Barton College/Wilson Symphony to feature acclaimed Canadian pianist Jeremy Thompson on May 1

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WILSON, N.C. — April 19, 2016 — The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra will present their Spring Concert on Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. in the Kennedy Family Theatre on the Barton campus. The symphony welcomes back to the Barton stage noted pianist Jeremy Thompson performing Franz Liszt’s brilliant, orchestrated version of Franz Schubert’s “Wanderer Fantasy.” “Jeremy has performed with us several times, and always with remarkable success,” said Barton music director Mark N. Peterson. “This year, he’s playing something that is really a specialty of his, the flamboyantly pyrotechnical music of Franz Liszt. The original Schubert work is a spectacular, rollicking piece, and Liszt’s stunning arrangement transforms it into a grand concerto.”

The program will also feature the Barton College Choir and guest soloists for a performance of J. S. Bach’s Cantata no. 78 “Jesu, der du meine Seele.” “The music of Bach has always been my greatest passion, and we are all thrilled with this opportunity to perform such a wonderful, meaningful piece,” added Peterson. The soloists for the cantata include Barton students Jamie Lynne Allen and Allison Dellinger, along with tenor Joseph Hennes and bass Joel Gay.

Dr. Jeremy Thompson was born in Dipper Harbour, a small fishing village in New Brunswick, Canada. He furthered his studies at McGill University in Montreal, studying with Marina Mdivani who was herself a student of Emil Gilels. Thompson was honored with two of Canada’s most prestigious doctoral fellowships to pursue his doctoral studies and in 2005, he earned a Doctorate of Music in Piano Performance. During this time, he performed with such orchestras as the Saint Petersburg State Academic Orchestra, the Saratov Philharmonic Orchestra, the Georgian National Orchestra, and the McGill Symphony Orchestra as well as appearing extensively in recital performances including a Debut Atlantic tour of Eastern Canada and three trips to the former Soviet Union.

He has performed to universal acclaim in recital and concerto settings throughout North America. Recent performances include concerto performances with the North Carolina Symphony, Montreal Chamber Orchestra, Symphony New Brunswick and the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra as well as recitals in Montreal, Philadelphia, Reading, Hamilton, Potsdam, Louisville, Raleigh, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. He regularly presents master classes and is a passionate teacher focusing on a relaxed and fluid technique and developing self-expression. He is also in high demand as a collaborative pianist. He is comfortable in music from all eras, yet specializes in highly virtuosic repertoire.

Joseph Hennes, tenor, is the third of seven sons from a small town in Southeastern Ohio. Mr. Hennes holds degrees in Engineering and Voice and is a retired U.S. Naval Officer. He has sung in San Francisco, New York, Philadelphia, and Munich. Roles performed include Manrico, Siegfried, Siegmund, Tannhäuser, Loge, Bacchus, Enzo, Samson, Prince Calaf, and Florestan.

Joel Gay, bass, is a singer and choral conductor living in the Wilson area. Gay currently serves at First United Methodist Church in Wilson where he and his wife, Jennifer, are co-directors. He received his undergraduate degree from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where he studied with Wayne Kompelein. He completed his graduate degrees at East Carolina University in choral conducting and voice performance. While at East Carolina, he studied with John Kramar, Daniel Bara, and Janette Fishell. He has performed as a soloist throughout Eastern North Carolina, most recently with the Crystal Coast Choral Society, the East Carolina University Religious Arts Festival, and the Lenoir Community College Christmas Chorus. Gay will rejoin the faculty of North Carolina Wesleyan College in the fall as an adjunct instructor, conducting the Wesleyan Singers.

Following the concert, the audience is cordially invited to meet the musicians at a reception, hosted by ARAMARK Higher Education, in the Bridgestone Americas Atrium of the Kennedy Family Theatre.

Admission for the spring orchestra performance will be $10 at the door or by season ticket. All students within the community will be admitted free of charge as well as faculty, staff, and students of Barton College.

For additional information, please contact Mark Peterson at 252-399-6535 or mpeterson@barton.edu.

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