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Furman Symphony Orchestra in concert Feb. 23

The Furman Symphony Orchestra will perform works by John Williams, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Thomas Joiner conducts.

The Furman Symphony Orchestra (FSO) will present a concert Friday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. in McAlister Auditorium on the Furman campus.

A Sound Quality Concert Series event presented by the Furman Department of Music, the performance is open to the public. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $5 for students/youth. The event is part of Furman’s Cultural Life Program.

A pre-concert lecture about composer Dmitri Shostakovich will be led by Furman’s Laura Kennedy, renowned Shostakovich scholar. Her talk takes place 7 p.m. in Room D-104 of the Daniel Music Building, which is adjacent to McAlister Auditorium.

With the 75-member-strong FSO, conducted by Furman’s Thomas Joiner, guest faculty artists Derek Parsons (piano) and Gary Malvern (trumpet) present the music of John Williams, Shostakovich and Beethoven. The program includes Williams’ instantly recognizable “The Mission” (the theme from NBC News); Concerto No. 1 for Piano, Trumpet, & Strings, Op. 35 by Shostakovich; and one of the most famous classical pieces ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67.

For more information, contact the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086, or Tickets may be ordered online at

About Derek Parsons

Furman guest faculty artist Derek Parsons

Since his orchestral debut at age 12, Derek Parsons’ career has spanned 40 years. Active as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and collaborative artist, he has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Spain, Italy and China, and has appeared on South Carolina Educational Television, South Carolina Educational Radio, and CBC Radio and Television in Canada.

His repertoire encompasses a wide spectrum of styles, genres and periods. Since joining the Furman faculty in 1988, he has performed concerti of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Liszt, Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky and Gershwin with several local and regional ensembles.

Parsons holds degrees and diplomas in Performance Studies from the University of Western Ontario, University of Michigan, and Trinity College of Music, England. In addition to teaching at Furman, Parsons serves as director of the Furman University Summer Keyboard Institute. He is best known in the Greenville area for his annual performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” at Furman’s Music by the Lake Concert Series. His solo disc, Liszt: The Poet Inspired, was released in June 2015.

About Gary Malvern

Furman guest faculty artist Gary Malvern

A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Gary Malvern is professor of trumpet and music history at Furman. He received his bachelor’s in performance and music history from Oberlin College Conservatory, and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University, where he studied with Robert Nagel.

Malvern has served as principal trumpet of the National Repertory Orchestra, the Colorado Philharmonic, the American Wind Symphony, and has served as principal and co-principal trumpet of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra since 1983. He has performed with numerous chamber groups including Brass Ring, the Spoleto Festival Brass Quintet, and the Aurora Brass Quintet who, in 1995, was invited to perform as part of the International Brass Quintet Festival in Verona, Italy.

As a soloist and clinician, Malvern has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He has served as artist-in-residence at the Conservatorium in Perth, Australia, and has held similar posts at conservatories throughout Northern Italy. Malvern recently recorded several works for Nuovo Musiche per Tromba (New Works for Trumpet), a CD series recorded in Verona. In 1999, Malvern received Furman’s Meritorious Teaching Award.

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