WILSON, N.C. — November 2, 2020 — The Barton College / Wilson Symphony is pleased to present its 2020 Fall Concert on Sunday, Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. in the Kennedy Family Theatre. This year’s concert will feature two concertos by Mozart: “Violin Concerto No. 4,” performed by the Barton College / Wilson Symphony concert master Christopher Ellis; and “Piano Concerto No. 20,” performed by celebrated pianist Dexter Ruffin.
“We are embarking on a great adventure,” shared conductor Mark N. Peterson. “Not only are we preparing great music with two wonderful soloists, but this performance will be our first attempt at performing not only before a live audience, but also streaming live on the Internet. For this, we have enlisted the help of our new Barton colleague Miguel Elizaldi, who has deep experience with video and Internet applications. And, recently retired faculty member Phil Valera is returning to captain the audio stream. We hope to reach a large online audience.”
There will be a limit of 30 in-person seats for the symphony’s performance in the Kennedy Family Theatre. All seats must be reserved in advance. Tickets for reserved seating are $10 per person. Admission for Barton faculty, staff, and students is free, but these seats also must be reserved in advance. All seat reservations will be received on a first-call, first-served basis. To make reservations, please contact Mark Peterson at 252-399-6535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those unable to reserve seats, the symphony will be live streamed at https://youtu.be/KgeOfDq0Nw0
*All those attending the concert event must wear face masks and observe social distancing protocols.
About the featured musicians —
Christopher Ellis began studying the violin at the age of 10 in a public school classroom in his hometown of Farmville. His early private teachers include Dee Braxton Pellegrino and Paul Topper. Ellis continued his study at East Carolina University, and he later earned a Master of Music degree at Florida State University. He has been a member of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Tar River Symphony Orchestra. He also has performed with other orchestras, including the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra of Georgia, and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Ellis has served as concert master with the Barton College / Wilson Symphony since 2002.
A native of Wilson, Dexter Ruffin taught himself to play the piano by ear at the age of nine. His remarkable talent was soon discovered, and he received professional training by Nancy Ping-Robbins of Wilson, Dr. Henry Doskey of the East Carolina University School of Music, and Eric Larsen at the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance. Ruffin received the “Student of the Year” Award in 2002, presented by the community of Wilson. And, in 2006, he won the North Carolina School of the Arts Concerto Competition, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Well-read and attuned to music history and the history of piano playing, Ruffin has a broad understanding and deep appreciation for the art. Ruffin notes that his music education connects him to the great composers and pianists of the past. He finds their contributions an endless source of inspiration. Ruffin currently serves as Minister of Music at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church and teaches as an adjunct instructor at Barton College.