Vicksburg Chamber Music Festival begins Friday night

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 11, 2009

The ninth annual Vicksburg Chamber Music Festival, presented by Four Seasons of the Arts, will kick off Friday at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center.

If you go

The ninth Annual Vicksburg Chamber Music Festival presented by Four Seasons of the Arts will begin Friday. A reception will follow each performance. For information, call 601-636-9421.

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The schedule:

* 7 p.m. Friday — Mississippi Vocal Arts Ensemble and pianists Theresa Sanchez and David O’Steen; Southern Cultural Heritage Center; $15.

* 5 p.m. April 19 — Pianist Zsolt Bognar; Crawford Street United  Methodist Church; $15.

* 6 p.m. April 24 — Opera singer Kallen Esperian; The Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal; $25.

* 5 p.m. April 26 — Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet; Mary Harwood Home, 600 Fort Hill Drive; $15.

This year’s event will feature something new.

“We decided, in order for our guests to have a more intimate relationship with the artists, we plan on a reception after each of the performances,” said organizer Frances Koury.

The Mississippi Vocal Arts Ensemble will open the festival Friday night. The quartet features soprano Maryann Kyle, mezzo soprano Sarah Mabary, tenor Marc Foster and baritone James Martin. Accompanying the ensemble will be pianists Theresa Sanchez, a founding member of the festival, and David O’Steen, the principal parish musician for St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Jackson.

Kyle is an assistant voice professor and director of Southern opera and music theatre at the University of Mississippi. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Mabary is a private voice instructor and performs with the Hattiesburg Civic Chorus and Concert Association’s Meistersingers. She plays violin and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Foster is the director of music and worship arts at Galloway United Methodist Church in Jackson and the artistic director of the Mississippi Chorus. He holds a bachelor’s, a master’s and doctorate degrees.

Martin is an adjunct voice professor Millsaps College who has a master’s degree from The Juilliard School in New York.

“It’s almost unheard of to have world-class artists of this caliber to perform here for the minimal fee,” said Koury.

The festival will continue April 19 with pianist Zsolt Bognar performing at Crawford Street United Methodist Church.

Bognar has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and he often performs with the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Quartet. He has won national and international awards.

On April 24, international opera singer Kallen Esperian will return to the festival for a performance at The Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal. Esperian was the winner of the 1985 Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. Accompanying her will be pianist Tom Bryant, who is head of the piano department at Rhodes College in Memphis.

The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Woodwind Quintet will close out the festival April 26 with an outdoor performance at the Mary Harwood Home on Fort Hill Drive.

The quintet will feature Sybil Cheesman on the flute, Ana Ramirez on the clarinet, Mimi Draut Linehan on the horn, Frank Lynch on the oboe and Jon Wenberg on the bassoon. Parking will be available at Good Shephard Community Center, and a shuttle will be provided.

Tickets for most performances are $15 at the door. Admission to the Esperian show is $25.

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Contact Manivanh Chanprasith at mchanprasith@vicksburgpost.com