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Kingsburg summer concert: Collage

The Kingsburg City Band Summer will start its annual summer concert series June 20 with themed performances and guest soloists.

KINGSBURG – The schedule for the 2019 season of the Kingsburg City Band Summer has been announced.

All concerts start at 8 p.m. under the stars of Memorial Park at 1601 Sierra St., Kingsburg.

Concert-goers will enjoy an improved sound and lighting system, new music, the Farmers Market coordinated by the Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce and food vendors and family entertainment.

Here is this year’s schedule:

June 20 - Reflections:

The first concert of the 2019 season features Jay Crone on a piece by jazz composer legend Sammy Nestico titled “Reflections.” The program will highlight great pieces that have stood the test of time.

Jay Crone joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1994 and is principal trombone of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra and the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Orchestra. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in the Europe, Asia and South America. Crone’s performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many conferences and festivals. He has also been a collaborative pianist in voice and instrumental recitals throughout the United States, including performances with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra, among others. Crone holds degrees from the University of Southern California, Yale University, and California State University at Fresno.

June 27 - Sound of the Drum

Joe Lizama has been featured as a soloist with the Kingsburg City Band for many years. As drummer for singer Johnny Mathis for the past 38 years, he draws from a wealth of experience. Lizama will be featured on a variety of favorites that require a professional drummer of his stature.

In 1976, the Percussive Arts Society awarded Lizama First Place Orchestral Snare Drum, First Place Keyboard Mallets and Second Place Timpani in the Eight Western States Division II competition. In the same year, Lizama became the principal percussionist of the Symphony Orchestra of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. He received his Bachelors Degree in percussion performance at California State University, Fresno, in 1979 and returned in 2002 to teach the History of Jazz and Rock.

He’s performed with numerous well-known artists such as John Williams, Henry Mancini, Kenny G and Natalie Cole. Lizama has been the drummer for singer Johnny Mathis, with whom he has performed throughout the United States and abroad in concert, on TV, on radio and on recordings, from 1981 until the present.

Lizama now teaches percussion at Fresno City College and is in demand locally as a clinician and soloist. He is also one of the instructors for the children’s percussion group, We Got The Beat. Lizama serves on the Board of Directors for the Fresno Community Concert Band, the California Music Educators Association, and the California Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society and is the president of JazzFresno. When not on tour, he resides in Clovis.

July 4 - A Salute to America

Since this concert falls on the 4th of July, we will be featuring music related to this great country of ours including marches by John P. Sousa and “America, The Beautiful.” Soloists will include violinist Yuliya Hess as well as vocalists Kevin and Melody Memley.

Hess initially was trained in Krasnodar, Russia and studied with Gurgen Sagomonov. After immigrating to United States with her family, she continued to study violin performance on full scholarship at Fresno Pacific. She also studied at Arizona State University and Fresno State studying with late Fresno Philharmonic Concertmaster Betti Iakovetti, Sequoia Symphony concertmaster Susan Doering, international soloist Frank Spinosa and she is now currently being coached by Limor Torren from Los Angeles.

Hess was a member of Russian Violin Ensemble of Sacramento, touring Gloria Quartet of Sacramento, West Valley Symphony of Phoenix, Musica Nova Symphony of Arizona, and also performed with Fresno Grand Opera and California Opera and currently is a member of Sequoia Symphony Orchestra. Her biggest passion is being a recitalist performing modern violin repertoire.

She has a studio of 30 students with some of the students winning full scholarships for college and establishing soloist careers. Her current project is to build a music school in collaboration with Erin Adams, Kelvin Diaz, Ricardo Guevarra and Laura Porter where she could incorporate all the experience built over years teaching. She also homeschools her three children, Anya, Dmitriy and Anastasiya.

Kevin A. Memley is a choral composer and pianist with over 70 published works to his credit. His music has been performed around the world. He has conducted his works in Carnegie Hall, has been featured prominently in choral music conventions and is commissioned frequently for new works.

