June 1 - Bobby Mitchell, Piano
Bobby Mitchell is an American pianist whose interests are embedded in the here and now of music as performance art, as well as the more standard classical repertory of centuries past. A frequent performer of new and rarely heard works, his interests lie mainly with the contemporary music canon and combining these works with the standard repertoire in an illuminating fashion. An instrumentalist who is not afraid to cross the traditional boundaries of programming and performance practice, he is active as a solo and collaborative concert pianist on modern and historical instruments and is also experienced in the fields of improvisation, composition, and conducting.
He has performed extensively in the Americas, across Europe, Asia, South Africa, and the Middle East, and recent highlights include concerto performances with Philippe Herreweghe and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Venues include the Menuhin Festival (Gstaad, Switzerland), the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona), and Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington D.C.). He has otherwise performed as concerto soloist with orchestras and new-music ensembles in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. Significant solo activities include numerous performances of Frederic Rzewski’s epic 36 Variations on The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and frequent work with composers such as Frederic Rzewski, Steve Reich, and Louis Andriessen as well as regular work with peer composers of his own generation. Bobby records for the Alpha / Outhere music label (Haydn on an original pianoforte), Naxos (Rzewski Late Piano Works), VDE-GALLO (Robert Schumann piano works), New Focus Records (Martin Scherzinger's Piano Etudes), and 7Mountain Records (Kraakhelder with violinist Jellantsje de Vries). His YouTube channel has become an Internet phenomenon for classical and improvised piano music, with more than half-a-million views. He teaches Keyboard Musicianship at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and is also the artistic director of the piano festival En Blanc et Noir, Festival International de Piano Robert Turnbull, a five-day celebration of live piano music that takes place every July in Lagrasse, France.
July 20 - Julee Hickcox, Flute
American flutist Julee Hickcox was born in Singapore and lived with her family in Hong Kong until the age of seven. At the age of 15, Julee began her formal flute studies and orchestral training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, performing with the NCSA Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. and Europe. As a teenager, Julee began her professional career with the Winston-Salem Symphony and Salisbury Symphony Orchestra.
Julee has been a member of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra for nearly 26 years,a founding member of Amici Musicorum, and performs in the summer with the prestigious orchestra of the Wintergreen Music Festival. Ms. Hickcox has performed with the orchestras of Mill Mountain Theatre and Opera Roanoke, and has appeared as a piccolo soloist with the RSO performing the C Major Concerto by Vivaldi. Juee performs regularly with the Roanoke Valley Children's Choir.
August 17 - Henry Ward, Saxophone
A native of Roanoke and RCPC, Henry developed a love for music at an early age as part of the RCPC children and youth choirs under the direction of Linda Mayes and Mitch Weisiger, as well as through piano studies with Camille Glazebrook. While a student of Roanoke City Schools' strong music programs, he discovered his love for saxophone, and through studies and support from Dr. Sheldon Johnson, Henry earned placement in the All-Virginia Concert Band and the Summer Residential Governor's School for Visual & Performing Arts, as well as the Roanoke Youth Symphony Orchestra as a bassoonist.
Currently, Henry is a student at NYU Steinhardt where he is working towards a Bachelor of Music in Woodwind Studies with a minor in Screen Scoring. He is a member of the Classical Saxophone Studio and the NYU Saxophone Orchestra, both under direction of Dr. Timothy Ruedeman. Henry also performs with multiple chamber ensembles and as part of the NYU Wind Symphony.
Earlier this Spring, he was invited to perform James Tenney’s “In a Large, Open Space” with NYU faculty and graduate students for the Open House of the new NYU John A. Paulson Center, the Steinhardt music program’s new home. Having performed numerous pieces for RCPC worship and special events growing up, Henry is happy to be back playing for the community he loves.