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JCJC's Music Dept. hosts Spring Recital Series

Ellisville, MS – A feast of music from across the ages and around the world is being offered on Friday’s in April at Jones County Junior College. The annual Spring Recital Series features a variety of musicians and vocalists entertaining the audience during the lunch hour. This musical event begins on Friday, April 10, at 12:30 p.m. until 12:55 p.m. in the Foote Chapel and will continue on each Friday through May 1. All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information call the JCJC Fine Arts Department at 601-477-4094 or look online at:

Friday, April 10, at 12:30 p.m. in JCJC’s Foote Chapel the Series begins with Duo Cintemani, the husband and wife team of Rachel Ciraldo on flute and Nicholas Ciraldo on guitar. They will present 20th Century music from Spain and the United States by composers Zaninelli, Beaser and Rodrigo.

Love is in the air with tenor, Jonathan Yarrington and Lois Leventhal on piano presenting, “Love Hurts - Love and Loss in 19th and 20th Century Art Song.” This recital features songs by Schubert, Duparc, and Janáček on Friday, April 17, at 12:30 p.m. in the Foote Chapel.

The Impromptu Piano Quartet with Stephen Redfield, violin, Hsiaopei Lee, viola, Alexander Russakovsky, cello, and Theresa Sanchez, piano, will join us on Friday, April 24, at 12:30 p.m. in the Foote Chapel for a program entitled, “Youthful Genius: Music of Beethoven and Brahms.” The Impromptu Piano Quartet was formed in 2006, and is part of the Mississippi Arts Commission's Touring Artist Roster.

Woodwind performers Meredith Hite on oboe, Kim Woolly on bassoon and pianist, Ellen Elder will present “A Breath of Fresh Air: Music for Double Reeds and Piano--Music of Handel and Poulenc.” The trio will take center stage on Friday, May 1, at 12:30 p.m. in the Foote Chapel.


Duo Cintemani is a husband and wife duet with Rachel Ciraldo on flute and Nicholas Ciraldo on guitar. The duo has been performing together for over fifteen years and enjoys consistent recognition for their inventive programming and skillful, expressive performances. Praised as “an exceptionally musical and accomplished guitarist,” Nicholas Ciraldo is a leader among his generation of American classical guitarists. Rachel Ciraldo, principal flutist of the Baton Rouge Symphony, has won awards in several international flute competitions and enjoys a successful solo career. The Ciraldo duet merges a pair of unique musical talents to form a distinctive and colorful ensemble.

Their interest in original and innovative programming has led to new works being written specifically for them as well as performances of transcriptions and established works for flute and guitar. The duo also pursues engagements that help improve music education in America through partnerships, including collaborations with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Austin Classical Guitar Society.

Nicholas and Rachel reside in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where Nicholas is Assistant Professor of Guitar at the University of Southern Mississippi and Rachel is the Office Manager and Development Coordinator of the Hattiesburg Concert Association.

Jonathan Yarrington A native of Idaho Falls, ID, tenor Jonathan Yarrington is Assistant Professor of Voice at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to joining the faculty at USM, Yarrington was a member of The Dallas Opera Studio from 2011-2014, singing nearly one hundred performances in the title roles of their educational and outreach productions of Doctor Miracle and Jack and the Beanstalk. In 2012 he made his main stage debut with The Dallas Opera as The Messenger in Aida.

Yarrington has sung more than fifteen leading roles with UNT Opera, UNL Opera, and BYU Opera, including Jeník (Zápisník zmizelého) Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), William Marshall (Regina), Jeník (Prodana nevĕsta) Stage Manager (Our Town), Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Herman (The Most Happy Fella), Don Ramiro (Cinderella), Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Marco Palmieri (The Gondoliers), Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly), Nanki Pooh (The Mikado), and Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi).

He has appeared in concert with The Rapides Symphony Orchestra, The Plano Civic Chorus, The Dallas Chamber Orchestra, The Fort Worth Baroque Society, The Texas Camerata, The South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and The Utah Festival Opera Company. Mr. Yarrington holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from The University of North Texas, where he studied with Dr. Stephen F. Austin. He is a former student of retired Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Ariel Bybee, and he won the Nebraska District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2005.

Dr. Lois Leventhal, pianist, received her doctorate of music at Indiana University and is currently a professor of music at The University of Southern Mississippi. Her performing career includes concert appearances throughout Mississippi, as well as solo and chamber recitals in Chicago, New York, London and, under the auspices of the United States Information Agency, Argentina and Uruguay. Dr. Leventhal, whose performances have been broadcast widely, can also be heard on compact disc on Crystal and Albany labels with colleague Dr. Lawrence Gwozdz, saxophonist.

The Impromptu Quartet - Violinist Stephen Redfield has taught violin and chamber music at the University Of Southern Mississippi School Of Music since 1996. He spent 2011-12 on leave as Chair of the Music Department at the New Mexico School for the Arts, where he is also concertmaster of the Santa Fe Pro Musica. Each summer since 1992, Stephen has performed with the Victoria Bach Festival. He is a long-standing participant in the Oregon Bach Festival, often featured as concertmaster and in numerous recordings, including the Grammy Award-winning disc "Credo." Stephen plays with his faculty colleagues in the Impromptu Piano Quartet, and performs regularly as a Baroque violinist with the Albuquerque Baroque Players and with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. He has also performed concerts with the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Newberry Consort. His Sebastian Ensemble with harpsichordist Kathleen McIntosh has performed throughout the US and in Spain, Cuba and Peru.

