When Italian singer Andrea Bocelli takes the stage at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center on Feb. 9 for a Valentine-themed performance, two York County residents will perform in the orchestra’s horn section.
Christopher Griffin, Christopher George and Keelan Lovvorn, all French horn players and members of the Palmetto Horn Trio, will occupy three of the four seats. Lovvorn lives in Fort Mill, and George, a Northwestern High School graduate, is from Rock Hill. Griffin lives in Charlotte.
Bocelli, blind since the age of 12, has performed duets with Celine Dion, Ed Sheeran and Luciano Pavarotti. He is a crossover artist who has topped both classical and pop charts.
“I’m happy to get the chance to play with him and in front of that many people,” George said.
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A graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and Indiana University with a master’s degree in French horn performance, George plays with the Spartanburg Philharmonic, the Union Symphony, the Hendersonville Symphony and the Salisbury Orchestra.
Members of the Palmetto Horn Trio did not know that any other member of the trio had been selected.
“I was very excited to learn that my fellow members ... were also performing...,” Lovvorn said. “Recently, we all have been very busy and haven’t been able to play together as often as we would like.”
The group started the Palmetto Horn Trio out of a passion for their instruments and the desire to bring together a high-level chamber ensemble. Although roles sometime overlap, Lovvorn arranges most of the pieces and maintains the library. George covers social media and Griffin coordinates the practices and their locations.
The Palmetto Horn Trio has performed at weddings and street festivals as well as venues such as the International Horn Society Conference and the Rock Hill Chamber Music Series.
Lovvorn has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Georgia and a master’s degree in music performance from Michigan State University. Christopher Griffin serves on the faculty of UNC- Charlotte and at Wingate University. He has a doctorate in music from Southern California.
Bessie M. Meeks is a freelance writer who lives in Lake Wylie, S.C.