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Hopkins and Patilla in concert for voice and guitar


Jan Swoope



Dr. Michael Patilla and Dr. Joseph Hopkins have shared their considerable talents around the globe. On Friday, April 11, they combine their gifts in a concert of music for voice and guitar in Columbus. The free event begins at 7 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 511 Airline Road. 


Patilla is associate professor of guitar at Mississippi State University and choir director at the church. Vocalist Hopkins is dean of the School of the Arts at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.  


"Michael is a very talented classical guitarist, and we've been very fortunate to have him as our choir director. He's wonderful to the life and worship of the church," said the Rev. Diane Lemmon of Wesley United Methodist Church. She extended an invitation to the community to come to the performance. "We're hoping this will be one of a series of concerts we can do with different styles of music. There are a lot of talented people at the church, and we feel it's important to honor and promote the talents God has given them." 






The program will be "fun and entertaining" for adults and youngsters, Patilla said. 


Works by English composers such as John Dowland, Henry Purcell, Roger Quilter and Peter Warlock will be included. 


"The songs are sung in English and have very interesting texts," remarked Patilla. "There will be some American music by Stephen Foster," he added. Two traditional spirituals -- "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and "Lord I Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" -- are also planned.  


The audience will hear "Julia Florida" (Barcarola) by Agustin Barrios, "Tempo Feliz" by Baden Powell and compositions by Michael Head and Casare Andrea Bixio.  


"'Kygua-vera' by Agustin Barrios from Paraguay is a previously unknown and unperformed song that is about the sacrifice that women made during the war of the triple alliance, an important event in the history of that country," explained Patilla. "And 'Mama,' the final work on the program, is a famous Italian song." 




The musicians 


Hopkins founded the Harlaxton International Chamber Music Festival and served on the faculty of the Operafestival di Roma in Rome, Italy. He has had leading opera roles with the Operafestival, the Dallas Lyric Opera and Wildwood Opera Theatre. The father of two was named a Fulbright Senior Specialist and has been a soloist with the St. Petersburg State Orchestra, International Chamber Orchestra of Rome and Moscow State Philharmonic.  


Patilla has performed as concerto soloist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Chamber Orchestra, the Masterworks Festival Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Honduras, Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra and Starkville Symphony Orchestra.  


He has been a featured performer at numerous festivals including Crescendo Hungary, Piccolo Spoleto, Tennessee Guitar Festival and Volos Winter Guitar Festival in Greece. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music. A recipient of a Fulbright lecture/research award, Patilla was also appointed to the Fulbright Senior Specialist Roster. 


For more information about Friday's concert, contact Wesley United Methodist Church, 662-328-8644.


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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