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.