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Methodist University announces Friends of Music guest artists for 2023-24 season


A  local guitarist,  a pianist and musical theater composer, and  a jazz bassist are in the lineup for Methodist University's upcoming Friends of Music Guest Artist Series.

The  guest artists will collaborate with high school students  to prepare a recital or performance, with the students joining the program, a news release said.

On Sept. 15,  guitarist Guy Unger will perform with students in the Gray’s Creek High School Orchestra, directed by Chuck Bossert. Unger and the Guy Unger Band are well-known performers in Cumberland County. Unger has been teaching guitar lessons to students of all ages for years. He will rehearse and perform with the middle school orchestra during his visit, the release said.

Composer and pianist Charis Duke will visit Oct. 15 and direct students in the Gray’s Creek High School Chorus, directed by Amy Stovall, the release said. Currently with the University of the Arts music theater department, Duke composes and directs musical theater productions and children’s operas based on folk tales and literature. Duke formerly lived and taught piano in Fayetteville.

On Feb. 23,  bassist Carroll Dashiell Jr. and an accompanist will visit and perform with students in the Pine Forest High School orchestra, directed by Nathan Artley. Currently director of the East Carolina University jazz ensemble, Dashiell has decades of experience as a performer, director and composer/arranger. He has performed and recorded with orchestras and internationally renowned musicians, the release said.

The upcoming season is funded through a  $5,000 grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County, the release said.

“Friends of Music has existed since the 1990s, and the mission has always been to support the music program at Methodist University,” said Keith Dippre, professor of music at Methodist and coordinator of the Friends of Music Guest Artist Series. "We’ve been able to bring in a rich and diverse array of different performers and musical experiences that enrich our students and our community. These artists are real people with real stories and gifts to share. Our series grant makes all of this possible.”

More information about the Friends of Music Guest Artist Series is on the MU Events Calendar.

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Fayetteville, Methodist University, music department, guest artist series, high school musicians