AARON GARBER, Roanoke composer, conductor and organist will offer a solo virtual Christmas concert on the extraordinary Bedient Pipe Organ at Emmanuel United Methodist Church (EUMC) in Amherst. The concert will be Broadcast on the Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) YouTube Channel from Dec. 20, 2020 at 4 pm until Jan. 2, 2021 at 11:59 pm. The concert will be free of charge with a virtual tip jar (see button below), and any money collected will be shared by AGAR and one of EUMC’s charities, Amherst Cares. The concert will be made up of Christmas carol favorites.
Mr. Garber has worked with AGAR before on his opera, “Romania Revolution 1989” and with AGAR and Amherst County High School with the Amherechos on a premiere of a song he set to an Emily Dickinson poem for AGAR’s NEA “BIG READ” project on Dickinson’s poetry. “His offer to do this virtual concert,” says Lynn Kable, Director of AGAR, “is extremely kind and will be especially enjoyable for those of us who can’t hear a Christmas concert in our own churches in the middle of this pandemic!”
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The prices listed are only for Virginia residents. Only ticket buyers will receive a private link to view the concert. Ticket holders may watch/re-watch a recording of this program through December 20. This program is being streamed through YouTube.
In this recital of music of the seasons pianist Anna Billias will play works by Grieg, William Grant Still, Lu Wencheng, and Debussy, and will be joined by baritone Gregory Parker, for songs by Bizet, Schumann, Vaughan Williams, Argento, and Rorem.
Anna Billias was trained as a concert pianist at the Prokofiev State Academy of Music in Donetsk, Ukraine, and graduated with advanced degrees in both performance and instruction for piano, and completed her doctoral studies at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA.
Dr. Billias has performed in numerous concerts at Sweet Briar College; Hampden Sydney College; Lynchburg College; Liberty University; Randolph College; Eastern Mennonite University, Shenandoah Conservatory; James Madison University; in London, England; and in Paris, France with Gregory Parker; Crimea, Russia; and Donetsk, Ukraine. She has performed in Lynchburg for fundraising events for the Forte Chamber Music Festival, Opera on the James and for the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra. She has served as a jurist for musical events in Amherst, Lynchburg and Charlottesville, and regularly volunteers her time performing at local retirement communities.
In her spare time, she is the music director at a local church in Lynchburg, VA and runs a growing private piano studio. Dr. Billias enjoys serving as an accompanist for the Rockbridge Youth Chorale in Lexington, VA and giving concerts in the Shenandoah Valley. She is the proud mother of three children, and her husband, Christopher, is a Judge in the 25th Judicial District of Virginia.
Gregory Parker, has performed as a baritone soloist in numerous oratorio and recital presentations as well as with opera companies in Alabama, Texas, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia. In June 2018, he performed a recital of contemporary American art songs on the Dimanches Musicaux concert series at the American Cathedral in Paris with pianist, Anna Billias. In addition to studying with James McKinney, author of The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults, he has worked with internationally acclaimed pedagogues Horst Günter and Richard Miller. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree and the Performer’s Certificate in Voice from Samford University, the Master of Music degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Please join Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) for the first concert of the 2020-2021 season of chamber music and jazz using both live-streamedand “virtual” concerts online.
This concert includes a classical piece by J.S. Bach, “Suite No. 3 in C Major” and two contemporary works by living American composers/violists, Jessica Meyer’s “Delta Sunrise” and Nokuthula Ngwenyama’s “Sonoran Storm.”
Dudley Raine IV was scheduled to play a live concert for AGAR this past April with his New York based Opus87 piano quartet. That performance was cancelled because of the COVID-19 shutdown. Dudley said last week: “I am really pleased to be able to share a concert live with an audience, even if it has to be virtually and through facebook live. It’s been five months since my last actual live concert, so this is going to be a real treat for me!”
“I wanted to make a program that felt like good music.” Says Dudley, “This is music that feels like it has a lot of relevance today. I chose two works by actively performing violists that were written within the past few years. Nokuthula is was born in Los Angeles and Jessica lives in New York. I find Jessica’s piece introspective.
