Music for the Lunch Bunch
Music for the Lunch Bunch, begun in 1985 is a series of free summer concerts held every Wednesday, beginning at 12:15 pm, featuring local artists performing a variety of music, with particular emphasis on classical music.
The 31th year of Music for the Lunch Bunch begins June 17th and is back this year with nine scheduled performance dates. The Music for the Lunch Bunch is a series of summer concerts held every Wednesday, at12:15 pm, featuring local artists performing a variety of music, with particular emphasis on classical music. The concert series is grassroots funded by the Johnston County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council. There is no admission charge but donations are accepted. ALL performances will be at the First Presbyterian Church in Smithfield.
If you are a performer and wish to participate in the Music for the Lunch Bunch series, please contact JCAC at 919.938.0306 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Franklin Gross
Dr. Franklin Gross will perform for Music for the Lunch Bunch. He teaches Music Theory, Ear Training and Piano at the University of Mount Olive. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from Florida State University, and both a Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin. Performance and composition often meet at the piano for Dr. Gross, who specializes in arrangements of spiritual and popular music. As soloist and collaborator, he has performed at national conventions for the National Federation of Music Clubs and the College Band Directors National Association. In 2007, the Florida State Music Teachers Association named him, Florida Young Artist. Dr. Gross' performance of music by Pulitzer Prize winner, John Adams, has aired and re-aired on American Public Media's "Performance Today." Gross has presented papers for the National Association of African American Studies and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. He has taught at the collegiate level in central Texas and middle Georgia. In 2013, he earned an award for Faculty Excellence in Service, and in 2014 joined the faculty at the University of Mount Olive. Dr. Gross is a member of regional and national organizations promoting scholarship in music theory and music education. Beyond the classroom, he is a frequent performer in music events on the UMO campus and in the region.
Hailing from Cove City, NC Ms. Whaley graduated from Appalachian State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Music degree in both Music Education (K-12) and Music Performance (clarinet with a sacred music emphasis). While attending the Hayes School of Music she studied clarinet with Dr. Douglas Miller and was an active member of the Appalachian Chorale, Concert Band, Marching Mountaineers, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. Ms. Whaley began private organ studies in 2004 with Dr. Brian Bailey and continued studies until 2007 with Dr. Joby Bell. Ms. Whaley began her Master of Sacred Music studies at East Carolina University in August 2007. She was a student and graduate assistant of Dr. Janette Fishell and later with Mr. Colin Andrews in 2008. Ms. Whaley won the Metropolitan Music Ministries Competition in Charlotte, NC and was the recipient of the Richard Van Scriver Scholarship in Organ. After finishing her studies she accepted the full time position as Minister of Music and Organist at First Christian Church of Wilson, where she was already the organist for 2 years prior. There she revived the adult handbell choir (Chalice Ringers) and has established a year round Music Series offering free concerts to the Wilson community. She maintains a concert schedule as an organist, serves as accompanist for Fike High School, the NATS Southeast Vocal Competition and the Edgecombe County Choral Festival.
Stewart is the owner of Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton in Clayton, North Carolina and has participated in the Lunch Bunch series since 1994 just about every year. She has 45+ years of vocal training and performance experience. She is a graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Gifted and Elementary Education and a minor in vocal performance. Julie has been recognized as a Maestro Educator by Kindermusik International five different times which placed her Kindermusik Studio in the top Kindermusik Programs worldwide.
