Monday, August 26, 2013

Venezuela Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster to Perform for A Little Lunch Music, September 12, 2013

UPDATED 9/5/13 - On Thursday, September 12, 2013, from noon to 1:00 pm, the Lopez-Tabor Duo will perform at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art as part of its A Little Lunch Music series. Sponsoring the performance is OLLI at Auburn and Nick & Carolyn Davis. Please read the impressive artist biographies below and visit the duo's website for audio samples and video links. This promises to be a very exciting performance. For more about the series, click here. The performance will be held in the Martin-Perricone Auditorium.

I'd just like to highlight and repeat here that the violinist performing on this date for our little series is the concertmaster of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. Please excuse me while I type a bunch of undignified exclamation points.


Michelle Tabor and Alfonso Lopez of the Lopez-Tabor Duo
The Lopez Tabor Duo, Alfonso Lopez, violin, and Michelle Tabor, piano, have performed and toured together in the southeastern U.S. and Venezuela since 2004. Alfonso Lopez is one of the most prominent and versatile musicians of his country. He holds the important position of concertmaster of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the national and principal orchestra. He is also a conductor, teacher, and composer. Michelle Tabor grew up in Venezuela and now lives in Tallahassee, FL. She holds doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in music from Florida State University, the University of Denver, and Tulane University. You can find more information and videos of live performances of the Lopez Tabor Duo on their website:

Extended Biographies

Alfonso Lopez, violinist, conductor, composer, and teacher, is one of the most versatile and prominent musicians of his generation in Venezuela. He is the concertmaster of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra (OSV) which, as the national symphony, is the oldest and the principal orchestra of the country. He regularly conducts the OSV several times each season, is the conductor and music director of a youth orchestra that plays Venezuelan folk music, and is often a guest conductor of other orchestras. He is a professor of violin at the Emil Friedman School, the outstanding private musical and general educational institution in the country. Mr. Lopez received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan; then completed a B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) and an M.A. (Highest Honors) in music from the University of Michigan. He has also received advanced musical training in Austria and England. His principal violin teachers were Emil Friedman, Julia Bushkova, and Paul Kantor. As a concertmaster, he has performed with various orchestras in international festivals, the chamber orchestra Virtuosi de Caracas, and the Camerata Criolla. He has performed as a soloist with the OSV on several occasions. He is a founding member and first violinist of the Friedman String Quartet, an ensemble that has performed many times in the most important concert halls in Caracas. His orchestral work, Caribe Pirana, was premiered in 2000 by the OSV, with Juan Carlos Nunez conducting. His String Serenade (2007) has been performed in Russia (world premiere), Belarus, the U.S., several Latin American countries, and was premiered in Venezuela with himself as conductor of the OSV in 2008. Outside of Venezuela he has concertized as a soloist in Spain, Italy, the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Michelle Tabor, pianist, holds B.F.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees in piano and theory from Tulane University in New Orleans, the University of Denver, and Florida State University, respectively. She has also pursued her research interests in Latin American art music of the twentieth century and has published articles about the Argentinian composers Alberto Ginastera and Juan Carlos Paz in the journal, Latin American Music Review of the University of Texas Press. She has presented lecture/recitals and research papers at national and regional meetings of the College Music Society (CMS), regional meetings of the American Musicological Society, and at an international conference on Latin American music held in Chicago, IL in 1993, where she presented an invited paper. She served as the Secretary/Treasurer of the Southern Chapter of the CMS from 1997 to 1999, and during the fall semester of 1999 was a Visiting Assistant Professor of music theory at Florida State University. Since 2000 she has concentrated more on performance. In 2001 she presented a series of recitals in Caracas, Venezuela with flutist Dr. Karen Garrison, a member of the music faculty at Auburn University, AL. With Venezuelan violinists, she has performed recitals in the southeastern U.S. during numerous tours since 2000; and with these violinists has presented lecture/recitals at national and regional meetings of the CMS. She has performed with Alfonso Lopez in the U.S. and Venezuela since 2004. In Caracas, Lopez and Tabor have performed in prominent chamber music series and festivals such as Pro Musica de Camara, the Friedman Festival of Chamber Music, and the series Recital con la Sinfonica at the Asociacion Cultural Humboldt. Dr. Tabor grew up in Caracas and lives in Tallahassee, FL.  