She wrote it on a plane from New Orleans to New York — it makes me think of the anticipation of going home, thoughts swirling around. It reminds me of a lake in Maine in the morning. Nokuthula’s piece speaks for itself — it’s turbulent, upbeat! A rock concert for one instrument!
“AGAR is pleased to again be able to show off the talents of Dudley, who was raised in Lynchburg, and graduated from EC Glass before he left for New York, where he graduated from Manhattan School of Music and works as a professional violist and teacher of viola,” says Lynn Kable, President of AGAR.
This concert will be live-streamed via Facebook Live at noon on Saturday, July 25. The concert is free but in case anyone wants to make a donation AGAR will put up a “virtual tip jar” to help offset cost.
In order to access the concert, you may go to the Amherst Glebe Arts Response facebook page. You will find an invitation and instructions to join the concert on the 25th. You can “like” the Amherst Glebe Arts Response page and you will receive notifications of AGAR’s seasonal activities and virtual live-streamed concerts that are upcoming.
We look forward to you joining us onFacebook Live this Saturday, July 25, 2020 at Noon!
Don’t worry if you can’t join us then, the concert will be available later on AGAR’s Facebook page.
(l-r) Worth Profit, drums; Ed Mikenas, console steel guitar, Darbuka, and Hang drum; Andy Aeschbacher, bass
Ed Mikenas (console steel guitar) is a multi-instrumentalist who has been the organist and choir director for Amherst Presbyterian Church since 2007. He taught bass at Radford University for 19 years. He is the jazz ensemble coach for Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg and is adjunct bass professor at the University of Lynchburg. He graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a BS in music education, and has a Master’s degree in Music Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, NYC. In New York, Ed played venues that include Saturday Night Live, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and the Apollo. He played in the pit for Grease, Pippin, Godspell, and the MagicShow on Broadway and was a musician and actor off Broadway with the La Mama Experimental Theatre.
Worth Proffit (drums) is another multi-isntrumentalist well known in the area playing blues with Dennis Johnson in Jump Street and currently as part of Proffitt & Sandige, both powerful acoustic blues duos. Worth studied blues with Mississippi blues heavyweight Lonnie Pitchford and North Carolina jazz legend, Brother Jusef Salim. Worth's blues projects have received numerous awards, including: 1997 International Blues Challenge, Charlotte, NC (Jump Street) and 2004 International Blues Challenge, Sedalia, VA. Worth branches out into electric guitar territory as well, playing rock 'n' roll and electric blues with Bill Hudson, Jack Sutherland, Malcolm Dentler, Roy Slaughter. Larry Scott and others. He has been playing gospel guitar for two Lynchburg area churches since 1996: Saint Mark in Amherst and Saint Mary in Lowesville.
Andy Aeschbacher (bass)is a native of Buffalo, NY and a lifelong musician proficient on electric bass. Andy is well known on the local music scene as a solid, reliable player able to handle many different musical situations. Currently he plays in several local music groups such as The Quantum Mechanics, Quintana, Feng Sway, The MP3 Trio, Code Blue, Hill City Jazz, Laurabella Trio, The Introverts, Deanie Blues Band, The Dog Boys and Jimmy Rushing & the Prematures. He is also a full-time piano tuner/technician offering quality piano tuning to owners of fine pianos.
(l-r) Ed Mikenas, bass; Glenn Buck, piano; Ernest Deane, trumpet; Malcolm Dentler, percussion; and Albert Mallet, sax.
Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased through Lynchburg Tickets by clicking on the logo below.
CLICK ABOVE FOR TICKETS
Tickets may also be purchased at the event starting at 1:30 p.m. (cash & checks only).
Ticket price includes one cup of coffee (or soda) from Baine’s Books & Coffee. Food also is available for purchase.
(Bringing your own chairs and a small table is appreciated.)
Ernest Deane (trumpet and flugel) was born in 1941 in Lynchburg, where he grew up and played in jazz bands while at Dunbar High School. He credits his lifetime love of jazz to a cousin, Thomas Fitch, who let him listen, at age eight, to records by artists from Charlie Parker to Gene Krupa and Louie Bellson. Ernest has played in combo bands in Virginia and North Carolina, currently The Houseband of VA and Quintana. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Virginia State U. and assisted music students at Linkhorne Middle School.
