FRIENDS OF MUSIC WILL LAUNCH NEW CONCERT SEASON SEPT. 23 IN SHEPHERDSTOWN

The Friends of Music will launch their new concert season on September 23 with a performance by the Two Rivers String Quartet and a featured clarinet. The concert will be held in Shepherdstown’s Trinity Episcopal Church, on German Street, at 7:30 p.m. The program will include two works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Quartet No. 21 in D Major and his Clarinet Quintet in A Major; and “Bagatelles for Clarinet and Strings”(Op. 23), by 20th Century British composer Gerald Finzi. Admission to the concert will be free for Friends of Music members. The ticket price for others will be $20 per person ($18 before September 10). Memberships and tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at www.friendswv.org 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.

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It is governed by a board of directors made up of local-area citizens. For more information contact the Friends at 304-876-5765 or info@friendswv.org. This year’s concert season is supported in part 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.

The featured clarinetist for the September 23 concert will be David Drosinos. Mr. Drosinos has performed in Greece, Ireland, Moscow, Finland, the Bahamas and all over the continental U.S. He teaches at The Baltimore School for the Arts, The Peabody Preparatory, and Shepherd University. The Two Rivers String Quartet includes the following musicians:
Heather Austin-Stone, Violin. Ms. Austin-Stone is currently the Concertmaster of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the Assistant Concertmaster with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and a section 1st violinist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra.
Camilo Perez-Mejia, Cello. Mr. Perez-Mejia is a member of the Temple Trio, Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, and principal cellist for the National String Symphonia. He is also the Music Director and Conductor of the Charles Washington Symphony. Dana Rokosny, Viola. Ms. Rokosny is principal violist of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras in the Baltimore-Washington area. Petr Skopek, Violin. Mr. Skopek is a member of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra and the Shippensburg Festival Orchestra.

click here for concert poster

FRIENDS OF MUSIC ANNOUNCES NEW CONCERT SEASON

FRIENDS OF MUSIC ANNOUNCES NEW CONCERT SEASON 

The Friends of Music has announced the schedule for its 2017-2018 performance season.
The season will run from September 2017 through May 2018. For the first time, the number of concerts by the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra is being expanded to three. There will also be two concerts by smaller ensembles, for a total of five concerts in all.
All of the concerts will be held in Shepherdstown’s historic Trinity Episcopal Church, which offers superb acoustics.
The first concert will be a small ensemble concert on Saturday, September 23 at 7:30 p.m. It will feature the Two Rivers String Quartet plus a Clarinet. The program will include Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, Mozart’s Quartet in D Major No. 21, and Gerald Finzi’s Bagatelles for Clarinet and Strings.
The other concerts will be as follows:

• Saturday, November 18, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. The program, entitled “Joyful Noise,” will include Schumann’s “Träumerei;” Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2; and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. The featured soloist will be the Beijing-born violin virtuoso Ruotao Mao. This concert is dedicated to the memory of the late Sherman Ross, a longtime Friends of Music patron.

• Saturday, January 13, 2018 (snow date January 20), 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers String Quartet. The program, entitled “Contrasting Passions,” will include Felix Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 2, and Bedrich Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1.

• Saturday, March 24, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. The program, entitled “Pipe Dreams,” will feature Handel’s Overture to “Theodora;” Handel’s Organ Concerto Opus 4, No. 1 and No. 4; and Respighi’s “Suite for Strings.” The featured soloist will be organist Marvin Mills.

• Saturday, May 19, 2018, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. The program, entitled “Czech it Out,” will include Gounod’s “Petite Symphonie,” Op. 216; Janacek’s “Mládí (Youth) Suite;” and Dvořák’s Serenade for Winds in D Minor, Op. 44.

Admission to all of the concerts will be free for Friends of Music members. The fee for annual memberships is $145 per person. Non-members will be able to purchase tickets for individual concerts; the price will be $25 per person for Orchestra concerts and $20 per person for small-ensemble concerts.
Friends’ memberships and tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at www.friendswv.org 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.
The Friends of Music is an independent, local non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It is governed by a board of directors made up of local-area citizens.
The Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra is the only professional chamber orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and one of only three in the state. It was established by the Friends of Music in 2007 and has been sustained by the Friends since its inception. Dr. Jed 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 Artist in Residence at New Jersey’s Stockton University.
This year’s Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra concerts are 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.

