"Sweet Sounds and Sweethearts" Concert February 14

February 3, 2012

CONTACT: Dr. Kexi Liu

Susan Smith JOPLIN, MO (SNS) - Join Southern Symphony Orchestra for a lovely evening on Valentine’s Day. The orchestra, under direction of Dr. Kexi Liu, will perform Sweet Sounds and Sweethearts, a love-themed concert at Taylor Performing Arts Center on MSSU campus at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14. Admission is free.

Two outstanding singers, Dr. Susan Smith of the Missouri Southern Music Department and Lawrence Stotsbery, will be the featured soloists in the concert. They will sing duets from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni and Sullivan’s comic opera The Mikado.

 In addition to the vocal selections, the orchestra will also perform an overture from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Kreisler’s Love’s Joy, Elgar’s Salut d’Amour, Theme from He’s Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. At the end of the program, the orchestra will perform Strauss’ Blue Danube Waltz. Audience members are invited to dance to the waltz.

Susan K. Smith is Professor of Voice and Director of Vocal Studies at Missouri Southern State University. She teaches applied voice, music theory, vocal pedagogy, vocal diction and literature, and musical theatre performance. Dr. Smith produces and directs the annual event known as ONSTAGE, a production designed to showcase MSSU singers’ talents in opera and musical theatre. She enjoys performing solo song recitals, opera, and musical theatre. In addition to her work as a director/actor in professional theatre, regionally she has sung for various functions and events of the Heartland Opera, the MSSU Foundation, the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, the Pianoforte Society, the Music Devotees Club, the Southwest Missouri Arts Council, and Music in Our Schools Month. Many of her former students are performing professionally throughout the United States, several are area public school music teachers, and others are graduate students pursuing degrees in opera and voice performance.

Smith is an adjudicator and clinician, working with students under the sponsorship of NATS, ACDA, and NAfME.   She is President of the Ozark Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). A transplanted northerner since 1996, Dr. Smith received her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Certification in K-12 Vocal/General Music Education from UW-River Falls. She holds Master of Music and Doctor of Arts degrees in vocal performance from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Lawrence Stotsbery, Tenor, received his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Redlands in southern California and his Master of Music degree from Converse College in South Carolina. Mr Stotsbery also studied with world renown tenor Stanford Olsen at Florida State University where he completed one year of doctoral course work. Mr. Stotsbery has many roles to his credit including Hysterium in A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Brevard Music center, Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor at Dorian Opera, Cascada in The Merry Widow, and Detlef in The Student Prince with the Spartanburg Repertory Company. He also performed the roles of Ferrando in Cosi fan tutte, and Nanki Poo in The Mikado.

Lawrence StotesberyMr. Stotsbery has appeared with the Michigan Opera Theater singing the Reverend Adams in Peter Grimes, the Major-Domo in Der Rosenkavalier, and Giuseppe in La Traviata. Mr. Stotsbery has represented the city of Detroit on two occasions as part of a cultural exchange program with Palermo, Sicily, where he gave numerous recitals and sang the Devil in The Devil and Daniel Webster. He has been heard performing the tenor solos in Mendelssohn's oratorio St. Paul and Handel's Messiah in Springfield, Missouri.

He has also given many recitals in the Springfield, and Joplin areas. Currently Mr. Stotsbery teaches private voice in the greater Springfield area and is on the faculty at Missouri Southern State University where he teaches applied voice and directs opera scenes. Most recently Mr. Stotsbery was heard singing the tenor solos in Mozart’s Requiem and Kaspar in Amahl and the Night Visitors in the Springfield and St. Louis areas.