Tzu-yi Chen with Boris Abramov: A Little Lunch Music, September 5, October 24 and November 14

A series favorite, pianist Tzu-yi Chen will return to A Little Lunch Music for three performances during the fall 2013 season. She will be collaborating with violinist Boris Abramov to present the first of a three-concert miniseries that will feature all ten of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin sonatas. The duo will bring its Beethoven Project to us on September 5, October 24 and November 14. The concerts will be in the Martin-Perricone Auditorium of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.

UPDATE (11/6/2013): For those with a place to put them up, this post has posters for the events.

At the time of this post, these performances are yet unsponsored, though some have made verbal commitments. UPDATE (9/4/13): The September 5 performance is being sponsored by Nick & Carolyn Davis and Michael Golden. Another sponsor has verbally committed to the October 24 performance. The one on November 14 has a partial commitment, and at the moment lacks $200. UPDATE (10/16/13): The October 24 performance is being sponsored by Marjorie Newman, Lorna Wood & Donald Wehrs, and Phyllis Stanaland. The November 14 performance is being sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited (Facebook page for Auburn store) and Phyllis Stanaland. For more about the series or about helping out with this presentation of Beethoven Project, click here. A Little Lunch Music concerts are free to the public. Tzu-yi and Boris are gratefully dedicating these performances to Mrs. Marjorie Newman.

For information about music instruction by these performers, please contact the International Friendship Ministries' Arts Academy at (706) 653-0097.

Tzu-yi Chen
In 2006, pianist Tzu-yi Chen joined the ranks of some of history’s greatest musicians when she received the Premier Prix upon graduation from the Paris Conservatory. Her recent awards include first prize in the Georgia Music Teachers Association upper college level (2013), first prize in the Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition (2012), first prize in the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music’s concerto competition (2012), and fourth prize in the Darmstadt International Chopin Piano Competition (2009). She is currently staff pianist at the Schwob School, Piano and Violin Instructor in its Preparatory Division, and co-founder of the International Friendship Ministries’ Arts Academy. She holds two graduate degrees from the National Karlsruhe Music University and an Artist Diploma from CSU where she studied under Van Cliburn gold medalist Alexander Kobrin. Ms. Chen has been invited by Distinguished Concerts International New York to debut at Carnegie Hall in October 2014.

Boris Abramov
Since 2001, violinist Boris Abramov has received annual scholarships and prizes from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation, and in 2005 won second prize in Israel’s Rising Star national music competition. At age 16, he served as concertmaster of the Israel Youth Philharmonic Festival, having begun studying the violin at age seven with Stella Zlatkovsky. During his undergraduate studies at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, Boris was awarded First Prize at the 2008 Music Teachers National Association competition in Denver, won a special prize at the 2009 Pablo de Sarasate International Violin Competition in Spain, and was a three-time winner of CSU’s concerto competition. He recorded his first CD in 2008 with acclaimed guitarist Chad Ibison. Boris holds a Bachelor’s degree (Cum Laude) and an Artist Diploma Certificate from CSU where he is currently in the Master’s program as graduate teaching assistant to Professor Sergiu Schwartz.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sundilla Presents Act of Congress this Friday (8/23/13)

The Sundilla Acoustic Concert Series is bringing the band Act of Congress to Auburn again this Friday (8/23) at the series' regular venue, the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 450 E. Thach Ave. The video at right shows off the band's folk voice, but it is also fluent in serious contemporary pop, which it deftly pulls off acoustically using its folk instruments. Showtime is 7:30, and admission is $15 at the door, $12 if you buy them early at Spicer's Music, Mama Mocha's Coffee, or online at Below is part of an article (and a link to the full article) from Bailey Jones, Sundilla's producer.

