordinator. Known for his passion for both solo and collaborative performances, Samolesky has appeared in concert as soloist and chamber pianist throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, including a full recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., which was broadcast nationally on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Samolesky enjoys maintaining a rigorous performance schedule, with recent concert tours of China and Hong Kong, along with over 100 recitals and masterclasses at universities spanning 20 states throughout the U.S over the past seven years. In 2013, he was a featured lecturer and soloist at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, and in 2014 gave a series of concerts and taught at music conservatories in Colombia and Ecuador. In the summer of 2015, he completed his fourth residency as a teacher and performer throughout Malaysia, sponsored by the Perak Society of Performing Arts.

Dedicated to the promotion of new music, Samolesky often works directly with living composers in preparing performances of their works, having given recent premieres by composers such as David Maslanka, David Plylar, and Carl Vollrath. Praised by critics as “brilliant,” “distinguished,” and “full of intensity and drama,” Samolesky’s debut solo CD was released on the Centaur label in 2015.

A regular orchestral performer, Samolesky has presented concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, and Rachmaninov. Festival appearances include the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Orford Arts Centre (Quebec), the Agassiz Music Festival (Winnipeg), the Courtenay Music Festival (B.C.), the Methow Music Festival (WA), the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival (Bonefro, Italy), and the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Broadcasts of his performances have been heard on Seattle’s KING FM, Canada’s CBC, CJOB, WDAZ (ND), and Troy Public Radio (AL). Dr. Samolesky was also featured in a documentary on the piano music of Sergei Prokofiev, produced by the Manitoba Television Network.

Dr. Samolesky achieved the rare distinction of graduating with two doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music: Piano Performance and Literature under the direction of Barry Snyder, and Accompanying and Chamber Music with Jean Barr. Eastman has permitted this double-doctorate just once before in the school’s history. In his four years at Eastman, Samolesky garnered top honors including the Barr Award, the Barbara M. King Scholarship, the Brooks Smith Scholarship, the “Excellence in Accompanying” award for three years in a row, first place in the Kneisel Lieder Competition, and the Performer’s Certificate for distinguished artistry in performance.  He holds the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Washington and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba.

As a teacher, Dr. Samolesky’s students are frequent competition winners and receive prestigious scholarships and assistantships at renowned graduate music programs throughout the U.S. For his achievements, he was awarded the 2012 “Excellence in Teaching” award from Auburn University. Samolesky currently serves on the executive board of the Alabama Music Teachers’ Association and would like to thank the Manitoba Arts Council for their continued support throughout his career.

November 10 - pianists Trent Briden, Rebekah Horton, Emma Beth Fisher, Ruth Lee, and Elvfi Le

On November 10, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert featuring solo piano works performed by Trent Briden, Rebekah Horton, Emma Beth Fisher, Ruth Lee, and Elvfi Le. The concert will be in the Grand Gallery. The performers are students at Auburn University studying with Dr. Jeremy Samolesky.

Trent Briden 2016

TRENT BRIDEN was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and is currently a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music in piano performance. A recipient of the Kay Reynolds Beaty Endowed Scholarship, he is the pianist for The Evans Project jazz combo and the Auburn University Jazz Band under the direction of Dr. Michael Pendowski. Trent recently released his first solo piano album, “Introspection.”

Rebekah Horton

REBEKAH HORTON is a junior from Birmingham studying accounting and music. She began taking lessons when she was ten years old and has received first-place awards in the Birmingham Music Teachers Association’s Sonata/Sonatina competition and the Alabama Music Teachers Association’s state competition. She is a recipient of the Glenda Moseley Potts Endowed Scholarship.

Emma Beth Fisher 2016

EMMA BETH FISHER is a sophomore from Tampa, Florida, and a recipient of the Kay Reynolds Beaty Endowed Scholarship pursuing a Bachelor of Music in piano performance. She has been playing piano for fifteen years, during which she has received awards including honors from the National Federation of Music Club’s Florida Chapter for solo and collaborative piano.

Ruth Lee 2016

RUTH LEE, a native of South Korea, is a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance. She moved to the United States with her family in 2012. Ruth has studied piano for six years. She works as an accompanist for the Auburn United Methodist Church children’s choir, plays keyboard for her church worship team, and participates in the Auburn University Women’s Chorus.

Elfvi Ye 2016

ELVFI YE is a freshman pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Piano. She was born in Hebei Province, China, and began playing piano at age five. She enjoys composing her own songs with Chinese lyrics, and sings in the Auburn University Women’s Chorus.

November 17 - vocalist/pianist Marc Karam and Friends

On November 17, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert featuring Marc Karam and Friends. Marc will sing jazz arrangements of well-known standards from France, Italy, Spain, Lebanon, and Egypt. English versions of some of the songs, like “Les Feuilles Mortes” (“Autumn Leaves”) and “La Mer” (“Somewhere Beyond The Sea”), became hits in the United States. Marc will be joined by a trio of jazz musicians composed of guitarist Taylor Pierce, bassist Jason DeBlanc, and saxophonist Patrick McCurry, who also coordinates A Little Lunch Music. The concert will be in the Auditorium. Thanks to Leslie Swartz for helping to make this performance possible.

