Written by Theresa Rose on March 2, 2015

With support from South Ottumwa Savings Bank, Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra is proud to present violinist Jessica Fellows as artist in residence for 2015. Ms. Fellows will perform for more than 20 school, community and service groups throughout Southeast Iowa from March 9 to 22, 2015. SEISO has sponsored residencies by outstanding performing artists since 1982, climaxing in solo concert performances with the Orchestra in the three major sponsoring communities: Burlington, Ottumwa and Mt. Pleasant. This year, Jessica Fellows will perform Saint-Saën’s Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and Dvořák’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra. Concerts with Fellows and the SEISO will be held Saturday, March 21 7:30 PM at the Capitol Theater in Burlington; Sunday, March 22, 3:00 PM at Indian Hills College St. John Auditorium in Ottumwa and again at 7:30 PM in the Iowa Wesleyan College Chapel Auditorium, Mt. Pleasant. In Burlington, the concert will be followed by a fundraising reception for the visiting artist in the lobby of the Hotel Burlington building.
Violinist Jessica Fellows currently attends the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University where she studies with Amy Schwartz Moretti, David Halen, and Robert McDuffie. Jessica started her violin studies at the age of three under the direction of her mother, and went on to begin her professional career in Oklahoma at the age of fourteen as a frequent soloist, and orchestral musician. She quickly won multiple positions in different orchestras throughout the state and the surrounding area, including the Tulsa Symphony, Signature Symphony, and Arkansas Philharmonic. In addition to this, she was also a former member and Assistant Concertmaster of the Bartlesville Symphony from 2009-2011. She has continued to develop her orchestral career outside of the Oklahoma area by winning positions as Principal Second with the Macon Symphony, and more recently, a position as a regular sub with the St. Louis Symphony. Solo accolades include those of being a national finalist in MTNA for the years of 2010, 2011, and 2014, receiving third place in both 2011 and 2014. In addition, Jessica has also made chamber and solo appearances at the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival in Harris Hall. It is interesting to note that Robert McDuffie is a former SEISO artist in residence.
Fellows will perform 2 full recitals during her residency in Southeast Iowa: 3:45 PM Wednesday, March 11 at Pennsylvania Place in Ottumwa and 7:00 PM, Tuesday March 17 at Zion United Church of Christ in Burlington Both recitals are open to the public and are offered free of charge. Pianist Cheryl Miller of Ottumwa will serve as Jessica’s accompanist throughout the two-week residency period. Mrs. Miller received her Bachelor of Music from Truman State University and has studied with William Doppman and Kenneth Amada at the University of Iowa. She is a teacher of piano at her private studio in Ottumwa. Cheryl Miller has graciously served as accompanist for SEISO’s Artist-in-Residence project since 1983.
The Southeast Iowa Symphony Artist-in-Residence Program has been nationally recognized by the League of American Orchestras and receives support from the Iowa Arts Council, Wapello County Foundation, Enhance Henry County Community Foundation, John Deere Foundation and Pennsylvania Place in Ottumwa. Dozens of volunteers have worked together to help make the 2015 Artist-in-Residence program a success.
Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra’s conductor, Robert McConnell says he and the Board of Directors feel that the Artist-in-Residence Program is one of the best ways to expose students to excellence in music and to encourage participation in the arts. “It is an important role for our regional orchestra to fulfill,” says McConnell. The Artist-in-Residence program is part of the educational component of the Southeast Iowa Symphony Orchestra, with all public residency recitals and classes offered free of charge.