Al Mallet Jr. (alto and Soprano saxophone) has been a freelance musician for the past 60 years. He was a club musician in Washington, DC in the 1980s. In Lynchburg he has played with jazz groups including the Jives, the Twisters, Youth for Truth, and at Court Street Baptist Church. Mr. Mallet was a founding member of Quintana, formed by Phil McCarren 10 years ago.
Malcolm Dentler (percussion) hails from New York City. He proudly serves in the music ministry at St. Mark’s Baptist Church. Malcolm teaches percussion every Sunday at John Kortmulder Mindful Mountain Yoga, Second Stage Amherst.
Ed Mikenas (Bass) is organist/choir director for Amherst Presbyterian Church. He taught bass at Radford University, is the jazz ensemble coach for VES, and is adjunct bass professor University of Lynchburg. As a NYC studio bassist, he recorded and performed with artists including Skitch Henderson, the Larry Elgart Big Band, Esther Phillips, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Martha and the Vandellas, Scarlet Rivera, Rodney Dangerfield, Danny and the Juniors, and Mama Lion. He was bassist for the Joffrey Ballet Company, La Mama Experimental Theatre, and Broadway shows including Grease, Pippin, Godspell, and The Magic Show.
Glen Buck (keyboards) originally from Utica, NY, and early began playing with his father, a well-known musician in central New York. He studied classical saxophone and music education at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, and later graduated from Vanderbilt University. He received a Doctorate in Special Education from University of Florida. He is a professor of special education at the University of Lynchburg (1993-present) and continues to play in bands throughout central Virginia. Mr. Buck enjoys his time with Quintana because of his love of jazz music!
Please join Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) for a Java & Jazz socially-distancing concert outside at Second Stage Amherst; a mask is required
In the event of rain the concert will be moved inside. Audience is limited to 40 members. Please call 434-989-2846 to reserve your spot!
Reserved and walk-in tickets are $10 each and are to be paid for (cash & checks only) at the door starting 1:15 p.m. Remaining reserved tickets will be released to walk-ins for purchase after1:45 p.m. Ticket price includes one cup of coffee (or soda) from Baine’s Books & Coffee. Food also is available for purchase. (Bringing your own chair and small table is appreciated.)
Rick Peralta, guitar, who is originally from the San Francisco bay area, has been a professional musician in the Washington, DC, area for more than15 years. An accomplished jazz and classical performer, he has supported GRAMMY and TONY Award-winning artists and has toured the Mid-Atlantic region as a member of Back to Zero, a top-cover band in the DC area. Rick also plays with other groups including the Laissez-Faire Jazz Quartet and with MIN, a flute and guitar duo. Rick holds a Maters’ degree in Music in stage and studio guitar from Howard University.
Ken Matthews, sax, resides in Maryland where he heads a New Orleans jazz quartet that has played regularly in the Washington, DC, area for more than 12 years. Ken is originally from Lynchburg where he played in various EC Glass high school bands as well as while he attended Virginia Tech.
Please join Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) for a Java & Jazz socially-distancing concert inside at Second Stage Amherst; a mask is required
The concert is being moved inside because of predicted rain, therefore the audience is limited to 30 members. Please call 434-989-2846 to reserve your spot!
Reserved and walk-in tickets are $10 each and are to be paid for (cash & checks only) at the door starting 5:15 p.m. Remaining reserved tickets will be released to walk-ins for purchase after 5:45 p.m. Ticket price includes one cup of coffee (or soda) from Baine’s Books & Coffee. Food also is available for purchase.
Joseph Henson and his band will present “A Showcase of Artistic Resilience,” playing a mix of traditional jazz standards such as Over the Rainbow and I Can't Get Started with You. They will also play a few originals taken from Joseph’s very recent Covid shutdown recordings. The band will play two sets; the first one will begin at 6 p.m. with a short break between sets.
