Jimmy McKissic to be featured in concert at St. Luke UMC


St. Luke United Methodist Church, 32 School St., will present “An Afternoon of Hymns and Classical Music”, featuring James “Jimmy” McKissic, an international concert pianist, at 5 p.m. April 22.

The concert will also feature Naocea Evans, Stephan Burse and Phyllissa Dunk, voice students of Heidi Gordon from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. The students will be accompanied by Michael Bates, interim chair of the music department and director of the international Vesper Choir.

McKissic is a 1962 graduate of the music department of AM&N/UAPB college and attended graduate school at the University of California at Berkley where he taught for two years. In 1969, he won the competitive Hertz Scholarship, which allowed him to study in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more than 40 years McKissic played piano at the Hotel Martinez in Cannes on the French Riviera and also in the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. He has entertained presidents and other dignitaries with his music. Additionally, he has performed in Carnegie Hall more than 20 times.

The UAPB voice students are soloists in the Vesper Choir and have performed several operatic excerpts from various operas. Each of them recently sang solos with the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra.