Jerry Curry, Harpsichord, is well-known throughout the southeast as a consummate performer of Baroque music. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where since 1970 he taught, and after retiring in 2007, continues to teach undergraduate and graduate music theory and harpsichord. In addition, he is sought after for his knowledge of Baroque performance practice.
Dr. Curry has performed as soloist and chamber musician with numerous musical groups at the university, in the state and around the region. He was harpsichordist with the Columbia Consort and plays continuo with the South Carolina Philharmonic.
In the late 1960's, while at the University of Iowa working on a Ph.D. in music theory, Dr. Curry performed in an ensemble directed by the well-known early music specialist Robert Donington. That experience began a life-long fascination with Baroque performance practice. He subsequently studied in master classes with the French harpsichordist Kenneth Gilbert.
Jean Hein, Baroque Recorder, is a founding member of the Columbia Baroque Soloists. She was previously a member of the Baroque Soloists of Illinois, Director of the St. Luke’s Recorder Ensemble in Oklahoma City and featured as recorder soloist on the St. Luke’s “Sunday at Five” Concert Series in Oklahoma City. Hein has toured Ireland and Wales performing Baroque and Celtic music and presented recorder recitals in the Midwest, Southwest and several Southeastern states. She has studied recorder with Barbara Weiss and Michael Lynn.
Ms. Hein has extensive experience as a clarinetist. Currently Hein is Instructor of Clarinet at Claflin University and teaching for the Palmetto Center for the Arts. She maintains a large clarinet studio in Columbia. Hein has performed as a clarinetist with orchestras and ensembles throughout the Midwest and Southeastern US. She has been on the faculty of Columbia College, Cornell College and Coe College. Honors include the Berry Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition and the Legacy Award received with Timothy Hein for founding and serving as Executive Director for “Arts at St. Luke’s.” She holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern University, with further study at the University of Iowa, and summer study at Indiana University and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute.
Brittnee Siemon, mezzo-soprano, is the principle vocalist for the Columbia Baroque Soloists. Her performance career spans United States and abroad, and she has been affiliated with well-known ensembles at Boston’s Old South Church, the Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque. As a concert soloist in the Southeast, Dr. Siemon has appeared with the South Carolina Philharmonic, The Augusta Symphony and Choral Society, the Columbia Choral Society, and the St. Augustine Music Festival. Her recital accomplishments include premiers of early and modern works, and a debut at Jordan Hall in Boston.
In appearances with the Harvard Early Music Society, the Boston Globe hailed her Baroque operatic roles as, “poignantly sung…florid, yet substantial,” and span the interpretation of both the Rameau and Monteverdi Orfeo, to the title role in Jepthe (Vivaldi). Dr. Siemon has also given notable classical and contemporary operatic performances with The Spartanburg Repertory Company, Greenville Light Opera, Inspiration Point Fine Artist’s Colony, and the Orlando Opera.
Originally from Springfield, Ohio, she holds degrees carrying Academic and Performance Distinction from Ohio University, the University of South Carolina, and the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Dr. Siemon has served on the music faculties of Rollins College, Columbia College, Charleston Southern University, and Jacksonville University. She is currently Head of Voice at The Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC, and is an active teacher and clinician.
Gail Ann Schroeder, Viola da Gamba, graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Music in Music History. She then furthered her performance studies on the viol at the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, where she subsequently taught from 1988-2002.
She has performed as guest artist with numerous ensembles including Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, the Huelgas Ensemble, the Dutch Radio Philharmonic and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, has participated in radio and television productions throughout Europe, and on CD recordings for DHM, Sony Classical, Ricercar and Erato.
Since returning to the USA in 2006, she has taught at numerous workshops for the Viola da Gamba Society of America, the Amherst Early Music Festival and Mountain Collegium.
As a conductor, scholar and performer on the Baroque Recorder, Timothy Hein is at the forefront of the early music movement in South Carolina. He is the Executive/Artistic Director of the Columbia Baroque Soloists, which he founded in 2007. The ensemble specializes in French and Italian 17th and 18th century chamber music, played on instruments of the period, at authentic low-pitch and temperament. Dr. Hein performs on treble recorder and voice flute.
Currently he is researching chamber music and musicians of colonial Carolina from the settlement of the colony to the Revolutionary War. Dr. Hein has conducted ensembles in Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, Ireland, and seventeen American states. Music critics have called him “an imposing figure on the podium.” “Hein knows how to inspire his people.” “His tenure was golden years full of energy, optimism and accomplishment.”
In 2004 he received the Award of Distinction from the National Religious Music Week Alliance “for developing and maintaining one of our nation’s finest worship music programs,” and in 2007 he and his wife were presented with the Legacy Award from “Arts at St. Luke’s” for their work in developing and nurturing that organization. Formerly, he performed and toured as recorder soloist with the Baroque Soloists of Illinois and was on the faculty of Aurora University.