Joseph Henson, saxophone Joseph grew up in South Carolina where he attended the University of South Carolina as a music major. While working on his Master’s of Music at the University of North Texas he played in the One O’Clock Lab Band for three consecutive years and studied with Neil Slater, Jim Riggs, and Dan Haerle. From 1997-2018 Henson served as tenor saxophonist in The U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, based in Washington, DC, and was the Enlisted Musical Director from 2015-2018. During his tenure with the Blues, he shared the stage with many jazz legends including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dr. Billie Taylor, Freddie Cole, and Chris Potter. Henson’s compositions and arrangements for the band, including Things Ain’t What they Used To B and Live at Blues Alley can be heard on several Army Blues recordings. Joseph is the director of Saxophone and Jazz Studies at Liberty University and leads his own small group that plays acoustic and electric jazz. His album Transformation can be found at https://josephhenson.bandcamp.com, and his recent albums Shock Wave and Groovesonic will soon be available there as well. Learn more at https://www.josephhensonjazz.com/
Neal Perrine, bass Neal is a recent alumnus of James Madison University’s jazz studies program. He began playing electric bass at the age of 12, and upright bass at the age of 15 falling in love with jazz while in high. Neal has gotten the opportunity to study bass with Eddie Gomez, Ben Williams, Mimi Jones, Marco Panascia, Lauren Pierce, Sam Suggs, and Karine Chapdelaine to name a few. He performs all over Virginia and has gotten the privilege to perform with jazz greats and local legends such as Nate Smith, Robert Jospe, Devonne Harris, John D’Earth, Bob Hallahan, Charles Owens, Luis Perdomo, Randy Johnston, and Stephanie Nakasian.
Jay Ware, drummer Jay is an award-winning performing artist, educator, arranger, and music advocate. Completing his undergraduate studies at Mars Hill University with a double major in Music Performance and Music Education, he holds the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Appalachian State University. Jay has performed or recorded with over 200 artists, including: Grammy Award winner Delfeayo Marsalis, Grammy nominee Donny McCaslin, Wycliffe Gordon, Jason Marsalis, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Mary Wilson and The Supremes, Pulitzer-Prize winner Gunther Schuller, the Broyhill Chamber Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and many others. He has performed at Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto Music Festivals, Charlotte Jazz Festival, Cheraw Jazz Festival, American Bandmasters Association, CBDNA, MENC, Percussive Arts Society Days of Percussion nationwide, as well as special appearances on various television and radio broadcasts. He is in high demand as a versatile performing artist, guest conductor, adjudicator, and has offered masterclasses at universities and schools all over the U.S.
Dwight Spencer, guitar Dwight is a performing artist and educator who has received recognition for his work on educational programs in magnate schools and art programs. He completed his undergraduate studies and graduate degree while performing alongside many of the jazz industry’s biggest artists such as Marian McPartland, Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Russell Malone and John “Bucky” Pizzirelli. Dwight has performed at the world-renowned Piccolo Spoleto Festival, The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, as well as in many theatrical companies. He has recorded and played with numerous groups including Dennis Edwards and the Temptations, Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs, and The Platters. He has also played with Los Angeles recording and performing artist Bob McChesney. Dwight is also an endorsing artist for Heritage Guitars, Yamaha Acoustic Guitars, and Stephen Holst Custom Instruments.
Join band members Josh Barling, trumpet; Justin Berkley, saxophone; Eric Hollandsworth, bass; Matthew Billings, piano; and Tanner Odle, drums; with special guest artist Alison Berry, vocalist.
Please join Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. (AGAR) for the first Java & Jazz concert of the 2020-2021 season. This concert will be live-streamed via Facebook Live at 7-9 p.m. this Saturday, August 1.
The band will play two sets; the first one will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a short break and will begin again around 8:15 p.m.
This concert is free but in case anyone wants to make a donation AGAR will put up a “virtual tip jar” to help offset cost via PayPal.
In order to access the concert, you may go to the Amherst Glebe Arts Response facebook page (the link is below). You will find an invitation to join the concert on August 1. Please “like” the Amherst Glebe Arts Response page to receive notifications of AGAR’s seasonal activities and virtual live-streamed concerts that are upcoming.
