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VGCC Music Instructor and Keyboardist Present Free Concert

Music for saxophone and keyboard instruments (organ, harpsichord and piano) will be featured in concert on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at the First Baptist Church in Henderson at 7:30 p.m. Music by J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, Jacob ter Veldhuis, Calvin Hampton, Thomas Massella and a Broadway review will be performed by Michael Stephenson (saxophone) and Mark Hopper (keyboard instruments). This concert will be free to the public. For more information, call (252) 738-3346.

Michael Stephenson (pictured above, left) is the soprano saxophonist of New Century Saxophone Quartet (NCSQ), which has recorded seven CD’s and has performed all over the world. NCSQ won first prize in the international Concert Artist Guild Competition and has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Ambassador Auditorium, Boston Symphony Hall, Concertgebouw, and the White House. Stephenson is also instructor of music at Vance-Granville Community College. He created and directs the Vance-Granville Community Band, which combines community musicians with VGCC students. He also teaches Music Appreciation, American Music and Music Theory courses at VGCC. As a North Carolina Visiting Artist, Stephenson performed over 400 concerts across North Carolina, as well as at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. As an orchestral saxophonist, he has appeared with the North Carolina, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Western Piedmont Symphonies. Michael and his wife, Cheryl, founded the Music Academy of Eastern Carolina (MAEC) in 1997 in Greenville, N.C. MAEC is a non-profit community music school offering music instruction on band and orchestral instruments including piano, voice, and guitar.

Mark Hopper (pictured above, right) is Minister of Music and Organist at First Baptist Church in Henderson, a post he has held since 2004. He directs the Chancel Choir, the Youth Choir, Children’s Choir II, the Morning Adult Ringers, and The Bell Ringers of The First Baptist Church. He also maintains a piano and organ studio for both children and adults and a voice studio, offering weekly lessons for soloists from among the Chancel Choir. Hopper is also an active clinician. He has led several breakout sessions for the annual assembly of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina and has served as organ clinician for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina Music Leaders’ Training Retreat. In February 2009, he was the clinician for the South Carolina CBF Handbell Festival. In July 2009, Hopper was the resident organist for the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians’ National Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin. He is a member of Choristers Guild, Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers’ National Association, the American Guild of Organists, the American Choral Directors’ Association, and the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers.