Bill Moody Performance Fund Recipients
With deep gratitude to all of you who have helped to honor our choir director of so many years, Bill Moody, through your contributions to the Bill Moody Performance Fund, we offer a listing of the wonderful performers who have honored us by performing during our services. These performers take our services to new spiritual heights and we are so honored to have them join us. Remember that it is possible to contribute to this fund at any time.
June 17, 2018
RYAN KNOTT is a performing cellist and teacher in the Columbia area. He studied with Dr. Robert Jesselson, distinguished professor at the University of South Carolina. Since graduating in 2014, Ryan began performing with several orchestras around the Southeast including the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Philharmonic. He has since taken his cello playing to new mediums and genres — performing and recording for artists including Josh Groban, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Cage the Elephant, Audiomachine, and more. Ryan also enjoys writing music and discovering new ways to push his cello to its creative limits.
SARAH LAND is a performing violinist, teacher, and yoga instructor in the Columbia, SC area. As an active orchestral violinist, Sarah has performed extensively throughout the Southeast with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, the Savannah Philharmonic and the Asheville Symphony. Beyond the classical genre, Sarah is grateful to have performed with Disturbed, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, THE Dubber, and 2Cellos. Sarah received her certification in Ashtanga Yoga from the Miami Life Center in 2016 and is currently training to become a Yoga Therapist. Sarah completed her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance at the University of South Carolina, graduating Summa cum Laude, and currently plays on a violin made in 1849 by George Craske. When she’s not performing, you can find Sarah practicing yoga, cooking vegan food, and spending time with her 3 rescue pups
February 17, 2018
Kiara Hayes, mezzo-soprano, is a freshman Music Education Major at the University of South Carolina School of Music. She is pursuing her Performance Certificate and studies voice with Dr. Donald Gray. In February of 2018, Kiara performed in a UofSC Voice Department Honors Recital dedicated to Dr. William J. Moody.
October 6, 2019
Celeste Wiest is from Lexington and graduated from Lexington High School in 2016. They received the John Phillip Sousa Band Award as well as participated in the SC Allstate band and orchestra. They are currently a Music Education major at the University of South Carolina. Studying under JD Shaw, they are also pursuing a Performance Certificate in French Horn. In their free time, they teach French Horn lessons to students around the Columbia area and volunteer to teach guitar for Girls Rock Columbia. They enjoy jazz and hanging out with their dog, Piper.
November 15, 2020
Thanks to the Bill Moody Performance Fund, the UUCC will welcome local cellist, Ryan Knott, to perform the Albinoni-Giazotto Adagio in G Minor in our Sunday, November 15 service. Ryan is a performing and recording cellist and teacher in the Columbia area. He performs with several orchestras around the Southeast including the South Carolina Philharmonic, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Rock Hill Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Philharmonic. Although trained as a classical cellist, he has since taken his cello playing to new mediums and genres — performing and recording for artists including Cage the Elephant, Tasha Cobbs, Josh Groban, Kill the Noise, and others. His YouTube channel, which features performances of songs ranging from rock to funk to dubstep, has a following of over 8,000 subscribers and over 2 million views. As part of the Joshua Messick trio Ryan has performed concerts across the US and Japan. Ryan has collaborated and recorded with several film trailer and television composers in Los Angeles — composers and companies include Mark Petrie, audiomachine, and Angry Mob Music, whose works have been featured in trailers for many major motion picture studios such as Disney, Marvel, Warner Brothers, and others. In his free time, Ryan enjoys writing music and discovering new ways to use his cello to its fullest creative limits.
Thanks to the Bill Moody Performance Fund, the UUCC welcomed performances from clarinetist, Dr. Alexander S. Kollias, during the month of December 2020! He was featured in several December Sunday services and also our December 19th Winter Sing, performing Hanukkah music collaborations with UUCC Music Director, Anna Hamilton. During the December 27 service, he featured Schumann’s Fantasy Piece, No. 1 for clarinet and piano. Kollias is an accomplished performer and teacher. He resides in Connecticut, and we are excited to welcome him to our virtual services this month!