Meridian Star


September 8, 2013

Principal players ...

Those who lead instrument groups of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra


MERIDIAN — Hsiaopei Lee, Viola Principal

    Hsiaopei Lee has been Principal Viola in the MSO since 2005, when she joined the faculty of the University Of Southern Mississippi. A recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestra player, she has presented programs around the globe.

    A native of Taiwan, Hsiaopei (pronounced SHO-PAY) began playing viola at age 11. She taught in Taiwan before attending and receiving a master's degree at Columbia University Teachers College in New York, eventually earning the doctor of musical arts degree at Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

    Since joining the string faculty at USM, Lee has been a member of the Impromptu Piano Quartet and the Mississippi Chamber Circle. The Mississippi Arts Commission recently awarded her an Artist Fellowship. Her first CD, “Viola Music Written by American Female Composers” is to be released later this year.

    Lee has played piano in the past and she is proficient on the Erhu, a kind of fiddle with two strings, an instrument originating as a member of the “huqin” family centuries ago. It has become popular as a solo instrument in recent years.  

Heild Lucas, Principal Horn

    Dr. Heidi Lucas is associate professor of horn at the University of Southern Mississippi. She holds degrees from the Crane School of Music-SUNY Potsdam (bachelor of music), the Eastman School of Music (master of music), and the University of Georgia (doctor of musical arts). Before her appointment, she taught horn at Toccoa Falls College, Georgia College and State University, and worked with non-majors at the University of Georgia and University of Rochester. Lucas is a 2007/2008 recipient of the MTNA StAR Award.

    Lucas is currently principal horn of the Pensacola Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Meridian Symphony, Pensacola Opera Orchestra and Mobile Opera Orchestra, as well as third horn of the Mobile Symphony. She has also performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Lancaster Philharmonic, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Cobb Symphony Orchestra, Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, and Atlanta Pops Orchestra.

    In addition to extensive teaching and chamber music experience, Lucas has toured throughout the United States, England, Brazil, Germany, Austria and Panama. She is also part of Brevard College’s Eric Ewazen Residency, and is a member of the Southern Arts Brass Quintet and Category 5, the faculty ensembles at USM.

    In 2007, Lucas organized the first annual "Horn Day" at USM (an event she continues to organize and host each year), bringing high profile artists to campus in an event that routinely draws upwards of 60 hornists from the region. She has had several publications, including reviews in the Horn Call and articles in the Grove Dictionary of American Music.

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