On Thursdays at Noon, make a lunch date with our region’s finest musicians. A Little Lunch Music is an informal, come-and-go performance presented by JCSM and coordinated by musician Patrick McCurry. You can sit in and listen to the entire performance, dine in the Museum Cafe from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., browse the Museum Shop or explore the galleries.
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A Little Lunch Music
January 12, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 12:00 pm on Thursday, repeating until May 4, 2017
On January 12, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring soprano Stephanie Tingler with pianist Martha Thomas. The duo will present vocal music by 20th-century American composers including Florence Price, Richard Hageman, and Lori Laitman. The concert is made possible by a grant from the SEC Academic Initiative. Click here for a story we posted about the performance.
STEPHANIE TINGLER, hailed as “extraordinary” by composer, librettist, and producer Sheldon Harnick, has appeared in opera as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Nannetta in Falstaff; and musical theater as Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music and Poopsie in The Pajama Game. She apprenticed with the Lyric Opera of Cleveland, and has presented arias in concert with the Athens Symphony Orchestra and Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre (Brazil).
A sought after concert artist, Tingler has served as soloist for Chants d’Auvergne (Canteloube), Mahler Symphony No. 2, Poulenc Gloria, Mozart and Fauré Requiem, Carmina Burana, Bach Magnificat and Cantata No. 51, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and Rodrigo Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios. Her collaborations include relationships with conductor Gary Sheldon and the Lancaster Festival, and the Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre. She has also appeared with numerous oratorio societies and orchestras including Kingsport Symphony, Western Carolina Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, and the University of Georgia Symphony Orchestra under conductors John Gordon Ross, Carl Topilow, Yoel Levi, Jeff Holland Cook, Donald Neuen and Mark Cedel.
Acknowledged as an outstanding interpreter of the art song repertoire, she was chosen to participate in the prestigious Cleveland Institute of Music Art Song Festival. Tingler has subsequently made numerous recital tours of the midwest and southeast in a variety of programs featuring Russian, American, women and Ohio composers, sacred music for voice and organ, and works for soprano and double bass. She has been featured on programs for the Festival of Women Composers International and Southeastern Women’s Studies Association, and the inaugural concert of the Temple United Methodist Church Concert Series in San Francisco. Also an avid chamber music performer, Tingler has collaborated with the Georgia Guitar Quartet, Georgia Brass (under the direction of Fred Mills), trumpeter Ross Beacraft, oboist Richard Killmer, flutist Ronald Waln, clarinetist Theodore Jahn, violinist Michael Heald and double bassist Kathleen Horvath.
Among her competitive credits are national finalist honors in the Bel Canto Opera, Opera Columbus Annual Operatic, and American Traditions competitions. She received the Annemarie Gerts Award in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards Competition, and in 1998, was awarded a scholarship to attend the Russian Art Song Course taught by Galina Vishnevskaya at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, Great Britain.
Although best known as a performer, she has received recognition as a teacher, scholar and author as well. Dr. Tingler has presented master classes in voice at various institutions, among them The Ohio State University, East Carolina University, State University of New York at Fredonia, Illinois State University, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and a four-day series of classes at the Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana in Porto Alegre, Brazil, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre. Her articles on vocal pedagogy and wellness have appeared in several journals, in addition to presentations regarding health issues crucial to musicians and professional voice users for MENC, GMEA, ASTA, Athens Regional Medical Center, and the Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Symposium at the University of Illinois. Tingler’s research on women in music has been presented at national and international conferences: Women in Music: A Celebration of the Last 100 Years at Ohio University; the Third and Fourth Annual Festival of Women Composers, International at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA; American Muses: Women Making Music/Exploding the Stereotypes at Scripps College in Claremont, California; and Women, Music and Creativity: A Symposium on Music and Gender at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Awarded grants from The Ohio State University and University of Georgia Research Foundation, Tingler has executed research in a number of areas, resulting in articles on composer Oley Speaks, soprano Margaret Speaks and tenor John McCormack, the latter two appearing in the American National Biography, available online through Oxford University Press. She is also the author of several cd reviews, a historical examination of music education in northeast Georgia, and a pedagogical primer for high school students and choral directors in preparing for collegiate music programs. Her work incorporating service-learning into vocal pedagogy and the music education curriculum has been presented at NaFME National Conference, Gulf South Summit Conference on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education, and GMEA Biennial In-Service Conference.
Stephanie Tingler holds undergraduate degrees in English and American literatures from East Carolina University and in Vocal Performance from Northern Kentucky University; the Master of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music; and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The Ohio State University. She was appointed to the School of Music faculty at the University of Georgia in 1992, where she is currently Associate Professor of Voice, teaching undergraduate and graduate studio voice, vocal pedagogy, and vocal literature.
Dr. MARTHA THOMAS, pianist, has been praised for the “lyrical beauty of her playing” and “her mastery of rhythmic and textural complexities”.
Dr. Thomas maintains an active career as recitalist and collaborative artist, giving concerts across the United States and in Canada, Australia, Europe, and Africa. Appearances at conferences and festivals include those of the American Liszt Society, College Music Society, Festival of Women Composers, and Music Teachers National Association. Recent performances include those at the World Piano Conference in Serbia, the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference at the University of Southern Queensland, the Michael Joseph Center in Nairobi, Kenya, and the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy.