I could say all sorts of great things about Act of Congress-- and I will-- but the best thing that can be said is what many of YOU said the last time they were at Sundilla: "This is the best concert I have ever been to." Yes, we heard that quite a bit two years ago, probably more than we have ever heard it before, or since. (Only Lipbone Redding might have elicited more "best concert ever!" comments. Now think about those who are NOT on that short list, and you get a good idea of just how good these guys-- and girl-- are.)

No one this young should have a resume this impressive. How impressive? Well, consider this: following their Sundilla appearance, they have one more public appearance before heading off to do an eight-shows-in-eight-days tour of... the United Arab Emirates. Not impressed? They have also played in Bali, Thailand, East Timor, Palau, Australia, and the Philippines. Not bad for some kids from Birmingham who have been together for six years or so. (read more)

Archive - Spring 2013 A Little Lunch Music Schedule (photos)

This post archives the spring 2013 schedule for A Little Lunch Music, a weekly series of free concerts at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn, Alabama. At the time of this post, I am working on an updated schedule for fall 2013 which will shortly be posted on my Lunch Music Schedule tab. There is talk of moving the series schedule to the museum's website,, so if you can't find it here on my site, try over there.

Spring 2013 Schedule - A Little Lunch Music
Artist bios are below this schedule.

January 17: smooth-world-Gospel-jazz pianist David Banks and friends (website)
~Sponsored in part by Bette Wegener

January 24: pianist Tzu-yi Chen
~Sponsored by Ruth Wright

January 31 (11:50-1:10): Pangaea Chamber Players (website), violinist Sylvia Wehrs with pianist Susan Hoskins
~Sponsored by Nick and Carolyn Davis (Pangaea) and Richard and Anne Amacher (Wehrs/Hoskins)

February 7: pianist Jeremy Samolesky
~sponsored by Malcolm and Ruth Crocker

February 14: violinist Robin Scott with cellist Ahrim Kim
~sponsored by Carol and Gene Bramlett, Paul and Margaret Kouidis, Taylor and Lucy Littleton (in memory of Louvica Davis)

February 21: clarinetist Evan Lynch and flutist Alina Windell; additional music from percussionist Doug Rosener and saxophonist Patrick McCurry
~sponsored by Jim and Sue Haygood

February 28: pianist Barbara Acker-Mills
~sponsored by Jim and Sue Haygood

March 7: The Woodfield Trio, Variation I, with guest saxophonist Angel Negrin
~sponsored by Jim and Sue Haygood

March 14: Spring Break (no performance)

March 21: Nathan Davis (website)
~sponsored by Gene and Phyllis Stanaland

March 28 (11:50 - 12:50): the Eagle Saxophone Quartet and the Tiger Saxophone Quartet, each with percussionist Andrew Sykes
~sponsored by Jo Krebs

April 4: pianist Julia Tucker
~sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University (website)

April 11: harpist Cindy Harris with flutist Patrick McCurry; additional music from pianist Christina Fallows
~sponsored by Betty & Bob Hare and Linda and Seth Anderson

April 18: S. Raj Chaudhury and the Auburn Indian Music Ensemble

April 25: vocalist Marc Karam
~sponsored by Gary Mullen

May 2: soprano Christina Burroughs with pianist Nicole Agostino
~sponsored by a friend of the series

May 9: guitarist Katie Holmes
~sponsored by Jeff and Carol Jakeman

May 16: Mary Slaton
~sponsored in memory of Carol Kent by her husband George 

Artist Bios in Alphabetical Order (in progress)

DR. BARBARA ACKER-MILLS holds a PhD in psychology and a Master of Music in piano from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She played Prokofieff's 3rd Piano Concerto with the SUNY Binghamton orchestra after winning its concerto competition. While at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Dr. Acker-Mills studied with acclaimed performer and pedagogical award winner Barbara Lister-Sink who said that Acker-Mills “demonstrated admirably at Salem that a petite frame is no deterrent to commanding and powerful playing.” Dr. Acker-Mills teaches in the music department at Auburn University, has a private teaching studio, and is a member of The Woodfield Trio.

