Mark your calendar because it is almost time for the McCraney-Cottle Arts Council music program. The program will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17 at the First United Methodist Church, located at 1 Jordan Ave. in Tallassee.

“The program is a chamber music program which includes a string ensemble, piano, brass ensemble and a vocal ensemble and soprano soloist, Jordan Dark,” MCAC director Jerry Cunningham said.  

Dark, a Tallassee High School graduate, is a senior at Auburn University in vocal performance.  

“Tallassee is very fortunate to have a guest artist appearing in our chamber music concert performance on Oct. 17,” Cunningham said.

Dr. Brenda Luchsinger will be a special guest. Luchsinger grew up playing violin and other string instruments in orchestras but moved over to the French horn and has become one of the most sought-after professional musicians in the state of Alabama.

Luchsinger is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and the University of Florida. She earned her doctorate at the University of Alabama and teaches applied horn, string methods and music appreciation at Alabama State University and Huntingdon College.

She is a member of several symphony orchestras and has performed and lectured all over the world. 

In addition to Luchsinger, the council will be featuring Melanie Perry on trumpet in the brass ensemble. Perry graduated from Troy University with her bachelor’s of music education and masters of science in music education degrees.

She was the founding band director at Park Crossing High School in Montgomery before coming to Southside Middle School three years ago. She has led the Tallassee band program to unprecedented success with her middle school band earning all A's and straight superiors at the State Music Performance Assessment this year.

MCAC will also have Zach Smith on tuba. Smith is the choral director and assistant band director at Dadeville High School. A native of Wetumpka, Smith graduated from Troy University with his bachelor’s of music education degree and is an active participant in many musical activities in the area.

Smith is married to Tallassee native Brittney Norrell Smith who is the color guard instructor for Huntingdon College.

Rounding out the brass ensemble is Michael Bird on trombone. Bird is a graduate of Troy University where he earned his bachelor’s of music education and masters of science in education degrees.

Bird has been a music teacher and band director for 23 years, most of that time in Tallassee. He is currently one of the choral directors and general music teachers at Tallassee High School. Bird is married to New Orleans native and professional musician Sena Thibodeaux Bird.

Mrs. Bird was a member of the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra for 10 years and played in pit orchestras for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on numerous occasions. She is currently on the staff of Elmore County High School as its brass instructor.

The upcoming MCCAC performance will also include a string ensemble with Esther Hart on violin, Elizabeth Ames on the cello, Chin Mei Li also on cello and Lyslye Ames on the piano. There will also be a madrigal ensemble featuring Amanda Borden, Adrian Borden, Kelley Hill, Emily Bryant, James Bush, Barry Tice, Cunningham and Lee Borden.