Busy as a recording artist, Dr. Martha Thomas is now featured on eight compact disc recordings on the ACA Digital, Centaur, and Albany labels. Her CD of the solo piano music of George Rochberg garnered excellent reviews and a citation in the New York Times. Dr. Thomas’s newest recording released in May 2013, Max Reger: The Forgotten Romantic, features music from five of Max Reger’s solo piano collections in a two-CD format. These recordings are available on iTunes and amazon.com.
A native Texan, Dr. Martha Thomas holds degrees through the doctoral level from the Universities of Texas (BM and DMA) and Wisconsin (MM). Her major piano professors were William Race, Danielle Martin, and Howard Karp. She studied with Lee Luvisi at the Aspen Music Festival and participated in the Birch Creek Chamber Music Festival (Wisconsin). Additionally, she has performed in master classes and coached with many nationally renowned pianists including Jack Radunsky, Marylene Dosse, Leon Fleisher, John Perry, and Ronald Turini. Dr. Thomas studied piano pedagogy with Verna Harder, Jeanette Ross, and Amanda Vick Lethco and credits them with fostering her love of teaching.
Having begun her teaching career at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Dr. Martha Thomas is the Despy Karlas Professor of Piano and Associate Director for Academic Programs at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. Active in professional music organizations, Dr. Thomas has served as President of the Georgia Music Teachers Association, State Piano Chair of the Georgia Music Educators Association, and MTNA Southern Division Director. In 2012, she was honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award from the Georgia Music Teachers Association.
January 19 - The Many Facets of Brahms: Piano, Violin, and Voice featuring pianist JEREMY SAMOLESKY, violinist GUY HARRISON, soprano ANNE DURASKI, baritone MATTHEW HOCH, and clarinetist DAVID ODOM
On January 19, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring pianist Jeremy Samolesky, baritone Matthew Hoch, soprano Anne Duraski, violinist Guy Harrison, and clarinetist David Odom. The program will feature chamber music by Johannes Brahms. Thanks to anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.
JEREMY 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.
ANNE DURASKI has had a long and varied career in the arts as an educator; a professional Mezzo-Soprano; a producer of opera, operetta and musical theatre; and an advocate for arts organizations.
An alumna of Auburn University, Mrs. Duraski graduated with highest honors in vocal performance and music education. She earned a Masters of Music in vocal performance from the University of Alabama and continued her education in post-graduate doctoral studies in Applied Voice at Washington University of St. Louis and the Eastman School of Music.
Mrs. Duraski made her American operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera singing the role of “Inez” in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Her European debut came the same year when she sang “Cherubino” in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro with the Rome Festival Opera. Mrs. Duraski’s operatic career has spanned 30 years and has included international engagements as leading lyric mezzo-soprano in both the Operanhaus Zurich* and the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landestheatre in Flensburg, Germany. In the United States she has sung with opera companies in New York, Miami, St. Louis, Atlanta, Sarasota, and Birmingham. Her most recent operatic appearance was with the Mobile Opera singing the role of “Suzuki” in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Mrs. Duraski also founded and developed the LaGrange Lyric Theatre in LaGrange, Georgia. For thirteen years this company produced educational opera programs, full-stage operas and operettas, and musical theatre productions.
Mrs. Duraski serves as an instructor of Voice and co-opera director of the Opera Workshop in the Auburn University Department of Music.
MATTHEW 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.
Violinist GUY HARRISON 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.
Clarinetist DAVID ODOM has a thriving career as soloist, chamber artist, orchestral musician and educator. He engages audiences near and far, having performed on four continents to critical acclaim. He has been featured on television and radio, including broadcasts on Georgia Public Broadcasting, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and Brazilian public television TV Cultura. He recently made his Spivey Hall recital debut in Atlanta, Georgia and completed a US Midwest tour that included a performance at the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest 2016 in Kansas. Other recent performances include the VI Festival Internacional de Música de Campina Grande in Brazil and the International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest 2015 in Madrid, Spain.
Known for his “sweet, focused sound” and ability to “handle expansive phrases gently,” Odom enjoys bringing the clarinet to center stage. As a concerto soloist, his repertoire includes music of Copland, Weber, Finzi, Crusell, Ticheli, and the perennial audience favorite, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. His eclectic recital programming is a fusion of old and new, combining standard repertoire, such as Brahms and Debussy, with newly-composed works from composers such as Augusta Read Thomas and David Maslanka. He frequently performs transcriptions and arrangements that defy convention, such as the Piano Preludes of Scriabin and Gershwin and the Prokofiev Flute Sonata. His debut solo recording with pianist Jeremy Samolesky, Max Reger: Complete Works for Clarinet and Piano, will be released by Albany Records in October 2016. He has also recorded with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta Opera Orchestra.
Odom is Principal Clarinet of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He is Associate Professor at Auburn University and holds degrees from Florida State University, University of Colorado, and Stetson University. He has presented or performed at the conferences of the International Clarinet Association, College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, and National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors. He is a D’Addario Woodwinds performing artist.
On January 26, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violist Yinzi Kong with pianist William Ransom. The duo will perform Max Reger’s Suite No. 1 for Solo Viola and Johannes Brahms’s Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120, #1. Thanks to Nick & Pat Giordano and Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this performance possible.
Violist YINZI KONG is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Vega String Quartet. After moving from Shanghai to the United States in 1995, Kong received a bachelor’s degree from the Harid Conservatory in Florida and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Since winning top prizes at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France, the Carmel String Quartet Competition, and the Coleman Competition in the United States with the Vega String Quartet, Kong has enjoyed a versatile career in both solo and chamber-music performance and teaching.
