The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra, featuring local artist Dexter Ruffin, will present its annual “Downtown” concert Thursday, October 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at 100 Green Street in Wilson. There is no charge for the program, and the community is invited to attend.
The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra opens every new concert season with an admission-free, off-campus event, designed to introduce itself to a wider audience. This year’s concert at the First United Methodist Church will feature Ruffin playing the sparkling Concerto for Harpsichord and Orchestra by Franz Joseph Haydn. “Dexter has been a powerful musical force in Wilson for many years, and it’s great to feature him again with the orchestra,” said Mark N. Peterson, director of music at Barton College.
Ruffin proved his piano virtuosity at a young age when, at nine years old, he taught himself to play the piano by ear. His remarkable talent was soon discovered, and he was given 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 received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Performance in 2008.
Ruffin won 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. In recent years, Ruffin has proven to be adept at both the organ and harpsichord.
Well-read and attuned to music history and the history of piano playing, Ruffin has a broad understanding and deep appreciation for the art. He shares 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 is currently Minister of Music at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church. He also teaches piano at Barton College and is pursuing a Master of Music degree at Salem College.
The concert program will include three works by Mozart and Haydn. Along with the harpsichord concerto, the orchestra will perform Mozart’s Church Sonata in C Major, K. 278, and Mozart’s brilliant Symphony No. 29.
For additional information, please contact Mark N. Peterson at 252-399-6535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.