Sunday, May 13, 2007

Three Quartets of 101 Flyers Combine for Chamber Music Concert

The Meadowood Quartet, Springville Quartet, and Friends of Mozart quintet--three chamber music ensembles comprised of players from various North Coast communities—will take the Fulkerson Recital Hall stage on Sunday night, May 13, in what participants hope will be the first of a regular series.

“The idea is to present two of these concerts each year, during breaks in HSU’s academic year,” said Valgene Phillips, coordinator for the event, who is also a past chairman of the HSU Music Department. “ The purpose is to give community players a good place to play, and give local audience more live chamber music concerts.” Facilitated by current chairman, Kenneth Ayoob, the Music Department is sponsoring the evening.

But though this is the first such event, most of the performers will not be new to Fulkerson Recital Hall. “They’ve been on that stage many times, as HSU students, Humboldt Symphony members and participants in summer workshops,” Phillips said. But they are returning in a new way.

The difference this time is not only that these ensembles are small (four or five members each), or that they play a particular kind of music. It’s that these groups organize themselves, and they come from communities all over the North Coast.

“Our players are ‘101 Flyers,’” Phillips said. “They live in communities between McKinleyville and Redway. They meet in someone’s home every week to play, just as chamber music groups did in Mozart’s time.” The three groups include residents of Eureka, Fortuna, Arcata and Blue Lake as well as McKinleyville and Redway.

Many such groups never play in public, Phillips said, but these three ensembles have been preparing for this concert for months. “They coach themselves, refining the music they’ve selected over several months of weekly rehearsals.”

Since each group has a different combination of instruments, Sunday’s audience will be presented with a variety of chamber music sounds. The Medowood Quartet is a string quartet: Betty Bliss (Redway) and Marilyn Page (Arcata) playing violins, Stefan Vaughan (Eureka) viola, and Eric Jones (McKinleyville) cello. For this first concert they will play Haydn’s Quartet in G and Carlos Gardel's “Tango.”

The Springville Quartet features four French horns. Michael Thompson (Redway) Christine Foreman (Fortuna) Robert Peoples (Eureka) and ValgenePhillips (McKinleyville) will play two works by Russian composers, and shorter pieces by Lowell Shaw and Val Phillips.

Friends of Mozart is a quintet: Felicia Oldfather (from McKinleyville) on piano, Ellen Weiss (Arcata) on oboe, Gwen Rust (McKinleyville) on clarinet, Justin Sousa (Blue Lake) on bassoon and Val Phillips on French horn. They will play Mozart’s Quintet in E Flat for Piano and Winds.

The chamber music concert begins at 8 PM on Sunday, May 13 in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $8 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. A production of the HSU Music Department.

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