An active soloist and chamber musician, pianist NICOLE AGOSTINO has performed recitals across the U.S. In 2011 she toured the southeast as a guest artist giving recitals and lectures on J. S. Bach's Goldberg Variations and has recently recorded the work. Nicole is a doctoral candidate in performance at Florida State University. She holds a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music, both in performance, from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She currently teaches music at Southern Union Community College and is a staff pianist at Auburn University. In 2008, she held a piano faculty position at the renowned Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan.

The AUBURN INDIAN MUSIC ENSEMBLE comprises students in a semester long class where they learn fundamentals of Indian classical and semi-classical music. This music is based on the system of ragas (melodies) and talas (rhythms). The vocal performances of the group feature a variety of traditional instruments such as harmonium (organ), tabla (drums) and tanpura (drone).

DAVID BANKS has recently returned to the world of music, blending of 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, and many 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.

CHRISTINA BURROUGHS, lyric soprano, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Alabama and a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Christina has performed leading roles with California Theatre Center, Theatre West Virginia, Theatre Tuscaloosa, Opera Birmingham, BluePrint and Ensemble Parallele in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, and the San Jose Symphonic Choir. Past roles include: Die Zauberflöte (Pamina), Così fan tutte (Despina), La Bohème (Mimì), La Calisto (Giunone), La Traviata (Violetta), Le Nozze di Figaro (La Contessa), The Phantom of the Opera (Carlotta), Proof (Claire), Into the Woods (Rapunzel), The Tempest (Miranda), and Soprano soloist in the Mozart Requiem and Bach’s Matthaus-Passion. Christina is a native of Wetumpka, a proud alumnus of Edgewood Academy, and former Miss Lynx 1995. She is currently a Voice Instructor at Faulkner University, and teaches voice privately as well.

Trained in classical and semi-classical traditions of North Indian music, DR. S. RAJ CHAUDHURY has been performing and teaching college students for over 20 years. He has directed Indian music student ensembles at UCLA, Kansas State University, Christopher Newport University and now at Auburn University. A vocalist by training, Dr. Chaudhury plays harmonium, tabla, and tanpura. In 2009, Chaudhury became the Associate Director of Auburn Universtiy's Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and has a background in physics education.

Among pianist CHEN TZU-YI’s many orchestra credits are performing with the Philharmonie Baden-Baden, the Saint Petersburg Symphony and the Utah Symphony. In June 2012 she performed Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto in Taiwan with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra. Her awards include first prize at both the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra Piano Competition and at the International Piano Competition of Mauro Paolo Monopoli in Italy. She has appeared as a recitalist throughout Taiwan and in broadcasts in Hong Kong and Germany. She earned a master's degree and taught at Karlsruhe Music University in Germany and studied at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance. Miss Chen is currently an Artist Diploma student at Columbus State University on full scholarship. She studies with Alexander Kobrin.

Inspired by natural phenomena and the abstraction of simple stories, NATHAN DAVIS "writes music that deals deftly and poetically with timbre and sonority" (NYTimes).  His music has been commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), Claire Chase, Calder Quartet, Yarn/Wire, Steven Schick, La Jolla Symphony Chorus, Miller Theater, and the Ojai Festival (for eighth blackbird and sound sculptor Trimpin), and presented at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, and at festivals around the world.  He has received awards from Meet The Composer, Fromm Fund, Copland Fund, Jerome Foundation, American Music Center, MATA, ASCAP, and the ISCM.  CDs of his music include The Bright and Hollow Sky, one of TimeOut NY's top 10 classical albums of 2011.  As a percussionist, he is a core member of ICE and has premiered hundreds of pieces, working with luminaries and fostering emerging composers.  He has recorded for the Nonesuch, Tzadik, Mode, Kairos, New Albion, and Bridge labels.  Also a dedicated instructor, Nathan has teaches percussion and leads ensembles at Dartmouth College.  An Auburn native, Nathan lives in NYC with his wife, actress Sylvia Milo.

