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SAVANNAH, GA – March 16, 2017 – The Savannah Philharmonic is set to present their next Chamber Concert Series performance at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8 at a new location. ‘Virtuosity at its Finest,’ an evening of show-stoppers, will be held at Trinity Church on Telfair Square in downtown Savannah. Trinity Church is a favorite chamber music venue, and the Philharmonic is fortunate that it is able to host this concert, which had to be moved. The Lutheran Church of the Ascension, where the concert was originally scheduled, is currently undergoing renovations.


The Savannah Philharmonic’s Concertmaster Sinisa Ciric, Chorusmaster and pianist Monica Dekle, principal flautist Jeana Melilli, and principal oboist Andrew Ripley will dazzle the audience with an evening of flashy and exciting showpieces. Selections will include Jules Demersseman’s Duo Brilliant for Flute and Oboe from Rossini’s William Tell, F. Borne’s Fantasy on Bizet’s Carmen, and “Sempre libera” from Verdi’s La Traviata. The musicians will stretch the boundaries of their instruments in these clever transcriptions of opera scenes and melodies.


Sinisa Ciric has performed in countless concerts as soloist and in chamber ensembles and orchestras. As a member of the Symphonic Orchestra of Serbian Radio Television and Belgrade Philharmonic, he cooperated with many international conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Christian Mandeal, Christian Badea and others. Ciric is a founding member of the Balkan Quartet, with whom he has performed in many concerts promoting the rich musical heritage of his native Serbia and the Balkans.


Monica Dekle is a prize-winning, nationally recognized musician. She is Director of Music and Organist at Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church and Chorusmaster for the Savannah Philharmonic. Dekle earned a Doctor of Music degree at the world-renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with double majors in Organ and Church Music and double minors in Choral and Instrumental Conducting and Music Education. She also holds a Master’s degree in Organ and Church Music from Baylor University, and the Artium Baccalaureus degree in Organ, Piano, and Accounting from Wesleyan College. Dekle has concertized across the United States and has led choral festivals and clinics on various topics for local musicians.


In addition to serving as the Education and Community Outreach Coordinator, Jeana Melilli has been the Savannah Philharmonic’s Principal Flute since the organization began. She is a native of Stockbridge, Georgia, and has earned a bachelor’s degree in Flute Performance from The Catholic University of America and a master’s degree from Northwestern University. Melilli is the piccolo/third flute for the Columbus (GA) Symphony Orchestra, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the South Carolina Philharmonic, as well as an extra musician for the Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Opera, Charleston Symphony, and other orchestras throughout the Southeast. She is a historical performance advocate and a founding member of the Savannah Baroque and the Vista Ensemble.


Andrew Ripley began playing the bagpipe at 14 years of age before being inspired by Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and switching to the oboe in high school. Ripley received a Pennsylvania Governor’s Scholarship to attend the Interlochen Arts Camp, and later earned his undergraduate and master’s degree from Julliard in New York. He also studied oboe at Indiana University, and returned to Savannah to join the Savannah Philharmonic in 2010. In addition to serving as principal oboist, Ripley aids in arranging chamber music shows and with the Savannah Philharmonic’s outreach program.


“Some of my favorite performances have been in the intimate setting of the Savannah Philharmonic’s Chamber Series. This April’s ‘Virtuosity at its Finest’ is no exception. Nineteenth century European audiences loved small, virtuosic pieces performed in their salons, so this concert’s program is perfect,” Melilli said. “I look forward to hearing my colleagues Sinisa Ciric, Andy Ripley, and Monica Dekle perform with flair. My own piece, Francis Borne’s Carmen Fantasy is full of familiar themes from Bizet’s Carmen, set in fun, technically challenging snippets that audiences have loved for over a century. These pieces are an excellent, flashy way to end our chamber series for the year.”


The Savannah Philharmonic is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus, and internationally acclaimed soloists. The Savannah Philharmonic aims to exhilarate, educate, and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community.


Tickets for ‘Virtuosity at its Finest’ cost $25 each and can be purchased by visiting www.savannahboxoffice.com. For more information about this performance or the Savannah Philharmonic, please visit www.savannahphilharmonic.org.


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