A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Cincinnati, Hsiaopei Lee has performed in numerous solo and chamber music concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Most recently, she appeared as a soloist with orchestras both in the USA and Taiwan in a series of recitals featuring contemporary music for viola. Her principal teachers include Masao Kawasaki, Catharine Carroll, and Ting-Hui Chen.

Dr. Lee is currently an Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Southern Mississippi, where her excellence in teaching has been recognized by several university awards. In 2012, she was awarded the Artist Fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission. She performs regularly with the Mississippi Chamber Circle and the Impromptu Piano Quartet, and serves as principal violist of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. Her first CD, ODYSSEY: NEW MUSIC FOR VIOLA BY AMERICAN WOMEN COMPOSERS was released by Centaur Records in June 2014.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Santa Barbara, Alexander Russakovsky has appeared in numerous solo and chamber music performances in Russia, Israel, Europe and the United States. A founding member of the Jerusalem Academy String Quartet, he has also performed at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Bargemusic in New York City, and the Western Slope Music Festival in Colorado. In the fall of 2001, Dr. Russakovsky joined the music faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. He has previously served on the faculties of the Adriatic Chamber Music Festival in Bonefro, the IV Violoncello Biennal in Peru, and the CICA Chamber Music Festival. Most recently, Dr. Russakovsky has given master classes and recitals in Taiwan, Israel, and Latin America. His disc, featuring Russian works for cello and piano, was released by Brilliant Classics in April 2014.

Pianist Theresa Sanchez pursues a varied performing career as a soloist and collaborative musician. She has performed as soloist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (including the Southern Nights CD) and The Wind Ensemble. With the Meridian Symphony Orchestra, she premiered and recorded Carey Smith’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Dr. Sanchez was the founding Artistic Administrator for the Vicksburg Chamber Music Festival and performed in each series with various outstanding artists. She has been a faculty member at Jones Junior College since 1995 and is a past president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association. She currently serves as Chamber Music Coordinator for the Hattiesburg Concert Association and FestivalSouth, and is listed on the Mississippi Arts Commission’s Touring Artist Roster.

Meredith Hite Oboist Dr. Meredith Hite has performed and taught throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. Prior to joining the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi, she was a member of the ten-piece Fifth House Ensemble, an innovative chamber ensemble in Chicago. She previously resided in New York City where she appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, American Symphony Orchestra, and Orchestra of St. Luke’s as an active freelancer. She graduated with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School and also studied at the Yale School of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. As a Fulbright Scholar at the Trossingen Musikhochschule in Germany, she explored how studying baroque and modern oboe together informs and benefits the player. Meredith is deeply committed to connecting with the next generation of musicians and audiences alike, through music education and community outreach. In addition to her oboe studio duties at Southern Miss, she teaches a class for all freshman performance majors on professionalism, music entrepreneurship, and how to thrive in college and beyond.

Dr. Kim Woolly is Associate Professor of Bassoon at The University of Southern Mississippi. In addition to teaching bassoon, Performance Practice and courses in woodwind pedagogy and literature, she performs as a member of faculty ensembles Category 5 and The Magnolia Reed Trio. Dr. Woolly is a member of the Mobile and Meridian Symphonies and formerly principal bassoon with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra. Her performance credits include solo recitals or lectures at several conferences of the International Double Reed Society, the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Symposium and the International Computer Music Conference. She has also given performances and master classes in Brazil and Panama. She has performed with the orchestras of the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Heidelberg, Germany, Schlossfestspiele, and the Victoria Bach Festival, and has participated in the festivals of Sarasota, Swannanoa, Chatauqua, Brevard, and Bowdoin. She holds a BA in music from Wellesley College, an MM from the Eastman School of Music, and a DM from Florida State University.

Dr. Ellen Price Elder is Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is the coordinator of the piano accompanying program, teaches applied piano, class piano, and collaborates with faculty and guest artists. In 2011, Dr. Elder founded the Southern Miss Piano Institute, which offers private lessons to pre-college students and adults in the community. Her college and pre-college students receive numerous awards and honors for their performance. She holds the D.M.A. in Piano Pedagogy and Performance and the M.M. in Piano Performance and Literature from the University of Michigan. Her primary instructors included Louis Nagel, John Ellis, and Joanne Smith. She did additional study in vocal accompanying with Martin Katz and fortepiano with Penelope Crawford. She received her B.M. in Piano Performance from The University of Southern Mississippi (student of Stanley Waldoff). She has served on the faculties of the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University, Schoolcraft College, and William Carey University. She has taught on the summer piano faculties of the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen and the University of Michigan Summer Arts Institute.

Story by Teresa McCreery, JCJC Media & Public Relations Director



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