She has performed in major concert halls throughout the world including the stages of Carnegie Hall, and her live performances have been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, the National Radio of China, Shanghai TV, Radio France, France Musiques, and the National Radio of the Czech Republic. Kong has also collaborated with some of the finest musicians of our time including Eliot Fisk, William Preucil, David Shifrin, Richard Stoltzman, Charles Wadsworth, and Sarah Chang, among others.
Kong lives in Atlanta, where the Vega String Quartet is the fulltime quartet in residence at Emory University.
Pianist WILLIAM RANSOM appears around the world as a soloist with orchestras, as a recitalist, and as a chamber musician. His performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio and Television in the United States, Argentina, Poland, and Japan. He regularly collaborates with musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, William Preucil, Stephen Isserlis, Robert McDuffie, and members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, Juilliard, American, St. Petersburg, Borromeo, Parker, Ariel, and Lark String quartets; the Empire Brass Quintet, Eroica Trio, and the percussion group Nexus, among others. As a master teacher, he has also performed and given masterclasses at schools of music and universities around the world. He has recorded for ACA Digital and Rising Star Records.
Ransom is the Mary Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory University where he is director of piano studies and founder and artistic director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. A graduate of The Juilliard School and the University of Michigan, in the summers, Ransom is artistic director of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival in North Carolina and for a decade was an artist-faculty member at the Kamisaibara Pianists Camp in Japan. He was also recently named the artistic director of the Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival in Alaska.
On February 2, from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium featuring violinist Tian Xu with pianist Beibei Lin. The program will feature music by Maurice Ravel, Sergei Prokofiev, Bright Sheng, and Johannes Brahms. Thanks to Lorna Wood & Donald Wehrs and Anonymous Friends of the Series for generously supporting the performance.
Chinese-born violinist TIAN XU began playing the violin at the age of six. She was the top prizewinner in multiple national competitions in China, including the Shanghai Youth Violin Invitation Competition, the Zhejiang Solo Instrument Competition, and the Shanghai Instrument Exhibition Violin Competition. She has received laureations in other national and international competitions such as Washington International String Competition, Music Teachers National Association, and Lagrange Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She recently won the audition for and has become the recipient of the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from The Eastman School of Music for her outstanding performance ability.
Ms. Xu is currently a member of Columbus Symphony Orchestra (GA). She has represented the Columbus Symphony Orchestra for the Up-Close Program as the violin performer and instructor performing and visiting schools in the Columbus area such as Franklin Forest and Dexter Elementary Schools. She has recently joined the violin faculty of The William Pu Academy in Atlanta, The LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Educational Initiative and is also an instructor of violin for the Preparatory Division at The Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University.
Ms. Xu has performed and visited schools in the Columbus area as a presenter of the Empowered Youth of Columbus. In addition, she has represented LaGrange Symphony Orchestra’s Violin Quartet as the Principle Violin in the May School Show Program in 2016 performing in schools in LaGrange area such as Hillcrest Elementary School. The Quartet also represented LaGrange Symphony Orchestra in the annual Sip and Shop Evening as chamber-musician-in-residence.
Having given numerous solo recitals, chamber concerts and orchestral performances in Singapore, China and the USA, Ms. Xu has maintained a national/international visibility. Ms. Xu’s most recent concert appearances include chamber and orchestra performances in four different programs for the 45th International Double Reed Society Conference.
A recent graduate of the world renowned Eastman School of Music, Ms. Xu received her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance as well as the Certificate for College/Community School Music Teaching. At Eastman, Ms. Xu was appointed as the Teaching Assistant for Prof. Mikhail Kopelman with whom she studied. She also served as the Violin Teaching Assistant for Eastman’s Music Education Department, and for the Chair of the Eastman Community Music School, co-teaching violin lessons and coaching chamber ensembles. Previous teachers include Zuo Jun, Weigang Li, and Sergiu Schwartz.
Born in Guangzhou, China, pianist BEIBEI LIN grew up in Wichita, Kansas. She debuted as a soloist with the MasterWorks Festival Orchestra at age seventeen, performing Prokofiev’s First Piano Concerto. Performances in 2015 have taken her throughout the United States, with opportunities to present guest-artist solo recitals in Florida, Virginia, and Kansas. In the summer of 2015, she traveled throughout China, assisting and translating lecture recitals and masterclasses for Dr. Heidi Williams. Her most recent performance appearance included collaborating in five different programs for the International Double Reed Society Conference in 2016.
She has been appointed Lecturer of Keyboard at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and is also an instructor of piano for the school’s Preparatory Division. She worked as a teaching assistant in collaborative piano at the Brevard Music Festival in 2011, and as lecturer and instructor for the FSU Summer Piano Camp and Institute in 2013, 2014, and 2016. She currently serves as Secretary for the Columbus Music Teacher’s Association.
She is a doctoral candidate in Piano Performance at Florida State University, studying under Dr. Williams. Prior to her current appointment at CSU, Ms. Lin served as a Graduate Assistant in the FSU Piano Pedagogy Program from 2010-2014. She completed her Masters of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at The Florida State University in 2012. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Arizona State University where she studied with Mr. Walter Cosand and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She is also recipient of a scholarship from the Tallahassee Music Guild.
Additional studies were completed at Interlochen Arts Camp (Dr. William Chapman Nyaho) and Brevard Music Festival (Mrs. Sandra Wright Shen and Dr. Douglas Weeks). She has performed in numerous masterclasses, including those with Ann Schein, The Fischer Duo, Caroline Hong, Eugene Alcalay, Marina Lomazov, Jura Margulis, Christopher Harding, Russell Hirschfield, David Kalhous, and Donna Lee. She has also received coaching from Nina Lee, cellist of the Brentano String Quartet.