The EAGLE SAXOPHONE QUARTET is an Auburn University Department of Music chamber group. Soprano saxophonist Sarah O’Keefe from Kennesaw, Georgia, is a junior in zoology with a focus on biodiversity and conservation. Alto saxophonist Eric Shaw is a senior in aerospace engineering from Hoover, Alabama. Tenor saxophonist Logan Pouncey and baritone saxophonist Tyler DeCastra are freshmen in music education. Logan is from Mobile, Alabama, and Tyler is from Homewood, Alabama. The group is under the instruction of saxophone instructor Dr. Michael Pendowski.

As a child, CINDY HARRIS always wanted to play the harp. Her musical beginnings included teaching herself to play a small organ. Then, she advanced to the accordion, the actual instrument her mother played in her German high school marching band. Mostly self-taught, Cindy played the organ for local venues and in church while she was growing up in Ozark, Alabama. Not until years of marriage and a family did her “harp dream” become a reality when her husband Jim purchased a Musicmaker kit and built a 36-string walnut harp that she used later with the orchestra at Lakeview Baptist Church and for weddings, banquets, and at bedsides. She studied with harpist Suzie (Brown) Ballam, formerly of Auburn, and has participated in Southeastern Harp Weekend (2005, 2009) and Liturgical Harp Retreat in Amicalola Falls, Georgia (2007). She is a member of H’arpeggios, a local harp ensemble. Cindy currently performs on a Lyon and Healy Chicago 40 pedal harp.

KATIE HOLMES is a fifteen-year-old classical guitarist and pianist. A freshman at Auburn University at Montgomery, she has been playing guitar since the age of four, studying privately since age seven with Dr. Andrew Zohn of Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She has won guitar competitions in Georgia and North Carolina, and received the Presidential and Honors Scholarships at AUM. She has performed as a percussionist with the Prattville Pops, and as a pianist with the Prattville Community Chorus, as well as playing guitar for musical events hosted by First Presbyterian Church in Prattville. She currently serves at the pianist for First Presbyterian Church in Montgomery. Katie plans to attend Columbus State University in fall 2013 to study at the Schwob School of Music.

Pianist SUSAN HOSKINS is a native of Georgia and a graduate of Auburn University. She is on faculty at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music, and freelances in the Columbus area.  She has a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied solo piano with Lita Guerra and collaborative piano with David Garvey, long-time pianist with the great Metropolitan Opera singer Leontyne Price. Upon graduation, she worked as a vocal coach and accompanist at the “Mozarteum” Hochschule fur Musik in Salzburg, Austria. As a collaborative artist, she has played recitals and concerts as well as national and international competitions in Germany, Austria, France, the Czech Republic and the United States.  She and her husband have recently returned to the Columbus area as he retires from a 21-year career in the US Army.

Dr. MARC KARAM is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, and a member of the French Alliance of Montgomery. An American citizen, Marc was born in Lebanon in 1969, immigrating to the United States in 1992. His knowledge of classical French songs stems from the fact that Lebanon has historically been very open to French culture. Marc grew up listening to French, English, and Arabic songs. His major language at school and college was French. Marc has a fondness for French “oldies,” such as songs by Yves Montand, Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Lucienne Boyer, Tino Rossi, Charles Aznavour, and Jacques Brel. Marc has recorded four CDs, religious in nature, focusing on the prayers of the Rosary. His recordings are interspersed with religious hymns, some composed by him, others drawn from the great treasury of Sacred Art. Marc has presented his CD’s live in the context of prayer concerts at churches in Montgomery and Mobile.

Clarinetist EVAN LYNCH is currently an instructor with the Auburn University Music Department. He has performed as a soloist nationally and internationally, including performances in Belgium and China. Mr. Lynch holds a Bachelor of Music from Arizona State University and a Master of Education from Auburn University. While at ASU, he served as principal player in the wind ensemble, sinfonietta orchestra, symphony orchestra, and clarinet choir. While at Auburn University he served as principal player in the Symphonic Winds and the Auburn Community Orchestra. Solo competitions won include the Western District Music Competition hosted by Kappa Kappa Psi in 2006 and 2007, the ASU undergraduate clarinet studio solo competition in 2007, and the Drum Corps International Individual and Ensemble clarinet solo competition in 2007, 2008, and 2009.

