Orchestra presents free concert Oct. 4

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The Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra will present its annual “Downtown” concert Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 100 Green St. in Wilson. The orchestra opens every new concert season with an admission-free, off-campus event, designed to introduce itself to a wider audience. The community is encouraged to attend.

This year’s concert will feature soloists of the Barton College/Wilson Symphony performing several classic pieces from the baroque repertoire. Trumpeters Mark Beamish and William Boles will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets and the orchestra’s concert master, Christopher Ellis, will perform Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in G Major. Bach’s Orchestral Suite no. 2 will feature flute soloist Alison Mossey. Barton’s Phil Valera will play the organ in the haunting Adagio in G Minor for Strings and Organ by Albinoni/Giazotto.

“We really look forward to showcasing all these great soloists,” said Mark N. Peterson, director of music at Barton College. “This concert will be a garden of earthly delights for lovers of baroque music. It’s always a pleasure to perform in this beautiful sanctuary and to employ the church’s wonderful harpsichord and magnificent organ.”

Mark Beamish

Originally from upstate New York, Mark Beamish spent his youth participating in a variety of music-related activities including private and ensemble study at Hochstein and Eastman schools. Beamish earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Music degree from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of School Administration from North Carolina State University. 

Throughout his career as a teacher, Beamish has taught all levels of music instruction and held a variety of experiences as director of musical ensembles, including director of bands at the high school level. Beamish currently performs as a freelance artist in numerous capacities in the Triangle area and has performed with a number of ensembles, including the Amici Brass, Triangle Brass Band, North Carolina Wind Orchestra and Triangle Wind Ensemble.

William Boles Jr.

Dr. William B. Boles Jr., a lifelong resident of Wilson and local dentist, began his music career in 1960 as a late entry with a borrowed trumpet in the seventh-grade band at Charles L. Coon Junior High School. In 1962, Boles and six of his friends in the school band formed a rock ’n’ roll band named the Sardams. Boles played Wurlitzer electric piano and served as music arranger for the band, as they played locally and regionally until 1969. While at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Boles played in the wind ensemble, faculty orchestra and pep band, and as a local musician hired by musical shows in the Triangle, including the Stevie Wonder Band and the Fifth Dimension. Boles was an early member of the Barton College/ Wilson Symphony Orchestra. He also has performed with the Tar River Orchestra and the Tar River Wind Ensemble. Boles is a founding member of the Tar River Swing Band.


Christopher Ellis began studying the violin at age 10 in a public school classroom in his hometown of Farmville. Ellis continued study at East Carolina University, and he later earned a Master of Music degree at Florida State University. Ellis has been a member of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Tar River Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed with other orchestras, including the Southwest Florida Symphony, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra of Georgia and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Ellis has been the concert master with the Barton College/Wilson Symphony since 2002.

alison mossey

Alison Mossey currently performs as principal flutist of the Barton College/Wilson Symphony and as piccoloist for the Fayetteville Symphony, the Tar River Symphony and the Tar River Wind Ensemble. She teaches flute and piano at the Music Academy of Eastern Carolina, where she is the program director. Mossey also serves as music director for Ayden United Methodist Church. After earning her bachelor’s degree from the Hartt School of Music, Mossey relocated to North Carolina to study at East Carolina University, where she earned her master’s degree in flute performance. She has performed with the Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, the Champlain Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Greenville Pops Orchestra.


Phil Valera is an assistant professor of communications in the School of Visual, Performing and Communications Arts at Barton College, where he oversees the audio recording technology program on campus. He also is an active substitute organist in eastern North Carolina. He holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in organ performance from Boston University.

For additional information about this event or about the Barton College/ Wilson Symphony Orchestra, contact Mark N. Peterson at mpeterson@barton.edu or 252-399-6535.