Friends of Music Blog


The Friends of Music will present a Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra concert in Shepherdstown on Saturday, March 24.

The concert will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 7:30 p.m. Entitled “Pipe Dreams,” it will feature two concertos for organ and orchestra performed on the Church’s historic organ by Maryland organist Marvin Mills. The concertos will be George Frideric Handel’s Op. 4, No. 1 in G Minor and Op. 4, No. 4 in F Major. Also on the program will be Handel’s Overture to “Theodora” and Ottorino Respighi’s Suite for Strings. Admission to the concert will be free for Friends of Music members. The ticket price for others will be $25 per person ($22.50 before March 11). Tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at; or by mail (FOM, PO Box 220, Shepherdstown, WV 25443); or, if space is available, at the church the evening of the performance. Visa and Master Card will be accepted.

Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra Music Director Jed Gaylin will conduct. Noting that Handel was known as the greatest organist and composer of his day, Gaylin says the two concertos chosen for the concert are among the most “magnificently intimate” examples of Handel’s works.
Gaylin says the Overture to Theodora offers a “rich opulence of sound and texture,” and Respighi’s Suite “reworks the Baroque dance suite with beauty, clarity, and expression.”

The concert’s soloist, Marvin Mills, is organist at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Kensington, Maryland. He is also music director of the acclaimed National Spiritual Ensemble; a guest artist with the Ritz Chamber Players of Jacksonville, Florida; and a vocal coach/staff pianist at Morgan State University.
He has performed in concert with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Johns Hopkins Symphony, the Peabody Symphony, and the Jacksonville Symphony.
He has also appeared as guest artist with numerous choral groups, including the Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Washington Bach Consort, the Cathedral Choral Society, the Folger Consort, the Fairfax Choral Society, the Master Singers of Wilmington (DE), and the Eastern Michigan University Chamber Choir.

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. The Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra was established by the Friends in 2007. Gaylin was named Music Director in 2012. He also serves as the Music Director of Baltimore’s Hopkins Symphony Orchestra and the Bay Atlantic Symphony in New Jersey, and is an Artist in Residence at New Jersey’s Stockton University.

This year’s Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra Concerts are being supported by a grant from the WV Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

Feb. 25 Jigsaw Puzzle Event Will Benefit Friends of Music

The Friends of Music are sponsoring their Third Annual “Puzzle Mania” jigsaw puzzle competition in Shepherdstown the afternoon of Sunday, February 25.
The event will be a fundraiser for the Friends and its Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra.
It will be held starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Shepherd University Wellness Center on the West Campus.

The jigsaw puzzle competition will consist of up to 25 teams of four persons each. Each team will start with the same 500-piece puzzle and vie with all the other teams to complete the puzzle first. The winning team will be honored with a trophy. Participants must recruit their own four-person teams from friends, neighbors or family members. The fee to participate will be $100 per team. Organizations and businesses may sponsor teams if they wish.

This is intended as a fun, light-hearted event. It will be family-friendly, and children 10 and older will be welcome to join as team members.
Light refreshments will be served.

Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite (click here).

For more information, contact Heather Marshall at or 304-582-9998.


The Friends of Music will present the third concert of their 2017-2018 season on Saturday, January 13.
The concert will feature the Two Rivers String Quartet. It will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Shepherdstown.
Entitled “Contrasting Passions,” it will include two works:

• Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) — String Quartet No. 1 in E minor, From My Life (Z mého života)
• Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) — String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13

Jed Gaylin, the Music Director of Friends of Music, says both works show great passion, but their styles are very different. He says the Mendelssohn piece is “virtuosic, fleet, and intense, with moments, such as the final chorale, of magnificent serenity.” On the other hand, he says, Smetana’s quartet “is earthy, rooted in Slavic folk music traditions.”
Admission to the concert will be free for Friends of Music members. The ticket price for others will be $20 per person ($18 before December 31).
Tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at or by mail (FOM, PO Box 220, Shepherdstown, WV 25443). Visa and Master Card will be accepted.
If there is snow that makes travel difficult on January 13, the concert will be rescheduled to January 20.