The music of saxophonist and flutist PATRICK MCCURRY crosses boundaries between jazz and classical, pop and art, secular and sacred. Born and raised in Alabama and having returned home to Auburn, Patrick blogs in support of good music in and around his community. He coordinates a weekly art-music series, A Little Lunch Music, at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Patrick performs with a chamber group, The Woodfield Trio, and holds a Masters degree in Chamber Music Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. There, his instructor and mentor was James Houlik, international concert saxophone maestro. He studied jazz improvisation, composition and arranging while earning his undergraduate degree from Loyola University New Orleans.

Concert saxophonist ANGEL NEGRIN has performed as an orchestral saxophonist with the Alabama Symphony, Youngstown (Ohio) Symphony, Greenville (Pennsylvania) Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Opera Center in works by Rachmaninov, Mussorgsky, Ravel, Gershwin, et al. In addition to performing as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Angel has presented masterclasses and lectures at the university level. He has served on the faculties of Samford University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Montevallo, and Birmingham-Southern College. Angel received the Bachelor of Music degree in Performance at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh where he studied applied saxophone with James Houlik, chamber music with Stephen Pollock, and applied oboe with James Gorton and Scott Bell. He went on to receive the Master of Music degree from Youngstown State University while studying saxophone with Dr. James Umble. Other principal teachers include Dr. Connie Frigo, Robert Faub, and Terry Millard.

Formed in 2012, the PANGAEA CHAMBER PLAYERS is a new group working to expand the boundaries of traditional chamber music. Comprised of flute, oboe, cello, and piano, the ensemble performs both traditional and contemporary works.   Most recently, they have recorded a CD, Purple Line, which will be released under the Blue Griffin label. Purple Line features works for flute, cello, and piano by Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), Phillipe Gaubert (1879-1941), Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), and Ned Rorem (b. 1923).  In addition to their recording, the Pangaea Chamber Players have performed these works, among others, at a number of universities including Oklahoma State University, the University of Missouri – Kansas City, and Kansas State University. Members of the Pangaea Chamber Players include Virginia Broffitt, flute, Celeste Johnson Frehner, oboe, Meredith Blecha-Wells, cello, and Jeffery Brown, piano.

Dr. DOUG ROSENER is currently Associate Professor of Percussion and Associate Director of Bands at Auburn University. He has performed with orchestras including the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sinfonia of Colorado, the Colorado Ballet Company Orchestra, The Colorado Springs Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and the Columbus (Georgia) Symphony. Dr. Rosener has recorded CDs with the North Texas Wind Symphony, North Texas Chamber Players, the Colorado Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and has been a regular drummer with professional musical theater companies. He has served as an adjudicator at Percussive Arts Society International Conventions as well as high schools and universities nationwide, and has been a featured clinician at the Society’s Days of Percussion events in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Alabama. He received his Bachelor's degree from Penn State University, his Masters from the University of North Texas, and his Doctorate from the University of Colorado in Boulder. 

Known for his passion for both solo and collaborative piano performances, JEREMY SAMOLESKY, a native of Manitoba, Canada, has appeared in concert as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Austria, China, Malaysia and Singapore, including a recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C., which was broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” Samolesky achieved the rare distinction of graduating with two doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music. He studied Piano Performance and Literature under the direction of Barry Snyder and Accompanying and Chamber Music with Jean Barr. He also 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. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at Auburn University, where he has been teaching since fall 2007.

Violinist ROBIN SCOTT holds the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra’s violin fellowship. He is concertmaster for that group as well as for the New York Classical Players. Recent highlights include debuting with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra and touring with Musicians from Marlboro. Among his top awards are winning the 2010 California International Young Artists Competition. As a soloist he has appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, France’s Orchestre National de Lille and others. He has performed with Indiana University's "Violin Virtuosi," touring France and appearing at Carnegie Hall. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory and completed an Artist Diploma at Indiana. AHRIM KIM is principal cellist with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and currently holds its cello fellowship. She is a founding member of the Klimt Trio, awarded the Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur Foote Award in 2011. Her honors include the Cassado Prize at Japan’s Gaspar Cassado International Cello Competition. She has performed at Alice Tully Hall, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Kennedy Center, and as soloist with the Boston Pops, the Houston Symphony Orchestra and others. She has performed with the New York Classical Players and will soon be touring with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Before college, Kim studied at Juilliard and holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music.