FRIENDS OF MUSIC RECEIVES ARTS GRANT

FRIENDS OF MUSIC RECEIVES ARTS GRANT

The Friends of Music announced today it has received an arts grant totaling $7,332.

The funds are coming from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The grant will be used to support the Friends’ Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra during the upcoming 2017-2018 Friends of Music concert season.

The season, which begins in September, will include three concerts by the Orchestra and two more concerts by small ensembles. All of the concerts will be held in Shepherdstown’s Trinity Episcopal Church. Season details will be announced in early August.

The Friends received a similar grant from the same agencies last year.

“We’re delighted and honored to receive financial assistance once again from the Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment,” said Friends of Music board president Linda Walker. “We’re working hard to provide high-quality classical music to the community, and this grant will be a big help.”

Friends of Music Award Scholarship to Shepherdstown High School Senior

Ally WardThe Friends of Music have awarded a $500 scholarship to Ally Ward, a graduating senior at Jefferson High School.

The scholarship was presented at the school’s annual Band Awards Night the evening of May 16.

Ally, who lives in Shepherdstown, will be attending Penn State in the fall to study music education with Dr. Velvet Brown.

She has compiled a strong record of accomplishment in music at JHS.

She is a four-year All State Tuba player and this year was selected to perform with a National Ensemble of high school musicians in Grapevine Texas.

She has performed with the West Virginia University Honor Band, the Shepherd University Honor band, and the Region IX Honor Band.

She has been recognized within the Jefferson High School Cougar Band by winning the David Wilson Jazz Award and the Above and Beyond Award, as well as serving as sousaphone section leader and camp commander in the marching band.

Her very proud parents are Liz and Mike Ward.

The scholarship is part of a larger effort by the Friends of Music to help support music education in local schools. The Friends are dedicating a total of $3,500 to that purpose this year.

FRIENDS OF MUSIC DONATE $500 TO SHEPHERDSTOWN MIDDLE SCHOOL JAZZ BAND 

The Friends of Music have donated $500 to the Shepherdstown Middle School’s award-winning Jazz Band.

The check was presented during Band class at the school on Thursday, April 13.

The accompanying photo shows members of the class with Friends of Music Board members Andrew McMillan and Linda Walker, left. Band teacher Chad Conant is on the far right, at the end of the back row of students.

The funds will be used toward the purchase of a new Fender Standard 4-String Jazz Bass Guitar. The total cost of the guitar will be $549; the remaining $49 will be covered by the school’s Band program, with funds raised by Band students through their annual fundraiser.

Friends of Music President Kenneth Mann said the donation is part of a larger effort by the Friends of Music to help support quality music education in local schools. He said the organization is dedicating a total of $3,500 to this purpose this year.

The Shepherdstown Middle School Band program is highly regarded in the region and statewide. Under Ms. Conant’s leadership, the school’s bands frequently win high honors in competitions. The Jazz Band has been named the state’s best middle school jazz band four times in the last six years.

The school’s Band program also puts a premium on community outreach. The Jazz Band each year performs at several community events, including the Sounds of Fall Community Concert at Asbury United Methodist Church, the Shepherdstown Community Thanksgiving Service, a meeting of the Shepherdstown Rotary Club, and a concert at Canterbury Nursing Home.

The Friends of Music organization is a Shepherdstown-based, nonprofit that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It supports the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the only professional classical music orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one of only three of such orchestras in the state.

FRIENDS OF MUSIC MAKES DONATION TO BERKELEY CO. SCHOOLS ORCHESTRA PROGRAM

From Left: Linda Walker, Haylee Harding, and Eva DelGallo

The Friends of Music organization has donated two new violas to the Berkeley County Schools Orchestra Program.

The instruments were presented at a Friends of Music concert held the evening of March 25 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Shepherdstown.

On hand to receive the instruments were the Orchestra Program’s Director, Eva DelGallo, and one of her top students, Eighth Grader Haylee Harding from Musselman Middle School.

