Performances by Renowned Musical Artists this September, October ** Aligned Programming for Youth Also to be Offered **

News Release, Music From Popular Hill

July 29, 2020 (Valley Lee, MD) – Music from Poplar Hill: The Jo Ricks Music Series debuts in Southern Maryland this fall with two weekends of concerts and youth-oriented events. This exciting new series brings acclaimed classical, jazz, blues, and world-music artists who are based in Baltimore, Richmond, Washington, DC, and other nearby cultural centers to St. Mary’s County. Visiting artists will offer a Friday evening performance, and then aligned youth-oriented activities the following day. Complete information is available at

The inaugural season features:

September 18-19, 2020

ROCHELLE RICE, the award-winning and jazz-inspired vocalist and composer. Ms. Rice is a regular solo artist on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage and at The Music Center at Strathmore, as well as at the best- known DC jazz clubs. She was a featured soloist at the Grand Opening of the American Museum of African American Culture and History.

Learn more about Rochelle Rice at

October 2-3, 2020

THE STERN/ANDRIST DUO, the critically acclaimed classical violinist James Stern and pianist Audrey Andrist. Each is a Juilliard graduate and a nationally respected solo artist. These master musicians have performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the White House.

Learn more at

Youth programming

A key feature of the series is youth-oriented events on Saturdays following the Friday evening concerts. On Saturday, September 19 from 9 to 10:30, Rochelle Rice will present And We Shall March, an interactive program for all ages on songs of the Civil Rights movement. And on Saturday, October 3 from 9AM to 4PM, James Stern and Audrey Andrist will offer master classes for talented local young musicians. More info about these events is available at

“We’re delighted to add to the cultural offerings in Southern Maryland with Music from Poplar Hill: The Jo Ricks Music Series,” says the series’ Artistic Director, Eliza Garth. “Residents here will be able to enjoy the talents of established artists from nearby cultural centers, right here in our community. And, of course, we welcome concert-goers from the region to visit St. Mary’s County, attend our events and discover the geographical beauty and friendly vibe we offer.”

  • Tickets for the September 18 and October 2 performances are available online at Music from Poplar Hill Tickets; space is limited, performances are open seating.
  • Saturday events are open to the public, all ages, free of charge. Rochelle Rice’s Saturday morning program, while free, requires reservations:

All events of Music from Poplar Hill are small gatherings, and are conducted in accordance with CDC-recommended safety guidelines, including safe-distance and sanitation practices.

All performances will take place in the recently restored sanctuary of historic St. George’s Episcopal Church, located at 19167 Poplar Hill Road in Valley Lee, MD. The space offers beautiful acoustics and a fine Steinway piano, and there is free parking for all attendees.

This new cultural offering is funded by the generosity of the St. Mary’s County Arts Council, SMECO, The Dragonfly Foundation, members of the Music from Poplar Hill Founders Circle, and many individual donors.

Music from Poplar Hill: The Jo Ricks Music Series was created to bring acclaimed classical, jazz, and world-music artists to Southern Maryland for the artists to share their music through affordable live performances and to share their musical knowledge through educational events for children and youth. Music from Poplar Hill: The Jo Ricks Music Series embodies the spirit of Jo Ricks, a member of the Southern Maryland and Washington, DC communities who had a gift for bringing people together through music, and was created on the belief that music nourishes the spirit, enriches life, and promotes a sense of community among people.

For additional information: