The St. Paul's Episcopal Church Chamber Series returns Thursday, April 19, with a concert by Carey Smith & Friends. The free concert begins at 12:05 p.m. The church is located at 1116 23rd Ave.

    The 2012 version of the group finds Carey Smith on piano and as composer. He is finishing his 32nd year at Meridian Community College as director of bands and music instructor.

    Smith has worked and performed with countless name performers and clinicians in the jazz idiom during his career. As well as his duties at the college he has been orchestra conductor for the Meridian Little Theatre since 1985. A CD of his original music was released with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra in 2004. His trio is currently working on a jazz CD of all original material for release this year.

    His “2nd Suite for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra” had its world premiere in Albany, Georgia. In 2010 Smith was invited by the International Conductors Guild to have the “2nd Suite” recognized as a new composition of merit in Copenhagen, Denmark. While there he was honored to be part of the conductor and composers group given an audience with Queen Margrethe II. The entire 2009-10 season of the MSO was based around the four movements of his “Elements” symphony, with the movements being the basis for each concert; Air, Water, Fire and Earth. The entire work was premiered in February of 2011 for the symphonies 50th anniversary with Itzak Perlman as featured soloist in that concert.

    The Sesquicentennial Celebration of Meridian gave him a commission that was premiered on the first concert in September 2010, “Meridian-150.” His latest work in progress is a “Third Suite for Jazz Sextet and Orchestra” in five movements with a vocalist performing several of the movements.

    Scott Kratzer has played drums for the group since the mid-1980s. Scott is originally from Dempolis, Alabama and is currently band director at the highly successful Southeast Lauderdale High School Band Program. Scott Kratzer is one of the busiest jazz drummers in Southeastern Mississippi, and for good reason. A solid swing groove and an uncanny ear, makes him the first-call drummer for most area jazz outings.  

    An accomplished percussionist in both jazz and symphonic genres, Scott has worked with world-class players at marquee venues all over the U.S., including Carnegie Hall, where he shared the bill with the Count Basie Orchestra. In his 30-plus years of playing he has performed with such jazz greats as Gary Foster, Steve Rudolph, Bobby Shew, Marvin Stamm,  Chris Vadala, Carl Fontana, Fred Hirsch, Butch Miles, Hal Galper, Birch Johnson, J.B. Scott and Lisa Kelly, Bill Prince, Kathy Kosins and Bill Evans (saxophone).  

    He has also studied drum set with Joe Morello, Butch Miles, Alan Dawson, Michael Derosier, and Danny Gottlieb. Scott has been featured soloist with both the Albany, Ga. Symphony and the Meridian Symphony Orchestra playing both Suites for Jazz group and Orchestra, compositions by Smith.

    Steve Moffett, on saxophone, has freelanced in jazz, commercial, theatre, and symphonic music for more than 20 years on saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. Over the years Steve has shared the stage with such greats as Aretha Franklin, Arturo Sandoval, the Four Tops, the Dorsey Orchestras, and the Savannah Symphony Orchestra, to name a few. Steve has played extensively in theatre orchestras and at numerous weddings and receptions. He studied jazz with master jazz saxophonist Bunky Green, and is currently studying woodwind pedagogy at the University of Southern Mississippi.

    Mark Altekruse, guitarist, is originally from Birmingham, Michigan. Mark Altekruse is the executive director of the Meridian Symphony Association, Inc. Along with a very engaged board of directors, Altekruse is charged with setting the tone and direction for the organization. Prior to his role at the MSA, Inc., Mark held senior management positions in marketing and business development for Apple, Inc. Previous to Apple, he held management positions with highly successful music technology companies including Avid (ProTools) and RolandCorpUS.

    One of his first employers in the music products industry was Meridian’s own Peavey Electronics Corporation whom Mark says he owes a debt of gratitude for enabling him to get his feet wet in a very competitive industry. Mark is establishing a vision and direction for the MSA, Inc. and MSO. The Symphony is also putting the finishing touches on its upcoming 2012-2013 Concert Season that will be announced shortly and, in late winter or early spring of 2013, there will be a multi-day visit from the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus. 

    For more about the amazing tour bus, visit Mark studied composition, arranging, business and music technology at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., and graduated from the Musicians Institute, Los Angeles, Calif.

    Mark began his instrument studies with famed classical guitarist Joe Fava and later studied with some of the finest jazz musicians in the country including Pat Martino, Mundell Lowe, Howard Roberts, Tommy Tedesco, Don Mock and Ron Eschete. He is a founding member of Hex Orchestra, a composition ensemble dedicated to composing music for film and television. Mark can be heard playing locally in ensembles featuring MSO Composer-In-Residence Carey Smith, drummer Scott Kratzer and bassist Will Roland. Mark lives in Meridian with his wife Wendy and they have three children: sons Alex and Max and daughter Emily.

    Lee Kornegay, trumpet, is originally from Jackson, where he graduated from Wingfield High School. Leland earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg. He later attended the University of North Texas, in Denton, Texas, where he received the Master of Music Education degree, while engaged as a graduate assistant of Jazz Studies. 

    In 2003, Lee received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Trumpet Performance & Pedagogy from the University of Southern Mississippi. Lee’s musical career spans a period of more than 25 years. As a professional musician, Lee has performed in various show business meccas, such as, Reno/Tahoe, Nev.; Atlantic City, N.J.; Orlando, Fla.; and Branson, Mo. Lee has toured both nationally and internationally. Lee’s horn can be heard on the platinum recordings, Mr. Big Stuff, and Paul Simon’s, Rhymin’ With Simon album.

    Lee has performed with a variety of musical groups, such as The Temptations, O’Jays, Four Tops, the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Burt Bacharach, Wayne Newton, Sammy Davis, Jr. and a host of other celebrities. Dr. Kornegay completed a one-year appointment as the Visiting Professor of Jazz and Instrumental Studies at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, in Alva, Okla., where he taught music education courses, applied music, and jazz ensemble. Under his direction, the NWOSU Jazz Ensemble performed at the Wichita Jazz Festival in 2004, where one of the band members received an outstanding soloist award. 

    After returning to Mississippi in 2004, Dr. Kornegay was employed as an adjunct music professor at Mississippi College, where he taught applied trumpet, brass methods, and directed the jazz ensemble. From 2008-2010, Dr. Kornegay served as the Assistant Professor of Music Industry at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C. Dr. Kornegay is currently engaged as the Assistant Band Director at East Mississippi Community College, located in Scooba, where he provides applied instrumental instruction and assistance with all aspects of the band program. Lee is in demand as a lead and jazz trumpeter, as well as an active instructor, arranger, contractor, and clinician.

    Will Roland, bassist and composer, is originally from Southern California. While attending Cal State University-Bakersfield, he joined the band of world-renowned, avant-garde composer Doug Davis. Recently he received national attention with the preliminary release of “At the Beach.” Will currently lives in Meridian with his wife Cindy and their two children, Christopher and Emily. He owns his own consulting business, aptly named Gracenotes Consulting, Inc. which specializes in design services in architectural acoustics, sound reinforcement and integrated audio visual technology. Will was the main consultant for the MSU Riley Center.

    Terri Pankhurst, vocalist, is originally from Bonne Terre, Missouri. Terri has been singing jazz for many years, as well as performing in various Pop, Rock and Contemporary Christian bands, in the St. Louis area. She has performed and worked with great musicians such as Larry Coryell, Denis DiBlasio, and Wayne Bergeron. Terri now resides in Lauderdale with her husband and three of their four daughters. Carey Smith & Friends are very excited to present this new vocalist to the area.

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