On February 9 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium by pianist Dino Mulić, violinist Kay Lee, and pianist Sangmi Lim. Featured on the program will be solo piano music by Domenico Scarlatti, Joseph Haydn, Alban Berg, and Boris Papandopulo, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94. Thanks to George Kent and Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
Pianist DINO MULIĆ, a native of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, is active as a recitalist and has performed in Austria, Canada, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, the United States and Bosnia and Herzegovina. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Sarajevo, and his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a recipient of the 2005 Gold Medal of the University of Sarajevo, given to the most outstanding student of the University, and has won top prizes at many state competitions.
Dr. Mulić’s teachers include Christopher Taylor, Jessica Johnson, Parry Karp, Svetlana Chlaidze, Ruben Dalibaltayan, and Yevgeny Xaviereff. He has attended master classes with Rudolf Kehrer, David Wilde, Gyorgy Nador, and Geir Henning Braaten. His college teaching experience includes work at the University of Sarajevo, University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Madison Area Technical College. Currently, Dr. Mulic serves as a Lecturer of Piano at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In addition, he is a co-founder/co-director of the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival.
Violinist KYUNGHA KAY LEE, a native of South Korea received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Violin performance at Ewha Womans University, graduating with honors. While there, she won nationwide competitions and founded Lee Trio that has performed in Asia, Europe and the United States. She completed her doctoral degree at Ohio State University where she studied with Kia-Hui Tan and Catharine Carroll. In Ohio, Dr. Lee played with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Bach Ensemble, St. John’s Chamber Orchestra, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary Chamber Orchestra where she was featured as a soloist and concertmaster. In California, Dr. Lee played with the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sacramento Choral Society Orchestra, the Fresno Philharmonic, the Veridian Symphony Orchestra, the North State Orchestra and the Auburn Symphony Orchestra (Auburn, California) where she served as concertmaster and featured soloist. Currently, she lives in Auburn, Alabama, and serves as an assistant director of the Auburn University Youth Orchestras.
Pianist SANGMI LIM, a native of the Republic of Korea, is an active performer, appearing frequently as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative pianist. She has performed in the Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina and throughout the United States. She has appeared as soloist with the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra, Jackson Symphony Orchestra (MI), the Algeu Symphony (Germany), and the Kyounggi Philharmonic Orchestra (Republic of Korea). She has given solo recitals and chamber music performances in concert series and festivals such as the Renaissance Festival (Italy), the South Hampton Music Festival (New York), Schubertiade (Chicago), the West Circle Series (MI), the Lansing Symphony Chamber Music Series (MI), the Absolute Music Chamber Series (MI), the Rising New Star Concert Series (Republic of Korea), the Live Concert Series with Arirang TV (Republic of Korea), and the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival (Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Dr. Lim has served as adjudicator at piano competitions including the Atlantic Music Festival Piano Concerto Competition (ME), the Bolz Young Artist Competition (WI), the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts Young Artist Competition (MI), and the Michigan Music Association Competition (MI). She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Ewha Womans University in Korea and also a Master’s in Collaborative Piano and a Doctorate from Michigan State University. She served as an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, and piano instructor at the MSU Community Music School. Currently, Dr. Lim is a collaborative pianist at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and an artist faculty at New England Music Camp.
On February 16 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the auditorium by the David Banks Gospel Jazz Revue. The concert will feature original music as well as David’s (and others’) stylized versions of classic Gospel hymns and songs.
The SILVER LINING WRITERS PROJECT ~ From David: “Every cloud has a silver lining. Sliver Lining is an ensemble of slammin’ jammin’ seniors put together by David Banks to showcase our village elders. Talent and experience makes for an excellent artistic endeavor. The Gospel jazz platform provides the ideal launching pad for the diverse scope of artistic talent from this much overlooked artistic resource.”
Performing will be…
Patrick Davis – Percussion
Elwood Madeo – Guitar/Arranger
Sam Williams – Sax
Charlie Person – Trumpet
Barbara Banks – Vocals
Louville Holstick – Vocals/Writer
Florence Miller – Vocals
Maxie Fleming – Vocals/Writer
Lucius Fleming – Vocals
Bobbie Shipman – Humorist
David Banks – Keyboards
Thanks to Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
Pianist, composer and arranger DAVID BANKS blends the fervor of Gospel and the musical improvisation of jazz. Dr. Banks is a classically trained musician with over 45 years’ experience in musical styles including jazz, Gospel, R&B, country, and top-40. He has opened for or played with such greats as the Yellowjackets, Ramsey Lewis, BB King, Shirley Caesar, The Hawkins Singers, the Duke Ellington Orchestra (Mercer Ellington), Roy Ayres, the Bar-Kays, Maynard Ferguson, Eric Essix, Stanley Jordan and more. Dr. Banks is currently an assistant professor at Tuskegee University and is married to Barbara Banks. A 1999 Auburn University graduate, he served as course instructor, advisor and director of the AU Gospel Choir as a graduate student.
On February 23 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Grand Gallery by pianist Lawrence Quinnett. The concert will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s first three piano sonatas. Thanks to Bob Ekelund & Mark Thornton for helping to make this concert possible.
