Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra Announces Spring Concert


The Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra’s annual spring concert, Jazz in America, will be held Saturday evening, May 4th, at 7:30 pm at Bridge View Center under the baton of Dr. William LaRue Jones. The winner of the Young Artist Competition, Rashaan Bryant (violinist), will perform the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor. The orchestra will also perform “Coral” for Jazz Quartet and Orchestra, a commissioned piece written by Indian Hills Community College jazz instructor David Sharp. The composition will feature the quartet of Ken Kehner on keyboard, Eric Kreiger on bass, Drew Selim on drums and David Sharp on saxophone. Lisa Wissenberg, principal clarinet with the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra, will be featured soloist on Aaron Copland’s “Concerto for Clarinet & String Orchestra” (with Harp and Piano). Following the intermission, the orchestra will perform Symphony No. 1, Afro-American Symphony by William Grant Still.

Tickets for this Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra performance are $25 in advance / $30 at the door and can be purchased at Bridge View Center (stop by in person to avoid online fees), or order online at Kids’ admission is free.

Clarinetist Lisa Wissenberg is a member of numerous Eastern Iowa professional ensembles, including Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra (principal clarinet), Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra (principal clarinet), Orchestra Iowa (bass clarinet), Sinfonia Nolte (principal clarinet), Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony Orchestra, Durward Ensemble, and the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. She is a frequent theater orchestra performer on numerous woodwind instruments and enjoys performing across eastern Iowa.

Ms. Wissenberg has been a featured soloist with the Mt. Mercy University Band, the Washington Municipal Band, Southeast Iowa Symphony, University of Iowa University Band, and the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. She also enjoys chamber music of any type and has recently been exploring woodwind quintet music as a founding member of Derecho Winds, as well as reading music for enjoyment with friends. She was awarded a fellowship to study chamber music in Paris, France, for the European-American Musical Alliance for a month in the summer of 2012.

Ms. Wissenberg is on faculty at Mount Mercy University, Kirkwood Community College, Coe College, Cedar Rapids Community Schools, and has a large private clarinet studio. She has presented masterclasses at East Carolina University, Truman State University, and many others. Ms. Wissenberg has completed doctoral work at the University of Iowa, an MA in clarinet performance from the University of Iowa, and a BM in Instrumental Music Education from Coe College.

Rashaan Bryant is a captivating violinist, enchanting audiences with his talent and passion since his early years. A junior at Linn-Mar High School, Rashaan’s love affair with the violin began at age of 6. With dedication and tireless practice, he blossomed into a gifted young violinist, and his talent was evident in local recitals and school orchestras.

As Rashaan matured, so did his musical prowess. He sought guidance from renowned teachers Zhani Ciko (Albania), Alba Metaj (Albania), and John Schultz (Iowa), and his achievements have been spread domestically and abroad through several competitions and prestigious concerts in Albania, Kosovo, Italy, and the US, and has been awarded international prizes. Rashaan has participated in the first violin section at the Iowa All-State Music Festival for three consecutive years (‘21-’23). He competed at the Young Artist Instrumental Competition in Fort Dodge Area Symphony in January 2022 and was awarded the first prize and a solo performance. He has recently been awarded at the Young Artists Competition, in Ames and Muscatine, and will be playing a solo performance with both orchestras. He currently serves as one of the concertmasters at the Linn-Mar Symphony Orchestra, and his individual repertoire is rich with a variety of musical streams, from baroque to modern classics.

Rashaan dreams of pursuing a professional career in music. He plans to attend a prestigious music conservatory and one day perform on the world’s most renowned stages.

The concert is sponsored, in part, by a grant from Wapello County Foundation.

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