WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra’s fall signature dinner concert “Symphony and Soul” will open a spectacular 2009-2010 concert season on Thursday Oct. 8 with a delightful program of musical selections and food to warm the soul. Featured soloist Melvin Tunstall III will return to Wilson for an encore performance on the heels of his superb portrayal of Peter in the world premiere musical “Drift” by Jeremy Schonfeld and directed by Lauren Kennedy for the grand opening of the new Lauren Kennedy and Alan Campbell Theatre on the Barton campus. Music director Mark N. Peterson will be conducting.

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 Tuesday, Oct. 6.

Singer, songwriter, actor, playwright, dancer, and director Melvin Tunstall III is described as a triple-threat times two.  A native of North Carolina, Tunstall earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. His favorite roles include Jesus in “Godspell,” Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Andy Lee in “42nd Street,” Victor in “Smokey Joe’s Café,” and Flick in “Violet.”  Also a budding playwright, Tunstall’s debut musical, “BlOOm!” with music by Peterson, made its world premiere this past spring.

Tunstall will be performing four songs from musical theater with the orchestra, with three of these songs drawn from shows written in the 1970s. “Corner of the Sky” comes from Stephen Schwartz’s 1972 hit “Pippin.” With direction and choreography by Bob Fosse, “Pippin” stands as the 29th longest-running Broadway show.  The Rock Opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” was first appeared as a record album in 1970 and was later adapted by its composer Andrew Lloyd Webber for the Broadway stage. Sung by Judas, “Heaven on their Minds” opens the show and sets the tone for all that is to follow.  Produced first in 1970, Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” is considered among the greatest achievements in American musical theater. The song “Being Alive” occurs at the end of the show where Bobby admits he wants to find someone to share his life, and to experience together all that is “Being Alive.”  Also to be performed by Tunstall will be a song from his own creation “Bloom.” “Growing Up” has been specially arranged and orchestrated for this concert.

The orchestra will also be performing works of Rimsky-Korsakov, Sibelius, Hayman, and Thelonious Monk.

For additional information about the 2009-2010 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.

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