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Loyola Symphony Orchestra Performs on Saturday

Loyola press release - May 3, 2017

2017 CMFA Award Winners Spotlighted in Loyola Symphony Orchestra’s Final Concert of the Season

Following a cancellation of last Sunday’s concert due to weather, the Loyola Symphony Orchestra will give its last performance during the 2016-2017 Montage Fine and Performing Arts season. The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 6 on Loyola University’s campus, 6363 St. Charles Ave. in the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall. Loyola Director of Orchestras Jean Montes will serve as conductor.

Starring in the concert will be Loyola University New Orleans students Cherita Covington, soprano; Jeffrey Wilson, cellist; and Avery Bell, composer. Covington and Wilson are the 2017 Loyola College of Music and Fine Arts Concerto/Aria competition winners and Bell is the College’s 2017 Composition competition winner.

Due to previous engagements, internationally acclaimed violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, who was scheduled to perform last Sunday as a special guest alongside the Loyola Symphony Orchestra, will NOT perform at the concert. She wishes her students well.

The program is as follows:

FELIX MENDELSSOHN The Hebrides, Op. 26, Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)

EDWARD ELGAR Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85
Jeffrey Wilson, Cello

AVERY BELL Awakening (World Premiere)

ALFREDO CATALANI La Wally “Ebben? Ne andrò lontana”
Cherita Covington, Soprano

The artists are:

2017 Loyola College of Music & Fine Arts Concerto/Aria competition winner

Jeffrey Darnell Wilson, cello, a native of Houma, La. began playing the cello at the age of 8 and soon after joined the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, where he began instruction under Dr. Jeanne Jaubert. Wilson studied with Jaubert until he joined Loyola, where he has studied with Allen Nisbet, professor of cello and string bass, and Philip von Maltzahn, a renowned cellist and adjunct professor at Loyola.

Wilson has volunteered and taught with the New Orleans String Project. He has also performed at concerts with Loyola Symphony and Chamber orchestras, as well as numerous events around the city, including weddings, graduations, tea parties, fundraisers and school functions, and various performances at New Orleans Center for Contemporary Arts (NOCCA.)

Wilson has collaborated and studied in master classes with members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Emerson String Quartet, Alexander String Quartet, Prazak String Quartet, and the Escher Degas String Quartet. In 2006, he won the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition and premiered the first movement of Haydn Cello Concerto in C in Slidell, La. At Loyola, he worked hard to be named co-principal during the spring semester of his freshman year and has continued as principal his sophomore, junior and senior year. He aspires to “attain a master’s degree, teach the bright minds of tomorrow, and perform around the world.”

2017 Loyola College of Music & Fine Arts Composition competition winner

Avery Bell, composer and a native of Austin, Texas, started his music studies at the age of 14. He is a Junior music composition major at Loyola, where he studies composition with jazz performer, bassist and music theory instructor Dr. James “Jimbo” Walsh” and professor of music Dr. Bill Horne. He studies tuba with Dr. Joe Hebert and “has never been particularly good at writing concise biographies.”

2017 Loyola College of Music & Fine Arts Concerto/Aria competition winner

Cherita Monché Covington, soprano, a native of Alexandria, Va., is currently working toward her Master of Music in Vocal Performance degree at Loyola in the studio of Ellen Frohnmayer, associate professor of voice at Loyola. In January 2016, she was seen on Loyola’s stage as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette. She also performs with Loyola’s Chorale (including at a recent performance of the Brahms Requiem with the LPO) and University Chorus.

Covington is the concerto aria competition winner and will be performing with the Loyola Orchestra in spring 2017 and again in fall 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science in Vocal Performance degree from Mississippi College. During her undergraduate years, Cherita was selected to perform in the 2011 Thomas Hampson masterclass, made her debut in the musical theater production of Ragtime as Sarah, and performed major operatic roles — Lady Valerie from Cabildo (2013) and Rosalinda from Die Fledermaus (2014). In May 2014, she traveled to South Africa with the Mississippi College Choir. She has also collaborated in concerts with jazz pianists from the Mississippi college faculty, featuring works ranging from Cole Porter to Antonio Carlos Jobim (bossa-nova jazz).

Covington joined the New Orleans Opera Chorus for last October’s production of Don Giovanni and plans to remain and active performer in the New Orleans area, singing jazz, opera and choral music.