Lawrence Quinnett is an active concert pianist who has played solo and chamber music in the US and abroad. He has appeared as concerto soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Carl Topilow, the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Alex Jimenez, the Samuel Barber Festival Orchestra, and the Methodist University Orchestra. He has given concerts and masterclasses in St. Kitts; London and elsewhere in the UK; and colleges and universities in Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
Having grown up in North Carolina, Quinnett has returned to judge competitions and to give masterclasses as part of the 2011 and 2012 Fayetteville Piano Festival and 2012 Chopin Festival. He has been a featured performer at the Music at Mains Series at the Jacksonville Public Library, the 2015 Montserrat Music Festival, and the Central Florida Music Teachers’ Association.
Quinnett’s competition successes include first prize in the 2013 Doctoral Concerto Competition at Florida State University, the 2011 FSU Chapman Competition, the 2008 South Carolina Music Teachers’ Association Young Artist Piano Competition, and the 2006 Southeastern College Piano Competition. While a student at Methodist University, he received the Willis C. Gates Music Award for Excellence two years in a row.
Considering himself an inquisitive musician, Quinnett’s interests include chamber music, harpsichord, new music, and music theory. In October 2013 he was one of the three featured pianists in Charleston’s Colour of Music Festival which celebrates composers of African descent. Quinnett was a performer in the 2012 New Music Festival and John Cage Festival at FSU and both performer and lecturer at the 2013 Ligeti Symposium and Festival. The topic of his doctoral treatise is harmony in the first book of Ligeti Etudes. Quinnett teaches as professor at Livingstone College in Salisbury, NC. He previously served at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama, and Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Quinnett’s formative teachers have included Carolyn Cloud-Absher, Jane Gardiner, Dr. Jon Maisonpierre, and Dr. Douglas Weeks. He has been privileged to be selected for masterclasses and coaching sessions with Jeremy Denk, Karen Shaw, Anton Kuerti, Simone Dinnerstein, Elizabeth Pridinoff, Miles Hoffman, the Cavani String Quartet, Frederick Moyer, and Shai Wosner, among others. He holds the Doctor of Music degree from Florida State University, where he studied with Dr. Read Gainsford.
On March 2 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Grand Gallery by cellist Laura Usiskin. The concert will feature Johann Sebastian Bach’s third cello suite and two pieces commissioned by the performer to complement it. Thanks to Bill & Josie Walsh for helping to make this concert possible.
Heralded for her “thoughtful, attentive” playing (Alabama Entertainment), cellist LAURA USISKIN enjoys a versatile career as a soloist and chamber musician. Her playing has taken her to concert halls throughout the United States and Europe, including the Kennedy Center, Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Siena, Italy), Symphony Hall (Boston), and New York venues including Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, Barge Music, Steinway Hall, Klavierhaus, and more.
She has received such awards as the Prix d’Instrument from the Écoles d’art Americaines (France), the Aldo Parisot Prize at Yale University, and was a finalist for the Pro Musicis International Award. She completed the nationally acclaimed Artist In Residency with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra as well as a fellowship with the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Usiskin has won orchestral appointments with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and currently serves as Principal Cello of the Orchestra Iowa.
Recent performances include concerts of the complete J.S. Bach solo suites in Los Angeles and Connecticut, concertos of Dvoràk and Takemitsu with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and a chamber concert with Richard Stoltzman (clarinet) at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Usiskin has a penchant for new music and has performed with the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Axiom Ensemble, and as a member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. She has premiered dozens of new works as well as commissioned works in her name.
In 2011, Usiskin founded the Montgomery Music Project, an El Sistema strings program for school students in Montgomery, Alabama. Under her direction, the program gave intensive string instruction to over 150 underserved children across three counties. She served as the Executive Director of the program from its inception through 2013. For more information, visit www.montgomerymusicproject.org.
Dr. Usiskin’s cello studies began at age five with Gilda Barston of the Music Institute of Chicago and continued with Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She graduated from Columbia University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior, The Juilliard School with a Master of Music, and Yale University with a Doctor of Musical Arts. She currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is on faculty at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham-Southern College, STEP Birmingham, and is a founding member of the New York-based piano trio Arté Trio (www.artetrio.com).
On Thursday, March 9 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by trumpeter Daniel Haddock with pianist Christian McGee. The concert will feature music by George Frideric Handel, Vladimir Peskin, George Gershwin, and Fisher Tull. Thanks to Lynn Katz and Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
DANIEL HADDOCK, a native of Decatur, Alabama, currently serves The Florida State University College of Music as a graduate teaching assistant with the trumpet studio, is an active performer with the University Wind and Symphony Orchestras, and is a member of the graduate student brass quintet, Garnet & Brass. As a soloist, he has performed throughout China and Italy with the Auburn University Symphonic Band, on WEGL Radio with the Dean’s Brass Quintet, and most recently performed the McLoskey’s brass quintet concerto What We Do is Secret with the Florida State University Wind Orchestra as part of the 2017 Festival of New Music. Additionally, Daniel has performed with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, being an alumnus of the institute’s 80th season, and the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.
An active participant in solo competitions, Daniel was named Brass Winner in The National Federation of Music Clubs Student/Collegiate Audition in 2015, and has recently been selected as a national participant for upcoming competitions hosted by the International Trumpet Guild, Music Teachers National Association, and National Trumpet Competition. In previous years, he was named a Top-Ten Finalist for the U.S. Army Pershing’s Own National Collegiate Solo Competition and as a concerto winner with the Auburn Community Orchestra, where he was featured in concert on the Haydn Trumpet Concerto in E-flat.