The violas are valued at $375 each, for a total of $750.

Friends of Music President Kenneth Mann said the donation of the violas is part of a larger effort by the Friends of Music to help support music education in local schools. He said the organization is dedicating a total of $3,500 to that purpose this year. He said the Friends are especially glad to be able to help the Berkeley Schools Orchestra Program because the Program’s quality and reach are so exceptional.

The Program, also known as the Berkeley County Strings Program, was initiated by Mrs. DelGallo in 1996 with a grant from the Millbrook Orchestra. It eventually moved under the umbrella of the Berkeley County Board of Education, with Mrs. DelGallo as its Director.

Under Mrs. DelGallo’s leadership, the Program has grown to employ five string teachers who provide string education to more than 600 students in four high schools, six middle schools and six intermediate schools across Berkeley County.

The Program also maintains two select orchestral ensembles for students: an All County High School Symphony Orchestra and an All County Middle School Chamber Orchestra. Both ensembles are highly regarded; the Middle School Orchestra placed second in the West Virginia State Orchestra Festival last year.

The Friends of Music is a Shepherdstown-based, non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It supports the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra, the only professional classical music orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and one of only three in such orchestras in the state.

New FOM Concert Season Announced

The Friends of Music has announced the schedule for its 2016-2017 performance season.

The season will run from November 2016 through June 2017. It will include two concerts by the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra and three concerts by small ensembles.

All of the concerts will be held in Shepherdstown’s historic Trinity Episcopal Church, which offers superb acoustics.

The first concert will be an all-Mozart program by the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. The program will include Mozart’s Symphony No. 39, the overtures to the “Marriage of Figaro” and “Cosi Fan Tutte,” and arias from these and other Mozart operas sung by Washington DC-based soprano Jennifer Casey Cabot. The Orchestra’s Music Director, Jed Gaylin, will conduct.

Admission to all of the concerts will be free for Friends of Music members. The fee for annual memberships is $145 per person. Nonmembers will be able purchase Tickets for individual concerts; the price will be $25 per person for Orchestra concerts and $20 per person for small-ensemble concerts.

Friends’ memberships and tickets can be purchased on the Friends’ website at www.friendswv.org 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.

The other concerts in the Friends of Music’s 2016-2017 performance season will be as follows:

• Saturday, January 14, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers String Quartet. A Martin Luther King Weekend concert with an all-American program that includes Samuel Barber’s String Quartet in B-minor, Op. 11, and works by Duke Ellington, Quincy Porter, and Scott Joplin.

• Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. The program, entitled “Songs and Dances of Love,” will feature Brahms’ “Liebeslieder Walzer,” arranged for strings; Elgar’s “Serenade;” and the Marimba Concerto No. 1 by Brazilian composer Ney Rosauro. The featured artist will be percussionist Michelle Humphreys.

• Saturday, April 29, 2017, 7:30 p.m. Two Rivers Piano and Woodwind Ensemble. Works to be performed will include Beethoven’s Quintet for Piano and Winds in E, Op. 16.

• Sunday, June 25, 2017, 3:00 p.m. Two Rivers Brass Quintet. This special summertime concert will feature a collection of bright and lively works appropriate to the season.

In addition to on-street parking in the vicinity of the church for all the Friends concerts, free parking will be available at the Bavarian Inn’s upper parking lot for the Friends’ Orchestra concerts, with free shuttle bus service to and from those concerts. Shuttle buses will not be available for the small-ensemble concerts.

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence. It was originally associated with Shepherd University but now operates on its own. It is governed by a board of directors made up of local-area citizens.

The Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra is the only professional chamber orchestra in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and one of only three in the state. It was established by the Friends of Music in 2007 and has been sustained by the Friends since its inception. Dr. Jed 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 Artist in Residence at New Jersey’s Stockton University.

Friends of Music Receives State Grant

The Friends of Music has received a $8,023 grant from the state of West Virginia.

The funds are coming from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The grant will be used to support the Friends’ Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra during the upcoming 2016-2017 concert season.