Marc Karam

Marc Karam

A vocalist and pianist, Dr. MARC KARAM considers his music a passion, though for his vocation he is associate professor of Electrical Engineering at Tuskegee University. Marc was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the United States in 1992. His repertoire includes French “oldies” such as songs made popular by Edith Piaf, Dalida, and Yves Montand, as well as Middle Eastern music such as that produced by stars like Fairouz and Sabah. Marc’s projects include CDs in both of these genres as well as CDs of religious music, which focus on the prayers of the Rosary and hymns in honor of Christ and the Virgin Mary. These recordings feature his own compositions and those drawn from the great treasury of sacred art. Marc has presented his music at venues including the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art and in the context of prayer concerts at churches in Montgomery and Mobile.

Jason DeBlanc

Jason DeBlanc

As a student in the 1990s, JASON DeBLANC was part of the Auburn Knights Orchestra and drum major with the AU Marching Band. Now working with the university’s computer systems by day, his bass work supports Montgomery-based group Tapestry, Auburn’s own Kidd Blue, and musicians across the region.

Patrick McCurry

Patrick McCurry

In 2008, with two music degrees and a twelve-year career in nonprofit administration behind him, saxophonist PATRICK MCCURRY returned home to Auburn to be a stay-at-home dad. As a performer, he seeks out music that crosses boundaries. He blogs about mostly-local art events and often promotes or produces them.

Taylor PierceAn Auburn native, TAYLOR PIERCE has played and studied guitar since 2002. He studied jazz at the University of North Texas and spent summers studying music at Berklee College. Taylor has been part of the Auburn music scene since 2009, supporting other musicians and as a member of the Auburn Knights Orchestra.

December 1 - guitarist Andrew Wilder

On December 1, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert featuring classical guitarist Andrew Wilder. Andrew will present music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Juan Antonio Sanchez. The concert will be in the Auditorium. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.

Andrew WilderAndrew Wilder was born into a musical family with 10 brothers and sisters who have all studied classical music extensively, and with parents who are both professional classical musicians. He has performed and studied throughout Europe, the United States, and South America. Upon completing high school, he traveled to Europe to study in the Istituto Musicale Pareggiato Della Valle D’Aosta in Aosta, Italy, and in the following year, the Conservatorio Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Swizerland, where he completed two artist diplomas in guitar performance under the instruction of Lorenzo Micheli. Wilder has studied privately with Matteo Mela, Denis Azabagic, and Paul Galbraith, and has performed in master classes in Europe and the United States with professors Aniello Desiderio, Zoran Dukic, Sussana Prieto, Carlos Perez, Roland Dyens, Rene Izquerdo, Johannes Moller, Massimo Lonardi, and others.

As a soloist, Wilder has been the recipient of awards including first prizes in the Senior Guitar competition of the Society of American Musicians, the International Tennessee Guitar Competition, and the Art of Strings international competition. He was a prizewinner in the East Carolina University Guitar competition and the Troy University Guitar competition and was a recipient of the Koch Cultural Trust grant. He has participated in music festivals including the Mediterranean Guitar Festival in Cervo, Italy, and The Masterworks Festival. Wilder was recently invited to give solo recitals in the Teatro de Camsicá in Samaca, Colombia, and at the Catedral de Villa de Leyva, Colombia. Currently he is pursuing a degree in guitar performance with Dr. Andrew Zohn at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, where he performs as a soloist and takes part in chamber projects. He is increasingly more involved in creating arrangements and transcriptions for both solo guitar and guitar in ensemble.

December 8 - The Auburn Music Club Singers

On December 8, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Grand gallery featuring the Auburn Music Club Singers led by director Phyllis Gauker. The group will present a program of Christmas music with solos by flutist Janet Sanders, pianists Mary Slaton and Elizabeth Rutland, and trombonist Mark Stover. The audience will be invited to sing carols. Thanks to Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make the concert possible.

Auburn Music Club SingersThe idea of a club for music in Auburn occurred to a group of women who gathered to play recorders. The first organizational meeting was in the home of Helga Wilmoth in 1979. Those who attended that first meeting included Dorothy Bennett, Patsy Johnson, Julia Norton, Marilyn Schaeffer, Carol Bramlett, Carol Schafer and others. At first, meetings were held in members’ homes or else in a church or a recital hall. Programs featured members of the club or the Auburn University music faculty. The stated objectives of the Auburn Music Club were “to encourage interest and participation in all areas of music and to promote music in the community, homes, and local schools.” At one of the first meetings, Carol Bramlett organized a group of singers to meet and perform for the club or for schools and nursing homes. Thus was founded the AUBURN MUSIC CLUB SINGERS.

At age 50, while working as an administrative secretary for the City of Auburn, PHYLLIS GAUKER earned a Master’s degree in choral conducting from Auburn University. Retiring in 2002, she began directing the Auburn Music Club Singers, and promised them that every year she would expose them to serious choral repertoire. This often means she has to transcribe music originally for mixed choir to accommodate the all-women group.

Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, Phyllis was surrounded by cultural activities in the nation’s capital. She graduated from William & Mary in 1962 as a voice major and taught high school choral music for 5 years at Highland Springs High School in Richmond, Virginia, and at Charlotte Amalie High School and Wayne Aspinal Junior High School in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, where she lived for seven years. She and her husband lived in Spain for three years where she gave birth to her son. Her daughter was born in Guatemala, where they were missionaries for a Maryknoll priest after the 1976 earthquake. There, her husband and the priest were killed in a plane crash.

Phyllis sang with the Auburn Music Club Singers when it formed soon after the Club was founded in 1979. She very briefly directed it in 1983 before taking the job with the city. Phyllis has managed the Thrift Shop at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Auburn, and directed its choir.

ELIZABETH RUTLAND received her Bachelor of Music degree from Auburn University. She is active in the Alabama Music Teachers’ Association and maintains a private studio in her home. She recently retired as organist at Grace Methodist Church. She has been accompanist for the Music Club Singers for several years and has composed a number of musical works.

JANET H. SANDERS a native of Delaware, Ohio, received her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts (music education) degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University. She holds the Certificate with Honors from the Kodaly Musical Training Institute and earned the Masters of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music. Ms. Sanders has taught music in Ohio, Massachusetts, Guam, Georgia, and Alabama. The widow of Librarian Emeritus Thomas R. Sanders, Janet is the mother of three grown children and an active member of the Baha’i Faith. Besides music, she loves reading, swimming, walking, playing with her dogs, and Auburn football and basketball.

Over the years, MARY SLATON has entertained with her extensive knowledge of popular music, and is known throughout the southeast as one of the region’s premier piano soloists. She is leader of the Mary Slaton Trio and coordinates the East Alabama Community Band in which she plays French horn. Among Memphis venues, Mary has performed at the Hilton and the Hyatt Regency. In Atlanta, she has played the Omni Hotel, the Hilton, the Atlanta Country Club and others. At home in the Auburn-Opelika area, she has been featured at the Terra Cotta, the Saugahatchee Country Club and the Marriott. Mary holds piano degrees from Memphis State University and from the University of Montevallo. She teaches privately and at Southern Union Community College.

December 15 - violinist Elzbieta Tokarska with pianist Ksenia Kurenysheva

On December 15, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violinist Elzbieta Tokarska with pianist Ksenia Kurenysheva. The duo will present music by Francis Poulenc, César Franck, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Thanks to Jim & Sue Haygood for helping to make the concert possible.

Violinist Elzbieta Tokarska and pianist Ksenia Kurenysheva

ELZBIETA TOKARSKA is completing a Master of Music in Violin Performance as a graduate teaching assistant to Sergiu Schwartz at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. A native of Poland, she studied at the Arthur Rubinstein School of Music and the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, and was awarded top prizes in national competitions in her home country, including J.S. Bach (2005) and Torun (2006). Her talent was recognized early as she was invited to participate in music festivals performing for renowned violinists such as Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Viktor Pikajzen, Slawomir Tomasik, Piotr Janowski, Kaoru Kondo, and Emanuel Borock.

In summer 2013, with support from the Polish Embassy in Japan and the Polish Institute in Tokyo, Elzbieta toured Japan in a series of violin/piano duo concerts with her brother Kamil Tokarski. In 2014 she was awarded the Alternate Winner of Georgia Music Teachers National Association Competition Young Artist Performance and the Winner of the Concerto Competition at the Schwob School of Music. Currently Elzbieta is working with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Lagrange Symphony Orchestra and is teaching with the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra String Project.

Moscow-born pianist KSENIA KURYNESHEVA has earned honors and awards for her playing, including winning the Vincenzo Scaramuzzi International Music Competition (Italy), Benditsky Regional Music Competition (Russia) and Russian Open Music Competition of young performing musicians. She was a 2001 grant holder of the ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, and participated in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York 2009, 2010, and 2011).

An avid chamber music performer, Ksenia has given recitals with artists from Spain, Poland, Serbia, Venezuela, Russia and the United States. Her repertoire includes a wide variety of styles and embraces music from Baroque to the modern era. She graduated from the Moscow College-Conservatory in 2006 and from the Gnessins State Music Academy in 2012. She completed her Master’s in Piano Performance at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music in 2016, where she studied with Alexander Kobrin. She is currently pursuing her DMA at the University of Georgia with professor Evgeny Rivkin.

Ksenia was an alternate in the Georgia MTNA Competition in 2012, winner of concerto competition at the Schwob School in 2013 and received an outstanding performance recognition in the Atlanta Music Teacher’s Association Romantic Music Competition in 2014.  Most recently Ksenia became a Concerto Competition winner at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at UGA and will perform Tchaikovsky’s First Piano concerto with the University of Georgia Orchestra in early 2017. She is also a doctoral teaching assistant at UGA, where she currently teaches group piano to music majors.

Details

Date:
November 3, 2016
Time:
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University
901 S College Street
Auburn, AL 36849 United States
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