Daniel graduated Auburn University in 2015 with a Bachelors of Music in Performance. He is currently working towards a Masters of Music in Brass Performance at Florida State University under the mentorship of Dr. Christopher Moore. Daniel owes much gratitude to his primary teachers over the years, including Dr. Mark DeGoti, Dr. Marc Reed, Nancy Taylor, and Glenn Spiller.
CHRISTIAN MCGEE, from Florence, Alabama, is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Piano Performance at the University of Houston studying under Professor Nancy Weems. In 2011, she was chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall and has since then performed recitals both as a soloist and collaborator. Past orchestral performances as a concerto soloist include collaborations with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Community Orchestra, Auburn Community Orchestra, and the Auburn University Symphonic Winds. In 2014, she attended the Brevard International Summer Music Festival. During that same year, she received second prize in the Zelpha Wells Piano Competition, Music Teacher’s National Association Alabama State Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. Aside from performing as a solo artist, she has collaborated at national level competitions, as well as internationally in Germany.
On Thursday, March 23 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by pianist Vadim Serebryany. The concert will feature Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata (Op. 106) and music by Béla Bartók. Thanks to Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
Pianist VADIM SEREBRYANY has been highly sought after as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. He has performed in Europe, South America, Australia and throughout the US, Canada and Japan. In recent seasons, he has been a guest soloist with the National Arts Center Orchestra, The Kingston Symphony, the Osaka Century Orchestra, and Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.
In 2005, Mr. Serebryany founded Trio+ with violinst Yosuke Kawasaki and cellist Wolfram Koessel. The ensemble is known for its creative programs which explore a large portion of the chamber repertory, including duos, trios and larger ensembles in which they frequently collaborate with guest artists. The trio has performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Japan.
Mr. Serebryany is a graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, the Juilliard School and Yale University. His teachers have included Marina Geringas, Oxana Yablonskaya, Jacob Lateiner, and Boris Berman.
From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Serebryany served as Artist in Residence at La Sierra University in Riverside, California, and has also served as a visiting professor at Lawrence University. From 2008 to 2016, he was a professor of music at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, and in 2015 was named Huntingdon’s first ever Belcher-Cheek Artist in Residence.
Mr. Serebryany joined the piano faculty at the Ithaca College School of Music in 2016.
On Thursday, March 30 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert of chamber music featuring William Schaffer on French horn. Joining him will be pianist Joshua Pifer and trombonist Matthew Wood. The concert will feature music by Louis Piantioni, Nicolas de Krufft, Alex Wilder, and Luigi Caracciolo. Thanks to Bob Ekelund & Mark Thornton and Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
Dr. BILL SCHAFFER is Assistant Professor of Horn and Music theory in the Auburn University Department of Music. His duties include teaching the horn studio, coaching small ensembles and horn ensemble, Sophomore Theory and Ear Training, and upper level theory courses. His teachers included Philip Farkas, Michael Hatfield, Jack Masarie, and one year of compostion with Roque Cordero.
Dr. Schaffer has maintained an active performance schedule since the early 1980s. His orchestral experience includes groups such as the Peoria Symphony and Twin City Ballet (IL), the National Opera Company, Charlotte Symphony and North Carolina Symphony (NC), and the LaGrange Symphony (GA). He currently serves as principal horn in Sinfonia Gulf Coast (FL). He has also remained active giving solo recitals regularly since the early 1990’s and performing with chamber ensembles. He has published horn ensemble works that include arrangements and historical works, as well as original works for both horn ensemble and brass ensembles.
Dr. Schaffer has been teaching since developing a large private studio in the Washington D.C. area in the 1980s. He has taught in both the public schools and at the University level with teaching experience that spans every level from Kindergarten to Graduate school. Dr. Schaffer currently resides in Auburn (AL). More information on him, his studio, and his dog, is available on Facebook at the “Auburn University Horn Studio” page.
Dr. JOSHUA PIFER joined Auburn University in the fall of 2011. At Auburn, he teaches Piano Skills, Functional Piano, Music Skills, and Applied Piano. During summer, he serves as piano faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival. Prior to 2011, Dr. Pifer taught applied piano at Florida State University and the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. During the 2017 season, solo and collaborative performances will take Dr. Pifer to Canada, Taiwan, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, and New York. He performs with the Auburn Faculty Jazz Ensemble and co-founded the duo, Plains2.
Dr. Pifer has premiered works by 21st Century composers Cormier, Aftab, Shields, Townsend, and Clearfield, and is an advocate for the piano music of Alexander Tcherepnin. His first CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin My Favorite Piano Works”, is a showcase co-produced with Chandler Bridges, a Grammy award winning recording engineer.
Dr. Pifer regularly appears as guest artist and clinician at universities, conferences, and concert series, and has adjudicated over 25 festivals and competitions. As a clinician, his favorite presentations include “The Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin”, “Arm Usage and Injury Prevention in Piano Playing”, and “Teaching Improvisation, It’s Not That Scary”. He currently serves as the VP/President Elect for the Alabama Music Teachers Association and is a strong advocate for increasing professional music opportunities for collegiate students throughout the state.
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.
MATTHEW 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.
April 6 - CULLARS IMPROVISATIONAL ROTATION (Cancelled: soprano LORALEE SONGER with pianist PERRY MEARS)
Based in Auburn, Alabama, CULLARS IMPROVISATIONAL ROTATION consists of the core trio of Dan Mackowski (guitars), Patrick McCurry (saxophones) and Jason DeBlanc (basses, absent this date), along with special guests. At its heart it is a jazz group, with its members being versed in jazz standards and the language of American jazz improvisation. The name comes from Auburn University’s Cullars Rotation, the oldest soil fertility study in the South and one of America’s oldest, continuous field crop experiments. With ambient sound and a thoughtful approach, the musicians aspire toward intuition and experimentation. It is the soil of the south, the vehicle of jazz, and the music of space.