Julie has studied with renowned vocal coach, Fran Shafter from the Charlotte, NC area. It was Fran who encouraged Julie to teach voice herself. In the spring of 1992 she began teaching voice to three students and in 1993 completed her first Kindermusik Workshop from Linda Swears in Winston-Salem, NC. She has been teaching Kindermusik for eighteen years and is licensed in all Kindermusik core curricula, Family Time, Sign and Sing and other specialty courses. Her studio, Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton opened in 1994 and Julie teaches a full program of classes in the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center. She continues to teach private voice to children 8 years old through adults and directs the Johnston County Home Educators (JCHE) Home-School Choruses. Julie also teaches Voice and Musical Theatre camps during the summer months. In the summer of 2010
Julie additionally began teaching private voice lessons in Smithfield at Sharon Baptist Music Academy, and in the fall of 2010 began offering Kindermusik at North Raleigh Gymnastics as well as in her studio in
Restyn is the 17 year old son of Emmet and Pam Martin of Meadow. He is a rising Senior at Neuse Charter School in Smithfield. Restyn has been taking voice lessons from Julie Stewart for five plus years. Restyn has also been very active in the Christian Youth Theatre and recently performed in Oklahoma as the peddler, Ally Akim. In January, 2013 he won the local Clayton Women's Club Vocal Solo competition and in February continued to take top honors in the District competition. In March is was second place in the NC State Federation of Women's Club Male Solo Division and won a scholarship. Restyn intends to continue his studies after graduation at Liberty University to pursue a degree in Vocal Art and Pre-law.
April Reardon is the 17 year old daughter of Marty and Kathy Reardon of Four Oaks. She is a South Johnston High Graduate of 2013 and this fall will be attending Appalachian State University to continue her studies in Music Education. April received the Marion Owrid Heal Scholarship in our local NC Federation of Music Clubs competition and the Nettie Loflin Musical Theatre Scholarship in the NC State Federation of Music Clubs on the state level. April has taken two years of voice from Julie Stewart and hopes to be a music teacher herself in the future.
Catherine is the sixteen-year-old daughter of Timothy and Susan Minton. Catherine is a home schooled student who is about to begin the 10th grade. She is the author of four books including the Super Catherine Bible Verse Adventure Series and Giant Dogs, available in the Amazon kindle store. Catherine is an accomplished pianist and percussionist, and she plays drums and sings each week with the worship team at Christ Church in Clayton. She has been taking voice lessons for the past two years from Julie Stewart and has earned superior ratings in the National Federation Junior Festivals in both the Junior I and Junior II Classes. Catherine hopes to study computer programming and video game design when she has finished high school.
Nathan Leyland, born in Butler, Pennsylvania, later moved to Lynchburg, Virginia and began his cello studies in the public schools at the age of nine. After moving to Ohio he began studies with Richard Bell, associate principal cellist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and in Connecticut studied with Laura Kane, former principal cellist of the Hartford Symphony. Nathan attended the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Tchaikovsky Competition gold medalist Nathaniel Rosen, a former student and teaching assistant to the late Gregor Piatigorsky. Mr. Leyland has performed as soloist with the Hartford Symphony, Manchester Symphony Orchestra, The Southeastern Ohio Symphony Orchestra, Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, and the Welsh Hills Chamber Orchestra. He began his professional career at the age of 20 by becoming the cellist in the Pioneer String Quartet of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. In addition to that appointment, he was also the symphony’s principal cellist. Mr. Leyland moved to North Carolina in 2001 and began performing regularly with some of the areas professional ensembles such as the Carolina Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, North Carolina Master Chorale, and Durham Choral Society. Currently, he is the principal cellist of the North Carolina Opera, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and the Tar River Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the Mallarme Chamber Players. Nathan enjoys performing with his wife Anne (who is a violinist), and spending time with their two boys Max and Sean and six cats.
Thomas Howerton is a 17 year old violist from Smithfield, North Carolina. He is a rising senior at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for viola performance and studies under Sheila Browne. At UNCSA he performs in the UNCSA Symphony, as well as UNCSA’s chamber music program. During his elementary and middle school years, he studied piano; violin (with Molly Olah); clarinet; and alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone. During his first year of high school, he added the bass clarinet and was named all county, all district, and all-state in competitions for that instrument. Additionally, in the fall of 2010, he added the viola and studied under Izabela Spiewak in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thomas has studied strings at Warren-Wilson College during the summers of 2007 through 2010, and he attended the California Summer Music program in Sonoma, California in 2011. In 2012, he attended Montecito International Music Festival in Santa Barbara, California, and will return there this summer. He has performed in the Johnston Chorale Orchestra, the Neuse Little Theater productions, and private weddings.
