Columbus native Elizabeth Crowder is principal cellist with North Carolina’s noted Davidson College Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra, plus the college’s jazz ensemble, will present a free public concert at First Baptist Church in Columbus Sunday at 6 p.m. as part of their annual winter tour.
Photo by: Courtesy Photo
January 6, 2012 2:33:00 PM
When Elizabeth Crowder left her home in Columbus almost four years ago to attend Davidson College near Charlotte, N.C., it didn't cross her mind she may one day return on a tour stop, with 50 or so of her closest musical friends in Davidson's symphony orchestra.
On Sunday, the 22-year-old senior will arrive by bus with approximately 55 other student musicians traveling from North Carolina to New Orleans. At 6 p.m., the orchestra and jazz ensemble will present a free community concert at First Baptist Church, 202 Seventh St. N. in Columbus.
"It's going to be a really diverse mix of music," said the Suzuki-trained Crowder, who is principal cellist. She is the daughter of Mike and Jeanne Crowder of Columbus.
The orchestra, directed by Tara Towson Villa, will perform music by George Handel, Jean Sibelius and Antonin Dvorak. The jazz ensemble, led by Dr. William Lawing, will treat the audience to a variety of jazz styles, from classic big band to music of the 1990s.
"Davidson College has a storied reputation in the Charlotte, N.C., area for superior musicians," said Bobby Sanderson, minister of music for First Baptist Church. "We're very proud of Elizabeth," he said. "She grew up here at First Baptist and is excited about her friends being here."
"It feels great to be coming home. I'm very proud of Columbus and looking forward to showing everyone what a gem it is," Crowder said. The English major plans to attend medical school next year but also hopes to continue performing.
The orchestra's destination is New Orleans, with concerts along the way in Jackson; Taylorsville, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Musicians will stay with host families while in Columbus.
"My parents sent out letters and made calls for host families, and Nancy Carpenter at the Convention and Visitors Bureau has been so helpful," remarked Crowder.
Monday, the musicians will tour Temple Heights, the antebellum home of Dixie Butler, explore downtown, enjoy a catered lunch at the CVB office and, hopefully, take a double-decker bus tour, Crowder shared.
"This is an excellent opportunity to hear some top-flight musicians," Sanderson summed up. "And we're looking forward to showing them some world class Southern hospitality."
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.