DAN MACKOWSKI became fascinated with the guitar after seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. He played in rock bands while pursuing physics and mechanical engineering degrees and is now active in Auburn, Alabama’s jazz scene. On faculty at Auburn University, Dr. Mackowski teaches courses in thermodynamics and energy-related science and researches electromagnetic wave scattering.
In 2008, with two music degrees and a twelve-year career in nonprofit administration behind him, saxophonist PATRICK MCCURRY returned home to Auburn, Alabama to be a stay-at-home dad. He blogs about his community’s art events and often promotes or produces them. Patrick’s music crosses boundaries between jazz and classical, pop and art, secular and sacred.
On Thursday, April 13 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by soprano Donna Lee with pianist Stephen Edwards. The program, “Songs of Exile,” will feature music by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, and Hanns Eisler, all exiled from Germany in 1933. Thanks to Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this concert possible.
Born in Natchitoches, Louisiana, soprano DONNA LEE graduated from Loyola University, New Orleans and University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as attending the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin. Her earliest performances were in the US with the Berkeley Opera Company, Rocky Mountain Opera, and the Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra in productions of The Magic Flute, Hänsel und Gretel, Le Nozze di Figaro and La Cenerentola as well as in the musical comedies She Loves Me, Fiddler On the Roof, Oklahoma and Hello, Dolly. In Germany, she has sung as a guest in regional opera theaters, appearing in soubrette coloratura and operetta roles. Since 2002 she has performed extensively in the Berlin off-music theater scene, including venues such as the Sophien Saele, which brought her to perform at both the Zürich Theater Spektakel and the Impulse Theater Festival in Cologne. Ms. Lee is an avid song recitalist, specializing in newly composed music, regularly performing newly written songs of young composers attending Samuel Adler’s Summer Institute in Berlin. Her most recent project, The Long Song, is dedicated to bringing American song repertoire to the stage in joint European and American productions. She maintains a private vocal studio in Berlin.
STEVEN EDWARDS is Music Director of Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. He also serves as Director of the College Honors Program and Professor of Music at Delgado Community College. Groups under his direction have performed at venues and conferences including Carnegie Hall, the American Choral Directors Association, the American String Teachers Association, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, and the Louisiana Music Educators Association. He has led groups appearing in the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Festival, Christmas New Orleans Style, and on national and international tours. He is in demand as keyboard artist, and as guest conductor for opera and musical theater.
On Thursday, April 20 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by flutist Marta Plominska and trombonist David Mżyk. The program will feature music by Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, and more. Thanks to Carolyn Coker for her gift to help make this concert possible.
Polish flutist MARTA PŁOMIŃSKA has performed in Europe and the United States and has won competitons in Poland, Europe, and the US. Recently she won first prize in the Oklahoma Flute Society Collegiate Compeititon, second place in the Georgia Philharmonic Competiton, first prize in the International Music Competition in Barletta (Italy), and 3rd prizes (2015, 2016) in the Emuse Music Competition in Greece. She has collaborated with well-known flutists including Robert Dick, Pierre Yves Artaud, Jonathan Snowden, Anne Lindblom Harrow, and Rachel Brown. Ms. Płomińska has performed with orchestras including Krakow Opera, Passionart Orchestra, and the Polish Youth Symphony Orchestra. She appeared as an actress in Martha Coolidge’s film, “Music, War and Love,” scheduled for release in 2017. Ms. Płomińska is the Graduate Assistant for the flute studio at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. There, she is earning an Artist Diploma, studying under Dr. Andrée Martin. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from Krakow Music Conservatory.
A native of Poland, DAWID MŻYK’s performance career as an orchestral trombone player has led him to explore the world. He has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice; Olavshallen Concert Hall in Trondheim, Norway; Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow; and others. He has had the opportunity to work with conductors such as Gabriel Chmura, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alexander Liebreich, Jose Cura, and Alexander Geluk.
Dawid has taken part in festivals such as the 44th Istanbul Muzik Festivali in Turkey; the 19th Easter Ludwig van Beethoven Festival in Warsaw; the 20th Al Bustan Festival in Beirut; and has toured with the Silesian Opera to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. He recorded soundtracks at Alvernia Studios with Oscar winner composer Jan A. P. Kaczmarek and took part in the Film Music Festival (ASCAP 100th Anniversary) in Krakow, where he shared the stage with composers Hans Zimmer, Patrick Doyle, Elliot Goldenthal, and Alexander Desplat.
Aside from advancing in other competitions, Dawid placed as a finalist and performed solo in the National Solo Competition Division 3 (open category) at the 2017 American Trombone Workshop in Washington, D.C. He developed his trombone experience at summer music festivals such as Idyllwild Arts Summer Music Festival (USA), Polish-German Young Philharmonic, Sewanee Summer Music Festival (USA), Crescendo Summer Institute (Hungary), and MasterWorks Music Festival (USA). He has worked in lessons with well-known trombonists including Christian Lindberg, Ian Bousfield, Douglas Yeo, Megumi Kanda, David L. Jackson, Jonas Bylund, and others.
Dawid is currently finishing up his Artist Diploma at Columbus State University, where he has studied and worked as Graduate Assistant under Dr. Bradley Palmer. He graduated from the Academy of Music in Krakow, where he completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Trombone Performance under Prof. Zdzislaw Stolarczyk (National Orchestra of Polish Radio). During his time at Columbus State he was part of the recording project for George Curran’s (NY Philharmonic) new solo CD album, Vital Signs.
On Thursday, April 27 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by Duo Echo, whose members are oboist Jennifer Pifer and pianist Joshua Pifer. The program will feature music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Georg Philip Telemann, René de Boisdeffre, and Malcolm Arnold. Thanks to Bob Ekelund and Mark Thornton for their gift to help make this concert possible.
JENNIFER PIFER is a freelance oboist living in Auburn, Alabama. She has studied oboe specializing in the performance of chamber music with Alan Vogel at the California Institute of the Arts and with Andrea Ridilla at Miami University. She is a founding member of the Duo Echo and an advocate for the performance of music by living composers. Jennifer regularly performs with area chamber orchestras including the Auburn United Methodist Church Festival Choir and Orchestra, the EHBC Guest Orchestra, the RRUMC Resurrection Celebration Orchestra. Past guest appearances have included the Oxford Chamber Orchestra, the New Century Players, the Bardsdale Vespers Orchestra, and the Temple City Guest Orchestra. She teaches oboe and reedmaking in her private studio. Her students regularly attend AllState, District, and University Honor Bands, receive Superior Ratings at Solo/Ensemble Competitions, and have received merit scholarships for the study of oboe at universities.
As a pedagogue and performer, DR. JOSHUA PIFER believes that music is a tool for inspiration and takes the greatest joy in his students’ accomplishments. He appears as guest artist and clinician at universities, conferences, and concert series, and has adjudicated over 25 festivals and competitions. As a clinician, his favorite presentations include “The Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin”, “Arm Usage and Injury Prevention in Piano Playing”, and “Teaching Improvisation, It’s Not That Scary”.
As a performer, Dr. Pifer has premiered works by 21st-Century composers Cormier, Aftab, Shields, Townsend, and Clearfield, and is an advocate for the piano music of Alexander Tcherepnin. His first CD, Alexander Tcherepnin My Favorite Piano Works, is a showcase co-produced with Chandler Bridges, a Grammy Award winning recording engineer. He performs with the Auburn University Faculty Jazz Ensemble and co-founded the duo, Plains2. During the 2017 season, solo and collaborative performances will take Dr. Pifer to Canada, Taiwan, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, and New York.
Dr. Pifer joined Auburn University in the fall of 2011. There, he teaches Piano Skills, Functional Piano, Music Skills, and Applied Piano. During summer, he serves as piano faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival. Prior to 2011, Dr. Pifer taught applied piano at Florida State University and the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. Dr. Pifer currently serves as the VP/President Elect for the Alabama Music Teachers Association and is a strong advocate for increasing professional music opportunities for collegiate students throughout the state.
Dr. Pifer 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 Master’s in piano performance from Miami University and Bachelor’s degrees in piano performance, organ performance, and pre-medicine from Wittenberg University. His major teachers include Antoinette Perry, Robert Thomas, and Robert Howat. When not teaching or performing, Joshua spends time with his family playing tennis or practicing culinary arts.
On Thursday, May 4 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by euphonium artist Marie Robertson. The program will feature music by Giacomo Puccini, John Stevens, Howard Buss, Thomas Zugger, Johannes Brahms, and Ms. Robertson. Thanks to gifts from anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.
Alabama native MARIE ROBERTSON claims a myriad of titles including singer/songwriter, keyboardist, composer, educator, hip-hop artist, and specialist in concert euphonium. A solo artist and collaborator, she has composed, performed, and recorded with groups in Boulder; Denver; Atlanta; and Auburn, Alabama. Her work includes full-length albums, EP’s, and singles for groups such as Story & Clark and The Circus House and for projects at The Blackout Beat, a production company in Denver.
In 2013, Marie produced “Red,” a solo album of her songs. HeY!ALLigator, her hip-hop project with another eclectic singer/songwriter/horn-player, has performed the Deep South’s club circuit since 2009. In 2015, the duo produced a digital album, “Guess Who’s Back: The Resurrection of Gigi.”
Marie played principal euphonium in the University of Colorado’s Wind Symphony under the direction of Allan McMurray. She currently performs on the instrument with the Capitol Sounds Concert Band in Montgomery and on trombone with the Auburn Knights Orchestra, a jazz and swing big band formed in 1930 where she serves as Coordinator of Marketing and Promotions. She has appeared as a guest soloist with the Capitol Sounds Concert Band, the Huntingdon College Symphonic Winds, the Auburn University Wind Symphony, and the Auburn High School Wind Ensemble.
As a student on the euphonium, Marie participated in competitions and festivals. She won Alabama Music Teachers National Association brass competitions from 2005-2007, and made strong showings at the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival and at solo and ensemble competitions hosted by the MTNA.
Marie received her Master of Music degree in Euphonium Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Auburn University in 2009. She teaches euphonium, tuba, and Music Appreciation at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, and maintains a private studio through Spicer’s Music in Auburn.
Madison, Alabama native JAYSON PERRY is a saxophonist and clarinetist based in Auburn, where he plays with local bands and maintains a private studio at Spicers Music. He appears with Union Road, Late Night Kravings, and serves as saxophonist and business manager for the Auburn Knights Orchestra. He is a 2016 Auburn University graduate in mechanical engineering specializing in HVAC and energy efficiency.