Mary Ann Nillson
Mary Ann Nillson was born in Queens, New York and attended the Aaron Copland School of Music. She received her Master's degree in Music - College Teaching from New York
University (New York City) and a Master's in Piano Performance from Meredith College,
Raleigh, North Carolina. She is currently a music adjunct instructor at three colleges in North Carolina. She has won awards for Excellence in Teaching and was one of 11 finalists to
perform in Teacher's division of the Van Cliburn Institute in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society and is included in Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in Education. She has performed extensively in North Carolina. Massachusetts
and New York.
Today’s Program- “A CLASSICAL WALK THROUGH TIME”
Join us for a classical walk through three periods of music history - the Baroque (1600-1750), the Classical (1750 - 1825) and the Romantic (1825 - 1900) and discover how the musical styles of each of these three periods are so different from each other. Through a piano lecture we will encounter and listen to the piano music of Bach, Beethoven and other great composers. We will see how these composers typified the periods in which they lived. It will be a real enjoyable way to learn and experience great music.
Hailed as a performer with “amazing facility” and “tremendous intelligence”, Jonathan Levin is quickly establishing a reputation as an enthusiastic and compelling advocate for classical music, creating integrated programs that garner closer connections with audiences through illuminating discussion and example.
Born in North Carolina, Jonathan made his debut with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra when he was fifteen. Since then, he has become a sought after recitalist and soloist, performing throughout the country in concert halls, museums, universities, schools, libraries and private salons. Jonathan’s playing was recently featured on the television show, NC Weekend which is broadcast on PBS throughout the state. Recent engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Steinway Hall, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Kosciusko Foundation in Manhattan. Jonathan has played solo recitals and taught masterclasses all across the country including engagements in North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Nevada, Florida, Washington State and also in Ontario, Canada. He has performed with the Durham Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and as a returning guest artist with the Raleigh Symphony as well as appearances at the NC Governor’s Mansion and the NC Museum of Art. Most recently he was awarded 2nd Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and was recipient of the Alan Walker Award from the American Liszt Society.
Jonathan is Artistic Director and Founder of the new Clayton Piano Festival in Clayton, NC which seeks to create accessible, educational, world-class concerts and music presentations that uniquely enrich the cultural life of the area. The festival, which presented its first season of concerts, public classes, school outreach and other community events in February, 2012 aims to bridge the gap between performer and audience, bringing classical piano music to people of all ages and levels of exposure to the arts. For the past three years, he has been Musical Director of Natchez Festival of Music's Educational Outreach Program and is also on the faculty of Remarkable Theater Brigade's Summer Young Artists Program for vocalists. A sought after collaborative pianist, Jonathan has appeared on the Vox Novus/RTB Composers Voice Concert Series and has worked closely with respected voice teachers Paul Sperry and Monica Harte.
As a lecturer/performer, Jonathan’s presentations and remarks on music have been described as “cogent and insightful” and “right on the money.” His recent presentations have included programs devoted to single composers, including Liszt, Chopin, and Schumann and have illustrated the defining features of the composers, their influences, and personalities.
Kathi Nixon and Family
Kathi Nixon is an English/drama teacher at Corinth Holder High School. Her son, Hinton Edgerton is a 17 year old rising senior at Corinth Holders and daughter Georgia Kate is a 14 year old rising sophomore at Corinth Holders High School. Kathi will be playing guitar and singing, Hinton will be playing fiddle and mandolin and singing, and Georgia Kate will be playing mandolin and singing.
Sherry Lattin received degrees in music from the University of
South Carolina and Bowling Green State University. She has spent her musical
career teaching private violin and viola lessons, served as the orchestra
director at Raleigh Charter High School for twelve years, and has performed in
symphony, chamber ensembles, opera and theatre orchestras. Sherry currently runs
her business, Florian Music, performing for weddings and corporate events. She
also performs with the Barton-Wilson Symphony Orchestra in Wilson and Long Bay
Symphony in Myrtle Beach, SC. She is proud to be a member of Bill Leslie’s band,
Lorica, performing Bill’s celtic/folk compositions from his number one rated
albums. Sherry lives in Garner with her husband, Tom, and two