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TIFTON –The music faculty of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will kick off the 2014 First Tuesday Concert Series on Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths. 

The First Tuesday series spotlights regional professional artists on the first Tuesdays of five months during the year.  Dr. Susan Roe, Director of Music for the School of Liberal Arts, is the First Tuesday Program Director. All First Tuesday performances are open to the public at no charge.

ABAC music faculty members scheduled to perform include Claire Majette Jurs, soprano; Dr. Doug Jurs, piano; Michael McCallie, guitar; Chris Walker, soprano and alto saxophones; and Gina Lawhon, piano.

The program will include Denis Bedard’s “Fantaisie;” selections from “Ariettes oubliees” by Claude Debussey; “Julia Florida” by Agustin Barrios-Mangore; Johan Sabastian Bach’s “Gavottes I & II” from “Lute Suite in A minor;” “Fantaisie, Op. 50” dedicated to General Fleury and composed by Jean-Baptiste Singelee; and Manuel de Falla’s “Nana” from “Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas.”

Other pieces include “Deh vieni” from “Le Nozze di Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; Johannes Brahms’ “Wiegenlied;” “The Little Horses” by Aaron Copeland; Stephen Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around” from “Sweeney Todd;” “Theme and Variations, Op. 77” by Sir Lennox Berkeley; Francisco Tarrega’s “Capricho Arabe;” and “Blue Caprice,” dedicated to Phil Woods and composed by Victor Morosco.

Claire Majette Jurs, soprano, joined the ABAC faculty as a part-time instructor of voice and music appreciation in 2012.  She brings a wealth of music teaching experience to the ABAC music department.  Jurs has sung professionally throughout the Midwest with regional opera companies and as a recitalist. She received a Bachelor of Music Education from Furman University, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). While at the Cleveland Institute, she performed the role of Susanna in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.”  Upon her graduation, she received the Boris Goldovsky Prize in Opera, which is given to the student with the most outstanding operatic performance.

Doug Jurs, a native of Chicago, was appointed Assistant Professor of Piano and Music Theory at ABAC in 2012.  He previously served on the faculties of the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Edgewood College. He received his D.M.A. in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin, his M.M. in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and received bachelor’s degrees in both piano performance and English literature from the University of Indiana –Bloomington.  He has performed solo and collaborative recitals throughout the United States and Europe.  He won First Prize at the 2004 Lee Biennial Piano Competition and in 2010 was the winner of the University of Wisconsin Beethoven Competition.  While a graduate student in Cleveland, Jurs served as an Associate Artist with the Cleveland Opera.             

Since moving to Georgia, Jurs has enjoyed performing throughout the southeast with colleagues from Atlanta, Macon, Athens, and Valdosta.  He continues to serve as Artistic Director of the Blue Horse Music Festival in Woodstock, Vt., where he presents and performs alongside leading musicians from New York’s classical and new music scenes in the intimate Blue Horse Inn music parlor.   

McCallie, an award-winning guitarist, has distinguished himself as one of the most promising young performers and teachers working within the classical guitar community today. As a performer, he has garnered several awards including a prize in the 2004 Stetson University Concerto Competition and top prizes in both the Chattanooga, Tenn., and Cleveland Young Artists’ Competitions. In 2003, he was given the distinct honor of being chosen by the eminent guitarist and composer, Roland Dyens, to perform the composer’s own “Songe Capricorne” for an audience of guitar luminaries at the Stetson University International Guitar Workshop. 

McCallie holds a Master’s of Music in Guitar Performance from Yale University where he was the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship, as well as a Bachelor of Music from Stetson University. He is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Florida State University, where he is a scholarship student of the world-renowned pedagogue, Bruce Holzman. In addition to his skill as a performer, McCallie has earned a substantial reputation as a teacher of young children using the Suzuki Method, where his fledgling guitar department at The Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk, Conn., went from a studio of six students into one of the largest studios in the state. For his outstanding teaching, he was awarded two prestigious career development grants from Home Box Office in New York City. He currently maintains a studio of select students in Tallahassee, Fla., and is Adjunct Professor of Guitar at both ABAC and Darton State College.

Walker, a native of Sheridan, Ind., began his woodwind instruments studies at the age of 10 and began performing professionally at the age of 16.  He has performed as a soloist in 11 countries, spanning three continents.  Walker has shared the stage with such great performers as The Charlie Daniels Band and Huey Lewis and the News, and has performed for the Vice President of the United States, the Russian ambassador to Norway, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.  In 2001, composer Lily Barmor-Rose dedicated a new composition to Walker entitled “Return to the Dead Sea.” 

Walker has been active in recent years as a solo and chamber ensemble clinician, adjudicator, freelance musician, orchestra and band conductor, and was a musical consultant and musician for the Eugene, Ore., modern ballet company, Performer’s Project Dance Company.   He currently serves on the faculty at Georgia Southwestern State.  With over 20 years of military band experience, Technical Sergeant Walker has served as a saxophone, flute, and clarinet soloist, rehearsal conductor, musical group leader, physical fitness trainer, supply Non-Commissioned Officer, operations Non-Commissioned Officer, library Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge, and awards and decorations Non-Commissioned Officer In Charge.

Among the many accolades that Walker has received are Air University Non-Commissioned Officer’s Academy diploma (2011), Who’s Who Among American Teachers (2005), and military medals and ribbons, including two Air Force Commendation Medals (2011 & 2003), the Air Force Achievement medal (2003), the Washington Air National Guard Commendation medal (1999), and the Washington Air National Guard Achievement medal (1999).  He studied with Dr. Eugene Rousseau while attending the world renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, earning Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Woodwind Performance.  He completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree while studying with Dr. J. Robert Moore at the University of Oregon in 2004.

Lawhon is a local piano/organ instructor.  She attended Oklahoma Baptist University and graduated with a Music Education degree from North Texas State University.  She has accompanied and played for a wide variety of musical events both local and statewide including a concert with the Brandenburg String Quartet and several recitals at Valdosta State University. She has also performed with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.  Lawhon has two recordings, “Praise His Greatness,” a sacred collection, and “Christmas Favorites,” a Christmas collection.  She teaches general music with the Tift County Public School System.

For more information on the concert, interested persons can contact Roe at 
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