St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Albany, Hosts Free Concert Friday Evening

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

The Schwob Percussion Ensemble will perform the world premiere of a new work in a concert that honors music by American Masters on Friday, April 5, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany.

The latest in a series of free concerts at St. Paul’s made possible by the Sharpe family, the 6:30 p.m. performance is free and open to the public.

The Schwob Percussion Ensemble of Columbus State University, under the direction of Joyce & Henry Schwob School of Music faculty artist Dr. Paul Vaillancourt, will present a three-part program at the church. The second part of the program will include the world premiere of a work by Notre Dame faculty composer Dr. John Liberatore, who will be present to introduce and speak about the work.

“For a world premiere piece of music to be performed at St. Paul’s is a tremendous honor, and speaks to the church’s commitment to the performing arts,” the Rev. Galen Mirate, Rector at St. Paul’s, said. “Most of all, I believe that all artistic endeavors – especially music – provide God with another conduit to express love and delight, and many other subtle and powerful emotions directly to the heart of God’s people. When St. Paul’s hosts fine music, we are simply providing another avenue for connection with the Divine.”

"Friday's performance will be the second time the Columbus State University Percussion Ensemble has performed in Albany,” Robert Sharpe said. “In 2013, they played at Porterfield United Methodist Church, which included a premiere of Sergio Assad's Asphalt Jungle for two guitars and percussion ensemble.

“Since that concert, I have been looking for another opportunity to bring the ensemble to Albany. When Paul Vaillancourt told me the programming of this recital, I jumped at the chance to organize this concert. Attendees can expect a variety of compositional styles and instrumental timbres, expertly performed by the musicians."

Part one of the program will feature ragtime and novelty music from the 1920s, by composer and performer George Hamilton Green, one of the most recorded artists of his time with more than 1,000 titles to his name. His Green Brothers Novelty Band also collaborated with Walt Disney on his early films, including “Steamboat Willy,” the first film appearance of Mickey Mouse.

Part two will feature Schwob violin faculty artist Boris Abramov, who will perform a selection from Bach's Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. He also will be the soloist in the world premiere of Dr. Liberatore’s “Three Disclaimers” for solo violin and percussion quartet.

The final part of the program will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich's monumental and groundbreaking work from 1973, “Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ.”

Dr. Liberatore is a composer, pianist, and one of the world’s few glass harmonica players. Described by critics as “enchanting” and “truly magical” (Boston and New York Classical Review, respectively), his music seeks poignancy through levity, ambiguity through transparency, and complexity within simple textures—“to feel pulled along at varying speeds in multiple directions, but always forward.” ( Over the past several years, his music has received hundreds of performances in venues around the world. Recordings of his works are available on Ravello, Innova, Centaur, and Albany record labels.  He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music (PhD, MM) and Syracuse University (BM, summa cum laude).

Hailed as “a violinist of outstanding technical accomplishment and exceptional musical talent” (Fanfare Magazine), violinist Boris Abramov has established himself as a young promising artist, performing across the world as a soloist as well as a chamber and orchestral musician.

Mr. Abramov began studying the violin at the age of six, and continued his studies at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University in the United States with the renowned violinist and pedagogue Sergiu Schwartz. During his studies, Mr. Abramov has won awards at the national and international levels.

His debut album, “Mozart-Beethoven Violin and Cello Duets” with the renowned cellist, Carmine Miranda was released to critical acclaim by Navona Records and was awarded the Silver Medal at the 2017 Global Music Awards. Mr. Abramov has served as principal second violinist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (2014-2023), and regularly performs with symphony orchestras across the U.S., including the Charleston, Albany, Columbus, Hilton Head, and Paducah symphonies. As an educator, he serves as vice president of the Samuel Vargas International Music Foundation and conducts seminars and masterclasses in some of the finest music festivals and institutions across the world.

Dr. Vaillancourt, professor of percussion at Columbus State, has been a featured soloist at music festivals in the United States and in Canada, Russia, and Mexico. He has performed internationally with numerous contemporary music ensembles, and performs regularly with the Columbus Symphony and the Atlanta Symphony. He is a founding member of the Zohn Collective, a group of professional musicians originating from the Eastman and Oberlin Schools of Music, dedicated to the performance of contemporary music.

The Schwob Percussion Ensemble will also perform the program at 4 pm Saturday, April 6, at Legacy Hall of the RiverCenter in Columbus, Ga.