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Introducing the Meridian Symphony Orchestra…

By Staff
special to The Star
March 21, 2004
Patrick Rafferty has been concertmaster of the Meridian Symphony Orchestra since 1994.
The concertmaster is the first violinist of the orchestra and plays occasional solo passages for violin in orchestral music. The British term for this position is "leader."
Born in Toledo, Ohio, Rafferty lives in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where he is professor of music at the University of Alabama.
The violin has been Rafferty's instrument of choice since age 5. Two years earlier, he had refused a toy plastic violin, "holding out" until his parents gave in and got him the "real thing."
Rafferty and his wife, Bobbie, have two children, daughter Erin, 15; and son, Sean, 12. In his spare time, Rafferty enjoys model railroads, and playing and listening to rock and jazz music.
Alexander Russakovsky is principal cello in the Meridian Symphony Orchestra. A native of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, Alexander teaches cello at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.
This talented cellist has been playing this beautiful string instrument for 26 years.
Performing with the cello is a family tradition.
Russakovsky loves music of all periods and all styles, and says he enjoys playing and listening to 50 or 60 composers' works.
In his spare time, Russakovsky plays piano, and studies languages, literature and history. In addition to his teaching duties at USM, he has private students and several are children from Meridian.
The next time you can hear and see these two musicians will be onstage with the Meridian Symphony Orchestra on April 3, at 8 p.m., when they are joined by the Meridian Community College Chorus, the Meridian Community Chorus and the Meridian Children's Chorus in a performance of Samuel Jones' oratorio, "The Temptation of Jesus."