SBU Community Concert Series opens second season on Oct. 17

Five SBU Community Concert Series artists BOLIVAR, Mo. – The SBU Department of Music announces the second season of the SBU Community Concert Series and the William and Kathy Brown Guest Artist Series, both of which bring national and international guest performers to the SBU and Bolivar communities, for 2019-2020.

The concert series, which opens with Susan Ruggiero-Mezzadri at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, will be held in the Meyer Recital Hall on the campus of Southwest Baptist University and is free to the public.

“Last year, the SBU Community Concert Series picked up where Bolivar Live on Stage left off in providing exceptional concerts by national and international artists,” said Dr. Jeff Waters, dean of the College of Music, Arts, and Letters and professor of music at SBU.

“We are excited for what year two will bring to our community.”

Ruggiero-Mezzadri, a soprano, was the Shreveport (La.) Opera’s Singer of the Year and a MET-regional finalist in 2007 and 2009. She has had lead roles in the Natchez Festival, Mississippi Opera, Opera South, Kentucky Opera, Opéra Louisiane and has been a Tanglewood Fellow. Ruggiero-Mezzadri received her M.M. at the University of Michigan and D.M.A. at Louisiana State University. She currently teaches at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Other artists scheduled to appear as part of the SBU Community Concert Series include: Joshua Pifer (piano), Thomas Stein (tuba) and Jonathan Sokasits (piano). The William and Kathy Brown Guest Artist Series, which was started several years ago through the generous support of Drs. Bill and Kathy Brown, will present Dr. Joyce McCall, an internationally recognized scholar on diversity in music education, on Feb. 8, 2020.

The public is invited to attend these free concerts and encouraged to attend a reception in the Meyer Recital Hall lobby after each event, as well as support SBU Music students through donations for music scholarships.

Three levels of support are available:

o    $1,000+ – Partner
o    $500-$999 – Sustainer
o    $250-$499 – Friend

Half of the funds from each sponsor will be directed to music scholarships, and the other half will go toward supporting the series itself. Sponsors will be recognized in the programs and at the concert.  

“This series provides a wonderful opportunity to spend a special evening with friends and family in our community while enjoying world-class music and supporting future music leaders,” said Dr. Robert Carney, associate professor of music at SBU.

For more information about the concert series, contact Carney at SBU, at (417) 328-1644 or



Photo 1: Susan Ruggiero-Mezzadri

Photo 2: Joshua Pifer

Photo 3: Thomas Stein

Photo 4: Jonathan Sokasits

Photo 5: Dr. Joyce McCall - William and Kathy Brown Guest Artist Series


*Published: 9-10-19