Music and the other arts are the most potent demonstration that, in the heart, we are all one community.

~ Jan Swafford

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Kate Jenkins

Kate Jenkins - trombone

Kate is the principal trombonist of the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra and the second trombonist of the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. She also performs with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, the South Carolina Philharmonic and performed for many years as principal trombonist of the Augusta Opera Orchestra. Kate is a founding member of the Crescent Brass. She has toured the United States and Europe with the Kings Brass and Eurobrass.

Kate has served on faculty as the low brass instructor at Charleston Southern University, Brevard College and Augusta State University. She has a Bachelor’s degree in music education from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of Georgia. A Vermont native, she has made her home in North Augusta, SC with her husband, professional trumpet player and conductor, Todd Jenkins. They have a young son named Will.

Todd Jenkins
trumpet, conductor

Todd Jenkins - trumpet

Todd is the principal trumpet of the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra and is a founding member of the Crescent Brass. Todd performs regularly throughout the region with several orchestras, including the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, North Charleston Pops! and the Symphony Orchestra Augusta. He is the director of bands at Augusta Christian Schools and the director of instrumental music at Warren Baptist Church. He also serves as conductor of the Aiken Concert Band.

Todd earned a Master’s degree in music from Ithaca College, and a Bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina. He has also studied at the University of Georgia, Shenandoah University and Messiah College. Before returning to North Augusta in 2014, Todd taught at Brevard College and worked with the music programs at Wando High School and Charleston School of the Arts.

Jeanie Joesbury
vocalist, conductor

Jeanie Joesbury, vocal artist, conductor

Jeanie has served as Director of Music at Thomson First United Methodist Church since August 2010, after having served as Organist and Director of the Canterbury Choir since 2006 and participating in the music program at TFUMC since 1975. She studied Music Performance and Music Education at the University of Texas and graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Music Education.

Jeanie has appeared as a soloist with the Augusta Opera and the Augusta Symphony and served as music teacher at Briarwood Academy for over 20 years. While at Briarwood, Jeanie produced 10 Broadway musicals and also directed musicals at the Washington Little Theatre in Washington, GA. During her teaching career, she was a two-time recipient of the State of Georgia Star Teacher award. In Praise of Music ensembles are often engaged to perform under Jeanie’s direction, as well as in recital performance at Thomson First United Methodist.

Eliza Johnson

Eliza Hesse - violin

Born in Augusta, GA, Eliza began taking violin lessons at the age of three. As a member of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, she has toured Europe and Canada, and has performed in major concert halls, including the Berliner Philharmonie, Musikgebouw in Amsterdam, and El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia.

She graduated from University of South Carolina magna cum laude, receiving both a Presser Foundation Scholarship and the Arthur M. Frasier Music Excellence Award. At the University of South Carolina, she was a concerto competition winner and served as concertmaster in the university’s orchestra during her senior year. She was named the Aiken County Young Artist in 2001, which resulted in her performing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Augusta Symphony. While obtaining her Masters at Arizona State University, she held a position in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. She also played in several ensembles at Arizona State, including a string quartet, which was coached by both the Juilliard and Brentano String Quartets, as part of the university’s string quartet residency program.

In the summer of 2007, she was a member of the National Repertory Orchestra, and performed throughout Colorado. In the spring of 2008, she was the concertmaster for the Spoleto Festival’s premiere show, Monkey: Journey to the West, in which she collaborated with Damon Albarn from Gorillaz/Blur and famed director Shi Zheng Chen. She has participated in music festivals, including the Rome Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Castleton Music Festival, and Brevard Music Festival.

Joseph Johnson
french horn

Joseph Johnson - french horn

Joseph has performed in numerous collegiate ensembles and is active as a freelance musician. He currently holds the 2nd Horn position with the Johnstown Symphony in PA, and has performed as a substitute/extra with the following orchestras: Columbia County Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, Oak Ridge Symphony, River Cities Symphony, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, West Virginia Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, and Wheeling Symphony.

