Classical instrument recital to be held Sept. 11 at NSU

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NATCHITOCHES, La. (NSU) - Keyboardist Dr. Charles Metz, flutists Leighton Daihl Ragusa and Dennette McDermott and classical bassoonist Douglas Bakenhus will present a program of music performed on classical instruments on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall at NSU. Admission is free and open to the public.

Metz and Ragusa will transport a pianoforte to NSU from Chicago for the concert. The program will include works Haydn, Schubert and CPE Bach.

“This is a rare opportunity to hear and see a pianoforte, which was the instrument that Mozart played and composed on,” said McDermott. “It will be exciting for the students and community.”

Metz studied piano at Penn State University, beginning his harpsichord studies through private lessons. He earned a Ph.D. in Historical Performance Practice at Washington University in Saint Louis. Metz also obtained a doctorate in optometry and worked for 20 years in his private practice before retiring. In addition to his performing activity, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, The Newberry Consort and Early Music America.

Ragusa is a historical flutist who has performed throughout the United States and central Europe as a soloist and collaborator in chamber and orchestral music. Her playing has been described as “invigoratingly fresh and perky” by Bachtrack and “spirited, stylish, and nuanced” by the Chicago Classical Review.

Ragusa regularly plays with Chicago’s top period instrument ensembles including the Haymarket Opera Orchestra, Newberry Consort, Bach and Beethoven Experience, Bella Voce Sinfonia and New Comma Baroque. She was the recipient of a Netherlands-American Fulbright Grant and spent 2009-10 studying at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague.

McDermott is a professor of flute and coordinator of graduate studies in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State. She made her European debut in 1992 in the Czech Republic with the Czech premiere of Jindřich Feld’s “Introduzione, Toccata e Fuga.” McDermott has performed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, England, Canada, Honduras, Russia, Spain and throughout the United States, including numerous performances at National Flute Association Conventions, and also featured as a winner of the Convention’s Performers Competition in 1994, 1996 and 1999.

In 2008, she traveled to Moscow and recorded a CD, “Trio for Flute, Bassoon and Piano” for classicalrecords.ru with Katerina Zaitseva and Bakenhus. Her interest in baroque flute led to the opportunity to participate in the Tafelmusik Baroque Institute, an intensive training program on historical instruments, in 2015 and 2017.

Bakenhus is the music director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony at Northwestern State. He teaches bassoon, aural skills, string methods, and conducting. His music degrees are from the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University-Commerce, and he has completed additional graduate courses in conducting and bassoon performance at the University of Michigan. Bakenhus has been the music director of the Northeast Texas Symphony since 2002, and he has held teaching positions at Texas Lutheran University and the University of Mississippi. He has made several recent guest conducting appearances throughout the region and abroad, including the Sinfonietta Bratislava in Slovakia and the San Pedro Sula City Chamber Orchestra in Honduras.

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