All-Mozart: Concert Celebrates Composer's Birth
The Moore County Music Society presents an all-Mozart concert on Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. at Community Congregational Church in Southern Pines. The concert is in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.
Performers will include the Sandhills Community College Choir, directed by Frances Wilson; Emily Braun, violin; Michael Sparks, violin; Karen Lewis, viola; Lindsay Leach, cello; Larry Arnold, piano; and Sharon Smith McNair, soprano.
Soprano Sharon Smith McNair is a Fayetteville native and was educated in the Fayetteville City Schools. She earned a bachelor's degree in music education from North Carolina A & T University and a master's degree in music from East Carolina University, and did additional study at Boston Conservatory of Music.
McNair was a music educator in the Cumberland County Schools for 30 years until her retirement in 2005, teaching all ages from elementary through high school. She was named Teacher of the Year multiple times at the school from which she graduated as an honor student, E.E. Smith High School.
McNair has served as soloist with the Fayetteville Symphony, at Fayetteville State University, and for numerous churches and area musical organizations. She also performs with the Cape Fear Regional Theater, most recently as Lena Younger in "Raisin in the Sun." She is an adjunct instructor of voice at Methodist University, and is a member of the Methodist Music Camp faculty. She is organist at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, and Director of Music at Haymount Presbyterian Church.
McNair will perform both secular and sacred selections from Mozart's art song, operatic, and oratorio works.
Emily Arnold Braun is currently in her second year of teaching instrumental music at Southern Pines Elementary, Sandhills Farm Life, and Aberdeen Elementary Schools. She received a bachelor's degree in music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she was an active member of the National Association for Music Education and the American String Teachers Association, as well as a member of the Gate City Camerata, a student/faculty chamber ensemble.
Braun remains active as a freelance violinist, and frequently performs with groups from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Cape Fear Regional Theatre, and Sandhills Theatre Company, as well as area churches. In addition to teaching in the public schools, she maintains a private studio of violin, cello, and bass students.
Michael Sparks holds a bachelor's degree in music performance from Florida State University and a master's in music performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md. He has performed in orchestras all along the East Coast and is a new violinist in the Fayetteville Symphony. He is currently the music archivist for the Hugo Kauder Society, based in New Haven, Conn.
Karen S. Lewis has been teaching orchestra in the Moore County Schools for the past 17 years. She has an undergraduate degree and certification in English and music education from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, a master's of music in violin performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and her National Board Certification in instrumental music.
In 1998, Lewis performed throughout Austria as part of the Classical Music Festival sponsored by the University of Illinois School of Music. She also traveled to China in 2000 with the People to People delegation to study stringed instrument education and performance.
Currently, Lewis teaches orchestra at Pinehurst Elemen-tary School and West Pine Middle School. She also co-directs the after-school ensemble, Moore Children of SCORE, which will be featured at the North Carolina Music Educators' Association Conference this month. Lewis is a violinist for the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and an electric fiddle player with the country/bluegrass band, the Cowboys. She and her husband, Rick, live in Southern Pines.
Cellist Lindsay Leach has recently accepted a position as orchestra director and teacher of music theory at Pinecrest High School in Southern Pines. She holds a bachelor's degree in flute performance and a master's of music in piccolo performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Md., as well as a post-graduate performance diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in London, UK. She performs regularly in the Sandhills and is a newly appointed flutist in the Fayetteville Symphony Orchest-ra.
Dr. Larry Arnold, piano, is associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He teaches music theory, electronic music and composition. He directs the Jazz Choir and large and small Jazz Ensembles and is the coordinator of Jazz Studies. He also serves statewide as secretary of the North Carolina Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education and as a founding member of the UNC Digital Content Consortium.
After graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a degree in piano performance, Arnold attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a music composition student.
While at UW, he studied with Stephen Dembski, Joseph Straus and Joel Naumann, and was awarded a graduate fellowship to study Medieval and Renaissance music theory with a focus on the Ballate of Francesco Landini.
He was also a founding member of the Wisconsin Alliance for Composition and premiered works by fellow composers at statewide conferences of that organization.
Recently, Arnold has co-founded the UNC Pembroke Media Integration Project with Dr. John Labadie (Art) and Professor George Johnson. The UNCP Media Integration Project focuses on the creative use of computer technology in an interdisciplinary, student-centered environment. It is the first and only program of its kind in North Carolina to earn recognition as a New Media Center, a national collaboration between universities and computer software and hardware companies formed to encourage innovative uses of technology in higher education. Under the auspices of the UNCP Media Integration Project, Arnold is now developing multimedia titles on North Carolina music topics.
Braun, Sparks, Lewis, and Leach will perform Mozart's "String Quartet No. 14 in G Major." Braun and Arnold will perform his "Sonata for Piano and Violin in E minor."
The Sandhills Community College Choir, under the direction of Frances Wilson, will be singing an arrangement of the overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Ave Verum" (with string quartet). In addition, a quartet will be singing Mozart's ABC.
All music-lovers are encouraged to attend this concert, which is free and open to the public. For further information, contact John Hatcher at 692-7012, or Jennifer Thomas at 949-2720.
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