May 17, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Nephina Performs May 21 at First Baptist Church

Nephina features Valdosta State University's Nina Lutz on violin and Nephtali Santiago on guitar.

VALDOSTA — Nephina, featuring Nina Lutz on violin and Nephtali Santiago on guitar, will perform in concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 21, at “the acoustically brilliant” First Baptist Church in Downtown Valdosta. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.

Nephina’s program lineup will feature the world premiere of Chad Powers’s “Five Bagatelles for Violin and Guitar.”

“He composed this piece for Nephina at my request,” said Santiago, a member of the VSU Department of Music faculty. “It's a haunting piece of music.”

Powers is a graduate assistant and instructor at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and is pursing a Doctor of Music in theory/composition. His recent accomplishments include being accepted into the SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) National Conference, New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Bowling Green State University Graduate Conference on Music, Festival of New Music at Ball State University, and Electronic Music Midwest.

Nephina will also perform music by Mauro Giuliani, Isaac Albeniz, Antonio Lauro, Astor Piazzolla, and Santiago, who composed a piece titled “Valse alla Piazzolla,” an arrangement for violin and guitar of the legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone’s music from the classic film “Cinema Paradiso.”

“We're ending with a fun piece that we learned from Nina's dad who passed away a few years ago,” Santiago added.

Santiago holds a bachelor’s degree in guitar performance from Temple University, where he was the first guitarist to win the Concerto Soloists Competition, and a master’s degree from Yale University, where he was awarded the Charles H. Ditson Scholarship for outstanding scholarship and performance. He has performed in masterclasses for Oscar Gighlia, Sharon Isbin, Elliot Fisk, Jaap Shroder, and Manuel Barrueco.

Lutz is the string area chairwoman at VSU and has been concertmaster of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and first violinist of the VSU Faculty String Quartet since 1992. In addition to her activities in the VSU Music Department, she maintains a thriving private studio, teaching violin and piano, and performs in varying venues throughout the South Georgia area. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in performance from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in violin performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. She has performed with the Springfield Symphony, Fort Wayne Symphony, Chicago Ballet Orchestra, Savannah Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and more. In Germany she studied with Angela Sinell and worked with German composer and string player Bertold Hummel, subsequently performing the U.S. premiere of his Solo Violin Sonata. She also performed with the Würzburg State Theatre and the Bamberg Symphony, with whom she toured Spain extensively.

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