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Virtual concerts are a wonderful way to reach audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Mississippi College music professors combined their immense talents to do just that early in the new year.

Featured in a January 5 concert posted on Facebook were professors Tyler Kemp on piano and Adam Almeter playing the trombone.

Their performance was part of the Mississippi Art Museum’s monthly Music in the City Series. Patrons enjoyed every minute on computer screens at their homes Tuesday evening.

“They are both such good musicians and we are lucky to have them on our faculty,” says MC Music Department Chair Angela Willoughby. “They just gave a fabulous (virtual) concert on Facebook Live.”

It’s another case of extraordinary musicians in America and around the world showcasing their skills to audiences virtually during the global pandemic.

Willoughby commends musicians for creating new approaches to bring music to audiences when in-person concerts cannot happen. “Musicians are finding ways to make music in the middle of all of the restrictions and isolation.”

Wearing masks, the MC professors performed at the Jean Pittman Williams Recital Hall on the Clinton campus. An accomplished pianist and collaborator who joined the MC faculty in 2014, Tyler Kemp has broad music interests. It stretches from classical to jazz and pop music. He serves as music director at Bellwether Church. Tyler directs shows for the Mississippi Opera Cabaret Series. He’s a founding member of NEW JXN, a new music ensemble based in Jackson.

A native of Naperville, Illinois, Almeter has been the principal trombone of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra for five years. He has played trombone for the Mississippi Opera as well as the Delta and Meridian Symphony orchestras. A member of NEW JXN, he’s an adjunct music instructor at Mississippi College.

The Music in the City series presents live performances by classical and traditional artists. The series is sponsored by the St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral and presented by the Mississippi Museum of Art. The professors’ performance this week included “Simple Song” by Leonard Bernstein. It is one of the movements from his 1971 work “Mass.”

The MC musicians performed “Light” from “Meditations on Sound and Light” by Mississippi native Anthony Barfield. The duo closed with a delightful version of “Auld Lang Syne” at the dawn of 2021.

Practice makes perfect. “We’ve been preparing the music for a couple of months,” Kemp said. It marked Tyler’s third performance with the music series and the second for Adam Almeter.

The Mississippi College Music Department has done its part to entertain audiences remotely in recent months.

On November 15, the MC Singers performed in the Jennings Courtyard. The concert was titled “The Festival of Lights: Thanksgiving Edition.” Music Department staffers videotaped the show and aired it on YouTube channels. Professor Mark Nabholz conducts the Singers.

In December, Mississippi College music professor Bob Knupp performed a hymn sing featuring three selections on the university’s large pipe organ at Provine Chapel. The skillful organist performed pieces including “Still, Still, Still,” a traditional staple of Festival of Lights performances at the historic building. The concert was videotaped and appeared on the Music Department’s YouTube channels.

MageeNews.com is an online news website covering Simpson county and surrounding counties and the state of Mississippi.

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