The season, which begins in November, will include two concerts by the Orchestra and three more concerts by small ensembles. All of the concerts will be held in Shepherdstown’s Trinity Episcopal Church. Season details will be announced later this month.

“We’re very pleased and honored to receive this financial assistance from the Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment,” said Friends of Music board president Kenneth Mann. “It reflects well on the quality of music we’re providing to the community, and on the hard work of our excellent Music Director, Jed Geylin, and our board of directors and volunteers.”

Award-Winning Beethoven Biography Available at Four Seasons Books

Friends of Music have ordered the famous, out-of-print biography Beethoven, by Maynard Solomon and it is now available at Four Seasons Books. The paperback book is priced at $9.00 and Members can receive a 15% discount on the price by showing their membership cards.

Of interest is that Solomon was one of the founders of Vanguard records, which propelled the folk and rock artists in the 1950’s and 60’s, including Joan Baez. He signed Paul Robeson for the Vanguard label at the height of the McCarthy era. Later he began a second career as a musicologist and author, publishing major works on both Mozart and Beethoven.

Solomon’s Beethoven, originally published in 1977, won the ASCAP—Deems Taylor Award for Best Music Book when it was released. The book generally follows Beethoven’s life chronologically and offers a Selective Bibliography and Index of Compositions at the back.

Soloman has some interesting observations about Beethoven’s First Symphony, a work to be performed by the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra on November 7, 2015. The First was scored for the standard orchestra used by Haydn and Mozart, whose last efforts in the form were only a decade or so earlier. It was one of Beethoven’s most popular symphonies during his lifetime, but was not regarded as an imitative work, particularly because of the “off-key” opening and the “striking use of the timpani.”

Completed in 1800, the First received a warm reception in most of Europe and England in particular. But the French were not favorably impressed with Beethoven’s music. He remarked that “the French find my music beyond their power of performance.” This is ironic because it has been shown that Beethoven adopted aspects of French Revolutionary music in the First, as well as other early compositions. Concert goers will be certain to enjoy the performance of the First Symphony on November 7 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Osvaldo Golijov – A Composer of Passion and Controversy

Osvaldo Golijov grew up in an Eastern European Jewish household in La Plata, Argentina. Born to a piano teacher mother and physician father, Golijov was raised surrounded by classical chamber music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla.

After studying piano at the local conservatory he moved to Jerusalem in 1983, where he immersed himself in the colliding musical traditions of that city. Upon moving to the United States in 1986, Golijov earned his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.

In the early 90’s Golijov began to work closely with two string quartets, the St. Lawrence and the Kronos. Both ensembles were the earliest to project Golijov’s volatile and category-defying style in its full form. In 2002, EMI released Yiddishbbuk, a Grammy-nominated CD of Golijov’s chamber music, celebrating ten years of collaboration with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. This recording contains Last Round, the Golijov piece to be performed by the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra on November 7, 2015.

Golijov’s masterpiece is the St. Mark Passion, which visually reimagines Bach’s Passions on the streets of Cuba and Brazil.  It was commissioned for the European Music Festival, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death. The work was premiered in Stuttgart on September 5, 2000, where it received a 25-minute standing ovation and was widely hailed by critics as establishing a new voice for classical music at the dawn of the 21st century. A true pan-American passion, this is a theatrical and original carnival of South American singing, dancing and drumming. It turned Golijov into the most feted young composer in America.

In 2003, Golijov was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship for his work to that point. Since then he has composed a number of works for the singer Dawn Upshaw. He is Loyola Professor of Music at the College of Holy Cross in Massachusetts.

Golijov’s career has not been without controversy. He came under scrutiny in 2011 for a series of high-profile commissions that were either delayed or cancelled. Questions of musical plagiarism have also been raised about Golijov. An article in The New Yorker in 2012 detailed the claim that Golijov had copied the work of composer Michael Ward-Bergeman in Golijov’s Sidereus, a work commissioned by thirty-five orchestras that was supposed to be 25 minutes long, but turned out to be 9 minutes.

One thing that can be said for certain about Golijov is that his music is spirited and unusual. We will write more about Last Round in a future blog post.