Sundays at Four plans four more concerts this season

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

By Mary Cole

Contributing Writer

Spring has arrived, and so has Sundays at Four, Smithfield’s concert series hosted at Christ Episcopal Church, 111 S. Church St. The season started slowly and carefully because of COVID lurking in the shadows, but now the little series is bursting out all over with four concerts before the season ends.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On April 24 at 4 p.m., Sundays at Four introduces a new piano trio — no, not three pianos — but one piano, plus violin and cello. This young threesome is right down SAF’s alley, whose mission is providing performing opportunities to young musicians.

Pianist Rebecca Willett was only 15 years old when she played the first full teen recital for Sundays at Four. Rebecca now holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Cincinnati Conservatory and has spent two years playing internationally in a piano quintet with Lincoln Center Stage. Currently, Rebecca is on staff at Francis Asbury United Methodist Church as pianist and organist, is a faculty member at the Governor’s School for the Arts, and maintains a private studio. One more thing: Rebecca auditioned, and now plays in the VSO’s violin section.

Violinist Chris Taylor, another native of Hampton Roads, grew up playing in many Southside-area youth ensembles: The Academy of Music, the Bay Youth Orchestras and at the Governor’s School for the Arts. Chris studied at East Carolina University, earning both his bachelor’s and master’s there. Learning the Suzuki method of violin playing while young, he became a teaching assistant at ECU in this method. Returning to Hampton Roads, Chris is the operations manager of Hampton Roads Chamber Players, where he currently teaches.

Cellist Kevin Nguyen is currently a senior at the Governor’s School for the Arts and known in the Norfolk Public School System for receiving a Student Distinction award  featured in The Virginian-Pilot. Kevin is an avid chamber musician and has performed with the Hampton Roads Chamber Players, the Strolling Silver Strings and the Watersedge Quartet. He was a winner of this year’s concerto competition at the GSA.

The April trio concert will be followed by a solo vocal recital on May 22 performed by Ricky Goodwyn Jr., who has become well-known in the area for his outstanding recital performances. Ricky is now a senior at James Madison University and plans to attend graduate school next year. A free-will offering will be taken with the proceeds going to Ricky to support graduate studies.

On July 3, The Colonial Singers of Williamsburg will give a recital featuring patriotic music to usher in the Fourth of July. They also will sing folk songs and other American favorites. This will be the Colonial Singers’ first appearance in Isle of Wight. “This is the perfect group to give concerts at the Manor House at Windsor Castle,” said Heidi Bloch, artistic director for SAF, who has followed the Colonial Singers’ concerts for years in Williamsburg, Charlottesville and Warm Springs during the Christmas season.

Sundays at Four’s 2022-23 Concert Season is already taking shape and will be announced in the near future. All concerts require tickets, which can be purchased at the door (adults $20, students $10) or at