MATTOON -- Trinity Episcopal Church of Mattoon is scheduled to host its fourth Centennial Organ Recital at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Richard Rossi, director of orchestral and choral Activities at Eastern Illinois University, will be at the church's pipe organ along with the Downstate String Quartet.

Downstate Strings members Terry Coulton, Elaine Fine and Martha Lhamon were members of the LeVeck String Quartet, which served as the artists in residence for a performing art series hosted by Lake Land College in the 1990s. Sharilyn Spicknall joined the ensemble as the first violinist in 2005 and the group changed its name to Downstate Strings to reflect the region where they perform.

Spicknall, Coulton, and Lhamon are principal players in the Eastern Symphony Orchestra, which is conducted by Rossi. They also work as teachers with the orchestra’s Student Honors Initiative Program.

At Eastern, Rossi also directs the Eastern Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, and Oratorio Society. He teaches graduate and advanced undergraduate conducting and organ, and a variety of other courses. In fall 2006, Rossi established and directed both the Sinfonia and the Camerata Singers as part of the Collegium Musicum early music ensembles at EIU.

Rossi continues to perform recitals as a concert pianist, accompanist and organist. In addition, he has had an extensive singing career as a countertenor. He also has been the organist at First Presbyterian Church in Champaign since 1998.

Following Sunday's recital, a reception will follow in the under croft of the church. The final recital for this series will be held on Nov. 19. This will be the 100th anniversary of the first organ built by Reuter Organ Co.


Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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