Currently, he is the full-time Music Minister of the Kingsburg Community Church. He directs the choir and encourages musical literacy in the Kingsburg community. He holds a Designated Subjects Credential in Multimedia from Fresno Pacific University and has taught music in public schools for 28 years.

Kevin is married to Melody Memley and they live in Fresno with their three sons, Mark, John and Kyle.

Melody Memley is a teacher of the deaf and hard-of-hearing at American Union Elementary School for the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. She holds a B.A. and M.A in communicative sciences and disorders with a concentration in deaf education from California State University, Fresno. She has also served as an itinerant DHH teacher, speech and listening skills teacher and teacher of the severely disabled in Merced and Atwater.

As a musician from childhood, Melody Memley has studied piano and voice. She has performed at Carnegie Hall and Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theatre. She has also sung with Fresno Pacific University’s San Joaquin Chorale and with the Kingsburg Community Church choir. She’s lent her voice to the Kevin A. Memley Studio Chorale for 18 years, providing recordings for much of her husband’s compositions.

July 11 - Musicals and More

Vocal soloist Brian Lummis will be joining the band for the first time. He will be featured singing musicals that you know and love.

Lummis holds a Master’s Degree in vocal performance from California State University, Fresno where he was a student of Professor Helene Joseph-Weil. He has appeared as a featured soloist with the Fresno Community Chorus, the Tulare County Symphony, the Kings Symphony Orchestra, and the Fresno Community Concert Band and appeared on KNXT-TV’s broadcast of the Messiah as tenor soloist featuring the Fresno Choral Artists. He has performed many roles with the Fresno State Opera Theater, most notably as Nemorino in “L’elisir d’amore” and Rinuccio in “Gianni Schicchi” and performed the lead role of Jean Valjean in Visalia’s League of Christian Actors production of “Les Misérables.” He is currently studying voice with Terry Estabrook.

July 18 - Surprise theme

Tonight’s theme will be a surprise featuring vocalist Julie Bernsen.

“My Husband and I have had the privilege of living in Kingsburg for the past 23 years. Our son, Eric, and grandson Brayden live in Fresno.

I have had more opportunities and fun than three people put together! Beginning with a three-piece band in Estrada’s lounge on Mooney Boulevard 45 years ago (where I also met my husband Dennis) I’ve sang everything from classic rock to my current big band (Julie Noe & Company), at wonderful events including Ronald McDonald’s Red Heart Ball, 17 different productions at Good Company Players, and at the City Lites production show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas. I’ve been a singer, music teacher, and am currently singer/granny. I’ve had many wonderful opportunities, but I am grateful my husband and I were able to raise our son in Kingsburg.”

July 25 - Music You’ll Remember

Our final concert of the season will, of course, include the cannons and church chimes on the “1812 Overture.” We are very excited to have CSUF Choral Director Cari Earnhart as our soloist. Some of the best selections of the season will be featured on our “Music You’ll Remember” final concert.

Earnhart she conducts CSUF’s Concert Choir, Chamber Singers and Masterworks Chorus and teaches undergraduate/graduate conducting. In demand as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator, Earnhart has worked with choirs in the United States and abroad. Abroad she served as DCA at the American University of Sharjah and guest conductor with the Budapesti Vándor Kórus, and the Istanbul International Chamber Choir. She’s served as Maestro of Ensemble Vocale Tempus Floridum and as Maestro Collaboratore of Coro dell’ Accademia del Diletto and Coro Polofonico del Caricentro, all in Florence. An accomplished vocalist, Earnhart has appeared as a guest artist with university, professional, community and church choirs throughout the country and overseas. She began her professional singing career in New York City and has performed professionally as a soloist in the U.S, Europe and the Middle East. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in vocal performance/pedagogy from Oklahoma State University and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in choral conducting with related field studies in vocal pedagogy from the University of North Texas.

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The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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