Joel MartinWILSON, N.C. – The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra’s fall signature dinner concert “Symphony and Soul” will open a spectacular 2008-2009 concert season on Thursday Oct. 9 with a delightful program of musical selections and food to warm the soul. Music director Mark N. Peterson will be conducting, and featured performer and Wilson native Joel A. Martin will bring his trademark show “Jazzical” to the symphony audience for this event.

The evening will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the symphony performance at 7 p.m. After the concert, a sumptuous dinner buffet will conclude the evening. The event will be held at the Darden Alumni Center at 1600 Lipscomb Road.

Tickets are $25 per person, and reservations may be made by calling Lynne Medlin at 252-399-6309. The deadline for reservations is Monday, Oct. 6.

“Jazzical,” a marriage of classical and jazz, is an innovative genre, which bridges the gap while remaining true to both forms. Martin has released four Jazzical CDs to critical acclaim in such publications as “TIME Magazine,” “The Washington Post,” and “Piano Today Magazine” as well as feature articles for his Jazzical Arts-in-Education programs in “The New York Times.”

Martin has performed as soloist with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, and the Delaware Symphony, as well as with the Springfield Symphony in Massachusetts, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestras premiering “Jazzical: Dueling Orchestras.” Martin was the youngest competitor in the 1985 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and he has toured Japan, Finland, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Austria, England, and France.

The year 2007 proved an extraordinary year for this composer and pianist who recorded his fifth CD titled “A Jazzical Christmas” featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus in all original Christmas and Hanukkah music. The CD will be released nationwide in 2008. Martin also collaborated and performed at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and at the Kennedy Center with famed operatic singer Kathleen Battle. His debut of the eight movement “Requiem for Peace,” featuring the poem “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou and six other compositions, at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh was met with critical acclaim. And, in December 2007, “Jazzical” went on a concert tour in Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

Martin has had an equally busy year in 2008. He was a featured guest artist/composer on WCNY-PBS’s live concert DVD with the YMCA Center for the Creative Arts Music Program with the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni Ensemble, released in January. In March, Martin won a gold medal for the third consecutive year, with singers from the American Traditions Vocal Competition, at the Savannah Music Festival. In October, Martin will debut his own Jazzical Symphony Orchestra, and his not-for-profit Jazzical Arts, Inc., concerts in Sun Valley, Idaho, and Palm Beach Fla., as well as several additional high-definition television projects for PBS.

On November 15, Martin will debut his latest creation, the Jazzical Symphony Orchestra at its new home base, the Darien Arts Center, in Darien, Conn. This unique ensemble is comprised of 35 musicians from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey who are equally adept at classical, jazz, musical theater, and rock music. The Jazzical Symphony Orchestra aims to blur all the parameters that comprise the traditional symphony and to program innovative concerts that are truly inclusive of the multi-cultural world in which we live. To this end, the Jazzical Symphony Orchestra will expand its roster in 2009 to include 25 of the area’s finest young talent playing alongside professional musicians in a unique mentoring program.

For additional information about the 2008-2009 concert schedule, tickets for events or season membership, please contact Lynne Medlin at 252-399-6309 or email: lmedlin@barton.edu.

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Questions? Please contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.