By BILL ARCHER
BLUEFIELD — A pair of truly talented musicians — David Gee on cello and Lynne Mackey on piano — thrilled an audience gathered in Bluefield’s First Presbyterian Church as the Blue Mountain Performing Arts Series continues Sunday afternoon.
Gee and Mackey established their duo in 2004, and have toured together in the U.S. and abroad. Both of the musicians have an extensive performance and educational resume. Mackey, who previously served on the Bluefield College faculty is now associate professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., and is the director of the Virginia Baroque Performance Company. Gee has performed as soloist, chamber musician and orchestra cellist in America, Europe and Africa.
The duo appeared to hold the audience almost spellbound as they performed compositions by Paul Bazelaire, Gabriel Fauré, Manuel de Falla and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The hauntingly familiar melodies within the selections seemed to connect with the audience that responded with vigorous applause as the skillful artists performed the complex arrangements gracefully. The artists responded to the warmth of the audience by delivering a superb performance in each selection.
“When Lynne and I performed (the Bazelaire selection) in the South of Spain (a member of the audience) came up to me after the performance and said: ‘You know, that sounded French,’” Gee said with a smile. Bazelaire (1886-1958) was a student of the Paris Academy who made his debut concert performance as a cello soloist at age 11, and went on to make an incredible impact as a concert cellist, educator and composer.
Mackey and Gee projected a great rapport with the audience throughout the performance.
Donold Kensinger, minister of music of First Presbyterian Church, welcomed the audience to the church and encouraged the audience to consider attending the Enrique Graf performance on March 21, at the Bluefield Performing Arts Center at Bluefield High School.
Bryant Moxley, president of the Blue Mountain Performing Arts Association said that the Bluefield State College Jazz Band will perform March 16, at 7:30 p.m., in Harman Chapel on the Bluefield College campus.
Moxley also noted that the artists who will close out the 2009-’10 concert series — Canadian Tenors — received a great deal of national exposure in recent days by appearing on the “Oprah Show,” the “Dr. Phil Show” and at half-time of the NBA All Star Game.
“We made our contract with them a year ago, so we are certainly excited about their success,” Moxley said. “They have made it big this year.” The Canadian Tenors will appear at 7:30 p.m., on April 26, on the Harman Chapel stage, Moxley said.
— Contact Bill Archer at firstname.lastname@example.org