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Music binds couple from Georgia, to Romania to Meridian

September 22, 2018

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — Living thousands of miles apart as children Levi and Teodora Mitze-Circiumaru never knew their love for music would one day bring the two together - or to Meridian.

Levi Mitze-Circiumaru teaches Algebra I at Meridian High School and Teodora is the organist at First Christian Church where the two attend. As a young girl in Romania, Teodora started playing the piano when she was in fourth grade. She later discovered in high school she wanted to play the organ and began to take private lessons.

Levi is also a musician having played the violin since the age of eight. He plays the violin at First Christian Church occasionally.

The two met when Teodora came to America in 2014 to pursue an Artist Diploma at Mercer University in Macon, Ga. Levi was at the university finishing his undergraduate degree in violin and computer science. Being from Romania Teodora said her first time to America was a little bit of a culture shock.

“The way people eat, shop, even the density of the city is different — like not so many houses,” Teodora Mitze-Circiumaru said. “You don’t necessarily need a car everywhere you go.”

Living in Romania

After finishing her Artist Diploma, Teodora was offered a job in Bucharest, the capital of Romania. During the year they were living there, Levi Mitze-Circiumaru had the opportunity to play with several professional orchestras. But, the best experience was when the two had a second wedding with Teodora’s family in Sibiu, Romania, Levi said.

“The ceremony was held at the Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary — it was an incredible experience,” Levi said. “This city is like a medieval town, well preserved. So much beautiful architecture with a deep history.

“While traveling and performing with the orchestras, I also got to see such beautiful country and mountains with great cultural venues. I had played with some semi-professional orchestras in the states during college, but it was awesome playing with professional orchestras.”

Moving back to the U.S.

After living in Romania for a year the Mitze-Circiumarus decided to return to the states so Teodora could get her doctoral degree at Florida State University. While living in Florida, Levi Mitze-Circiumaru became interested in a program — The Mississippi Teacher Corps. A program that eventually led them to Meridian.

“The program takes people who don’t have degrees in education but are suited to teach in a high need subject, like mathematics,” Mitze-Circiumaru said. “In return for a full tuition master’s degree from the University of Mississippi, you can commit to teaching for two years in a high need school somewhere in Mississippi.

“So they placed me in Meridian at Meridian High School. That’s how we came to live in Meridian.”

The Mitze-Circiumaru’s said since moving to Meridian a month ago they haven’t had much spare time, but when they do they enjoy playing music together, reading and watching movies.

“Teodora likes to cook, and I like to eat,” Levi Mitze-Circiumaru said. “We play music just for fun, and like to watch shows on Netflix.”

“Levi likes to swim, but I hate the water,” Teodora said. “We both like to play tennis but haven’t had time to do that. We look forward to what Meridian holds for us, because we are here for two years, for sure.”

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Information from: The Meridian Star, http://www.meridianstar.com

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