A program of klezmer and klezmer-inspired music will be performed by Orchard Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in Mount Vernon Music Hall, 402 Leftwich St. in Mount Vernon.
Combining religious melodies from the synagogue and dance music from Russia and Eastern European cultures, klezmer is the traditional music of weddings and other celebrations.
Mount Vernon Music's “Shall We Klezmer?” program includes the entire palette of klezmer expressions, from the wail of the clarinet to the joyful drive of the fiddle. An intermission reception will feature bagels and toppings. Special guest performers will be John Scott, clarinet; Evan Mitchell, piano; Elise Belk, oboe; with Mark Miller, violin; and Ute Miller, viola.
Tickets are $10 for MVM members, $15 for non-members, and $5 for college students with valid ID. Children's admission through high school is free. Eighth graders and younger must be accompanied by an adult ticketholder.
Memberships in MVM start at $25 and support all the organization's work, including scholarships for young musicians and outreach work for schools and seniors. Memberships are good for the year June 1 through May 31, and members receive discounts on ticket pricing.
Mount Vernon Music is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 2005 to further the performance of classical and other fine music in rural East Texas.
For more information, call Mount Vernon Music at 903-563-3780 or visit www.mount vernonmusic.org.
John Scott is professor of music in clarinet at the University of North Texas. He was a longtime member of the Richardson Symphony Orchestra and has performed with the Dallas and the Fort Worth symphony orchestras, and as a recitalist and clinician throughout the United States. His performances have included the Victoria Bach Festival in Texas, the New York University Contemporary Music Festival, performances in Denver, Tempe, Lubbock, Salt Lake City, San Juan, Los Angeles, Ostend, Stockholm, London, Porto, Paris, Assisi and Tokyo as well as in recitals and teaching throughout Taiwan. He performs regularly with Chamber Music International (Dallas). His recordings include "Birdsongs, Romantic Chamber Music of Arthur Bird," “Equipoise” and “Wild Exotic Dances.” He is a member of the Texas Clarinet Consort.
Scott has been a member of the University of North Texas College of Music faculty since 1981. Prior to joining the UNT faculty he taught at Susquehanna University (Penn.) and Augusta State University (Ga.). He earned both the master of Mmsic and doctor of music degree in applied woodwinds and music literature from Indiana University, where he was a clarinet student of Henry Gulick. His former students have held positions in numerous orchestras, schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States and in premier military bands in Washington, D.C. Several have been winners, semi-finalists and prizewinners in the I.C.A. Young Artist Competition and Orchestral Competition.
Elise Belk is a freelance oboist in the DFW area. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Belik moved to Texas after completing a bachelor of music degree from Louisiana State University and a master of music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to maintaining a private oboe studio in Fort Worth, Belik serves as a faculty member at Texas Wesleyan University. She is also the owner of and reed-maker for Wildflower Reeds, providing supplies and hand-crafted oboe and English horn reeds. She lives in Fort Worth with her husband, Jacob, and children Finn and Fiona.
Now in his 19th season as concertmaster of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, violinist Mark Miller also performs with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and other area ensembles. He is a founder and president of Mount Vernon Music Association, a membership-based nonprofit devoted to bringing outstanding performances of classical, cultural and jazz chamber music to underserved audiences in rural Northeast Texas. He also co-directs the chamber series “The Color of Sound” at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where for 11 years he taught and performed as an artist-in-residence with his wife and violist Ute Miller, and the ensemble Duo Renard. Following studies at SUNY Purchase, Indiana University-Bloomington and Boston University, he studied with Jürgen Kussmaul in Germany, where he was assistant concertmaster in the Robert Schumann Kammerorchester of Düsseldorf and a member of the Orchester der Beethovenhalle Bonn. He maintains a private studio in Dallas.
Ute Miller is the principal violist of the East Texas Symphony, performs frequently with the Dallas and Fort Worth symphony orchestras and has appeared as a soloist with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. A founder and the treasurer of Mount Vernon Music Association, she performs with her husband Mark in the violin-viola ensemble Duo Renard, which was brought to Texas with a National Endowment for the Arts Rural Residencies chamber music grant. She also produces the Color of Sound series at Texas A&M-Commerce, where she was artist-in-residence.
Ute's musical studies include the prestigious Konzertexamen diploma from the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf, and a year at Boston University as a student of Raphael Hillyer. In addition to playing with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, she served for seven years as assistant principal violist of the Gürzenich Orchester/ Cologne Philharmonic, and for eight years as principal violist of the Dallas Opera Orchestra.
Pianist Evan Mitchell's recent highlights include debuts on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (Chicago), at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), and at several major venues in Shanghai. He has played concerti with the symphony orchestras of Dallas and Fort Worth, among others, and collaborated in recital with such major figures as double bassist Gary Karr and clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi. The 2016-17 season finds Mitchell soloing with the Sherman Symphony Orchestra (Brahms, Concerto No. 2), performing on Cliburn at the Modern concerts in both fall and spring, returning to Mount Vernon Music, and much more.
Mitchell's new recording with bassist Szymon Marciniak is earning rave reviews; most recently, Bass World called their performances “intoxicating,” deeming this “a seminal recording.” Evan is also featured on the 2012 release “Piano de Pampa y Jungla: A Collection of Latin American Piano Music.”
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