Josh Barling, trumpet Inspired by greats such as Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis at a very young age, Josh began his musical journey in Italy during his seventh-grade year. While his technique does cover numerous styles from classical to jazz and beyond, jazz is what became Josh’s focus. Truly understanding that jazz is the ultimate language of improvisation, he continues to study and learn all he can and is constantly striving to further enrich and immerse himself in the beauty of trumpet playing and the universal language of music.
Having played professionally in both Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, Josh has been fortuitous enough to have played with many professionals including the Commodores. In addition, he has performed with the Dallas jazz orchestra, Pete Peterson Big Band and the San Antonio Jazz Orchestra. Josh continues to pursue his jazz musical career in Lynchburg where he currently resides and performs regularly with his group Flat Five as well as a variety of groups of all genres.
Justin Berkley, saxophone A native of Lynchburg, Justin has played the saxophone in several of the area’s premier groups. Justin has been privileged to study the saxophone at VCU under Marty Nau, and at Virginia Tech under Chip McNeill. A trained clinician, Justin spends most of his days in behavioral health settings while moonlighting as a contributing musician to area big bands, jazz groups, and funk bands.
Eric Hollandsworth, bass Eric grew up as a cellist in Roanoke studying with Peggy McHenry, Dr. Kenneth Lurie and Alan Weinstein. It was during his studies with Weinstein that he was introduced to jazz that began his life-long love affair with the likes of Davis, Monk, Mingus and Hubbard. By his early twenties, Eric had made upright and electric bass his main instruments. He became a sought-after theatre pit orchestra bassist performing regularly with several professional and community-based theatres. He also performed with the award-winning show band Cheaper Than Therapy.
Starting in the early 2000s, Eric toured with regional and national blues acts from Maine to Georgia. During this time he performed with Billie Sutton & Road House, Eli Cook, Proffit and Sandidge, Kevin Selfe and the Tornadoes, Jackie B and the Backburners, and fronted as well as played bass for the power blues/rock trio South29. Eric is currently performing with acoustic groove band Solar Hearts, the Sway Katz Jazz Orchestra, blues guitarist Tommy Cox in the Tommy Cox Band, the Eric Hollandsworth Quartet, Americana group Carrington Kay, jam/groove band The Mad Anthonys, and modern jazz combo Flat Five Jazz. In 2016, Eric became an endorsing artist for Spector Basses.
Matthew Billings, piano Matthew is a multifaceted instrumentalist, programmer and sound designer who has been involved in the music scene in several cities since the beginning of his professional career. He initially began his musical education as a student of jazz piano composition and performance and further studied and majored in audio engineering. Matthew’s expertise opened the doors for being contracted regularly as a studio programmer, engineer and performer. His current list of live performance and programming credits include the Xerox International Jazz Festival, Buffalo Museum of Science, NYC Chain and Downtown Short Film festivals, as well as artists up and down the east coast. Currently, Matthew resides in Lynchburg working as a freelance musician, engineer and designer.
Tanner Odle, drums A native of Wenatchee, Washington, Tanner moved to Lynchburg in 2013 to be an early member of the Liberty University Jazz Studies program. He then began teaching and performing throughout Central Virginia. Tanner developed a love for music at a young age and has since become a full-time purveyor of beats. His influences come from a spectrum of genres that include Max Roach, Art Blakey, Benny Greb, Nate Smith, and John Bonham among others.
Special guest artist Alison Berry, vocalist Allison has been performing music, both vocal and instrumental, for almost twenty years. Throughout grade school and college, she participated in many musical theater shows, school and local bands, and various other musical stage showcases. Her love of jazz, swing, and big band music started at a very young age while watching classic films with her grandfather, an Austrian WWII veteran. From there, Allison fell in love with collecting vinyl records, starting with her mother’s Paul Anka and Bobby Vinton 45s and adding hundreds more albums by the likes of Della Reese, Louis Prima, and Johnny Mercer. Allison’s main vocal influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Helen Forrest, Jo Stafford, and Ginny Simms. She is thrilled to join Flat Five and to have the opportunity to learn and grow as a performer.