Chamber Music Festival kicks off April 6 with MC Singers|[03/22/08]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2008

The spring installment of Four Seasons of the Arts is afoot, with performances by the Mississippi College Singers, organist Colin Andrews and renowned vocalist Kallen Esperian scheduled for the Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival.

In its eighth year, the concert series has contracted somewhat from previous years. Three main events are scheduled, but there will be no gala benefit as in previous years.

“The thing we’re really excited about this year is that Kallen Esperian will be singing,” organizer Frances Koury said.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The soprano garnered wide renown, singing with such opera luminaries as Luciano Povarotti and Placido Domingo.

In previous years, the series has included as many as eight performances. This year features three.

Koury said organizers hope that by having fewer events, each performance will draw a larger crowd.

In addition to public performances by Mississippi College Singers, organist Andrews and soprano Esperian, classical guitarist John De Chiaro will play at a private fundraising dinner April 4 at Anchuca Mansion.

De Chiaro is an international performer who has played for heads of state, including former President Bill Clinton at the White House and Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

A native of New Jersey, he spent 25 years as a professor of guitar at the University of Southern Mississippi and currently teaches at Louisiana State University in Alexandria. He records for Centaur Records in Baton Rouge.

In the past, the chamber festival has kicked off with a public benefit, such as the one last year at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.

Toni Lanford-Ferguson, who planned the benefit at Anchuca, said only past supporters are receiving invitations because seating at the restaurant is limited.

“If it is real successful, we’ll do something bigger next year where we can include the whole community,” she said.

The public performances are being advertised on Monroe and Jackson television stations and on a billboards visible to the westbound lane of Interstate 20 near Edwards. Koury said she hopes for a big crowd.

Four Seasons of the Arts is an umbrella organization that provides cultural events for the community during each season of the year.

If you goThe Vicksburg International Chamber Music Festival schedule:April 6 — 6:30 p.m.; Mississippi College Singers, conducted by Dr. James M. Meaders; Southern Cultural Heritage Center, 1302 Adams St.; free; 601-631-2997.April 12 — 7:30 p.m.; organist Colin Andrews; Crawford Street United Methodist Church, 1408 Cherry St., $15 at the door, $10 college students, some youths free; 601-636-0390.April 19 — 5 p.m.; soprano Kallen Esperian, featuring the Sam Shoup International Trio; Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal, 900 South St.; $25 at the door, $10 college students, some youths free; 601-636-7150.