String Ensemble to Perform for National Music Festival’s Resonance Finale

Violinist Elizabeth Adams serves as a Mentor for the National Music Festival and is the leader of the Kassia Music Collective.

The ten musicians of the Kassia Music Collective & Friends will fill Chestertown’s Emmanuel Church with string music when they perform at 7:30pm on Saturday, April 22 to close the first season of Resonance, the National Music Festival’s chamber music series. Tickets are $20 and are available on the Festival’s website, www.nationalmusic.us, or at the door.

Before the concert, join us for Fabulous Finger Food, Wonderful Wine and Decadent Desserts! Dine in elegance at the famous Widehall home (101 N. Water Street) from 5pm to 7pm. Hear about the upcoming National Music Festival season from Artistic Director Richard Rosenberg, and about the story of Widehall from its owners. Then make the leisurely walk to the concert at Emmanuel Church. The proceeds will go support the Feed the Festival program of the NMF Hospitality Committee and will help serve apprentices and mentors during the Festival. Tickets are $50 and are available online at http://nationalmusic.us/get-involved/special-events/.

The Kassia Music Collective is a newly formed chamber ensemble dedicated to bringing contemporary music to the D.C. area. By focusing on the work of living composers, they play pieces that infuse classical music with different genres and styles, thereby shaping the direction of the western classical tradi­tion. They believe that contemporary music can entice listeners as it challenges them, can excite without abandoning the forms of music from the past, and can evolve without sacrificing beauty.

Their program includes a work by the group’s composer and pianist, Samuel Post, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s famous Concerto for Two Violins in d, and a string symphony by Mendelssohn.

As the program also features Phanos Dymiotis’ Suite for Strings, the National Music Festival has designated this event as the 9th Annual Phanos Project Concert. While The Phanos Project began, informally, before the formation of the National Music Festival, it is now a part of the National Music Festival organization. Dymiotis was a violinist and composer from Cyprus, who lived and performed in Maryland until his death at age 41 in a collision with a drunk driver. He performed frequently in Kent County and on the Eastern Shore. The Phanos Project was formed to keep his music playing.

The Kassia Music Collective & Friends concert is the finale of the National Music Festival’s fall-to-spring monthly Resonance chamber music series. Resonance was formerly Kent Chamber Music. For individual tickets as well as annual NMF and Resonance passes, go to: http://nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/tickets/

Potomac Winds to Perform at Saint Paul’s on February 5

The Potomac Winds’rich blend of flute, oboe, clarinet, horn and bassoon will fill the parish hall of historic Saint Paul’s Church on the afternoon of Sunday, February 5. The concert, at 3 pm, is the latest offering of the National Music Festival’s Resonance chamber music series (formerly Kent Chamber Music), which extends from October to April.

potomac winds

Potomac Winds players: Melissa Morales, clarinet; Amanda Dusold, oboe; Avery Pettigrew, horn; Ron Hall, bassoon; and Ceylon Mitchell, flute.

NMF 2015/2016 apprentice flutist Ceylon Mitchell and his fellow performers, all graduate students at the University of Maryland School of Music,say their program will be a musical “Straight Flush”:  Ibert’s “Three PiècesBrèves,” DeFalla’s ‘Four Spanish Dances,” Henri Tomasi’s “Five Secular and Sacred Dances” and Ligeti’s “Six Bagatelles.”  In a recent review, the Potomac Winds were praised for their “magnificent playing” and “dedication to excellence.”

Saint Paul’s is at 7579 Sandy Bottom Road in Chestertown, off Route 20 between Chestertown and Rock Hall. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased online or at the door; children and students are $5 at the door. For ticket information, go to http://nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/resonance/.

National Music Festival Gets in Tune with Nature

The National Music Festival and Adkins Arboretum will join forces to present a unique, free performance by the Mana Saxophone Quartet and students of the Mana Saxophone Institute on June 5, 2014 at 5pm. In keeping with the ensemble’s dedication to innovative performances that push the boundaries of conventional music, the beginning of the concert will take place in the Arboretum forest, allowing the musicians and audience members to experience the works in a new way. The nature-themed program may include Barbara Thompson’s “Green” from From Darkness into Light, Dimitri Terzakis’ Panta Rei (Everything Flows), and Roosters in Love, which is based on a painting by Marc Chagall.

The Mana Quartet, whose name references a supernatural force important in Polynesian culture that expresses energy and power, focuses on presenting vibrant performances of 21st-century music and bringing renewed interest to both well-known and hidden gems of the 20th century. The musicians’ devotion to the original designs of Adolphe Sax’s instruments brings a warm quality to their sound and a dynamic nature to their performances, which has helped redefine the medium with a new, yet traditional sound. As the first saxophone quartet to win the Grand Prize at the Coleman International Chamber Ensemble Competition in 2009, the Mana Quartet has quickly become an established member of the professional chamber music scene. The quartet returns to the National Music Festival for its third summer as Resident Chamber Ensemble and sixth annual Mana Saxophone Institute.

While the Mana Quartet brings a distinctive musical element to this event, the venue of the Adkins Arboretum also contributes to the unique nature of the concert. The Arboretum, located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, is a 400-acre native garden and preserve dedicated to promoting the appreciation and conservation of the region’s native plants. With over five miles of trails along rivers, across meadows and gardens, and through a bottomland forest, the Arboretum attracts nature-lovers of all ages.

This performance is just one of over 30 concerts occurring between June 1 and June 14 as part of the National Music Festival’s fourth season. The Festival, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, depends on generous donations and concert patronage. Tickets are available at the Chestertown Visitor’s Center (122 N. Cross Street, Chestertown) from 10am to 5pm, by phone (410-778-2064), or online at nationalmusic.us/events-and-tickets/tickets.