Originally from the state of Georgia, Joseph grew up in a small town and went on to obtain his Bachelors degree in Music Education from Augusta State University in Augusta, GA. Before pursuing his Masters degree, He taught for a year at Curtis Baptist School, a private Christian school in Augusta, GA. His duties included teaching Elementary Music and Band to both Middle and High School students. Desiring a career in higher education, Joseph accepted a Graduate Assistantship from the University of Tennessee where he received a Masters in Horn Performance.

After graduation in 2009, he then accepted another Assistantship, allowing him to pursue his Doctorate in Horn Performance at West Virginia University. At WVU, Joseph conducted the University Horn Choir, taught Undergraduate and Graduate lessons within the Horn studio, and performed with the Graduate Wind Quintet, as well as other student ensembles. He was also fortunate enough to perform a concerto with the WVU Chamber Winds during his tenure in Morgantown.

Dr. Johnson completed his D.M.A. in May of 2012. His primary horn teachers were Dr. Carrie Strickland, Dr. Darian Washington, Robert Pruzin, Calvin Smith, and Dr. Virginia Thompson. He has also had lessons with or performed in masterclasses for Bill Caballero, Gail Williams, David Jolley, Adam Unsworth, Lowell Greer, and Marian Hesse. Joseph is a member of the International Horn Society and served as the State Representative for West Virginia from 2009 until 12/2012.

Natalie Johnson
banjo, guitar, vocalist

Natalie Johnson, banjo, guitar, vocalist

Natalie has performed with numerous bluegrass luminaries including Sam Bush and Bela Fleck. She has performed at the prestigious MerleFest in North Carolina, and has performed with Custer’s Last Band as a founding member since 1990. Along with her fellow Custer’s Last Band members, Natalie is annually featured on the Southeastern Natural Science Academy Phinizy Swamp Soiree on the banks of the Savannah River, and is a regular performer on Appleby Library concert series in Augusta, Georgia. She gave the world premiere of Benji the Banjo with Carl Purdy and the Augusta Symphony Orchestra at the Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre in 2003.

In addition to being an extraordinary banjoist and guitarist Natalie is a composer; among her compositions is Powerful which showcases her virtuosity on the banjo. Natalie lives in Augusta, GA with her husband Wayne and is Administrative Nursing Supervisor of the ICU at University Hospital.

Lorraine Jones

Lorraine Jones - flute

Lorraine is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra Program. She is the flute instructor at AASU and conducts the Coastal Flute Choir. She is currently the principal flutist with the Hilton Head Orchestra, the Augusta Opera, and the Augusta Choral Society. Lorraine performs with the Lyra Vivace Chamber Orchestra and has performed with the Jacksonville, Alabama, Charleston, Augusta, Greenville and Toledo Symphonies; as well as The Atlanta Pops, Piccolo Spoleto, and the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado.

Lorraine was a member of the former Savannah Symphony Orchestra, playing flute and piccolo since 1983. Prior to joining the Savannah Symphony, Lorraine was a member of the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, and toured extensively throughout Mexico, Europe, Japan, and the United States. She also performed with the Camerata Pan America Woodwind Quintet and was principal flutist with the Orquesta Sinfonico de Mineria for many summer seasons.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, she is a graduate of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University (Ohio). Her primary teachers have been Judith Bentley and William Hebert.

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One thought on “Musicians”

  1. Kate,
    My son is getting married at our home in Evans on October 16, 2021 . It is a small wedding of approximately 130 people, and will be held outdoors. We are beginning to plan the music for the wedding and wanted to incorporate a “String Trio”with violin or viola, cello, and flute. My friend Stan Pylant, recommended that I contact you since you schedule wedding events through “In Praise of Music”. I would appreciate you contacting me so that we could discuss the possibilities of special wedding music.
    Jan Key

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