MARY SLATON is known throughout the southeast as one of the region’s premier piano-lounge soloists. Over the years, she has entertained many with her extensive knowledge of popular music. 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, the Terra Cotta, the Saugahatchee Country Club and the Marriott have featured her. Mary holds piano degrees from Memphis State University and from the University of Montevallo. She teaches privately and at Southern Union Community College.

ANDREW SYKES from Tempe, Arizona, is currently a sophomore studying percussion performance at Auburn University. He has played in groups such as the Mesa Community College Band and Percussion Ensemble, the Macy’s Great American Band that plays in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Phoenix Youth Symphony which includes side by side performances with the Phoenix Symphony. While at Auburn, he has played in the Auburn Marching Band, the Concert Band, the Symphonic Band, the Auburn Community Orchestra, the jazz combo, and the Jazz Band.

The TIGER SAXOPHONE QUARTET is an Auburn University Department of Music chamber group. Soprano saxophonist Orie Cecil is a junior in aerospace engineering from Hazel Green, Alabama. Alto saxophonist Joshua Gillen and tenor saxophonist Franz Cau are sophomores in music education. Joshua is from Opelika, Alabama, and Franz is from Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Baritone saxophonist Wade Allen is from Huntsville, Alabama, double-majoring in music performance and business. The group is under the instruction of Dr. Michael Pendowski.

Auburn native JULIA TUCKER entered Auburn University at age 15 after playing piano for eight years. She is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance studying with Dr. Jeremy Samolesky. She is assistant organist and a scholarship singer at St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Auburn, choir accompanist at Trinity Lutheran Church, and a Choral Scholar at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. She will be attending Syracuse University in Fall 2013 as a graduate teaching assistant pursuing a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance.

At 18, violinist and Auburn native SYLVIA WEHRS is a junior at Columbus State University. There she has been awarded a scholarship to study violin with Distinguished Turner Chair, Sergiu Schwartz. Ms. Wehrs has won the Music Teachers National Association competition in Alabama at the junior and senior levels and placed first with the Alabama Music Teachers Association in both violin and piano. She was a winner in the Auburn Community Orchestra's concerto competition and has played with that group since she was eight. She now performs with the Columbus and LaGrange Symphonies, as well. Growing up in Auburn, Ms. Wehrs studied violin with her mother, Dr. Lorna Wood, and with Patricio Cobos. She also studied piano with Dr. William Summerville, Dr. Wayne Moore, and Dr. Jeremy Samolesky of Auburn University. For the past three summers, she has participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Active in solo and chamber recitals as well as with orchestras, flutist DR. ALINA WINDELL has performed with the Lagrange Symphony Orchestra, the South Florida Symphony, the Lynn Philharmonia, and the Bloomington Camerata Orchestra. She has participated in music festivals such as the National Orchestral Institute at the University of Maryland, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca in Italy, and the Duxbury Music Festival. Dr. Windell completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy with Christina Jennings at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studied with renowned flutist Carol Wincenc while pursuing her Masters degree at Stony Brook University. She earned her Bachelors degree from Indiana University. Dr. Windell currently teaches both music at Southern Union Community College and flute privately.

Based in Auburn, Alabama, THE WOODFIELD TRIO was formed in 2009 to be a regular performing chamber group for A Little Lunch Music, the weekly free-concert series at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn. Its members are saxophonist and flutist Patrick McCurry, who coordinates the series, and pianist Barbara Acker-Mills. The group’s original personnel included series founder and cellist Charles Wright. The trio continues to appear with a guest cellist, and occasionally invites others to perform. Repertoire includes music for traditional piano-trio, pieces for flute and basso continuo, and music adapted or composed for its instrumentations. Patrick holds degrees in chamber music and jazz. Barbara holds a Ph.D in psychology, leads a private studio and teaches music at Auburn University.