July has been a busy month!
Last night, I performed with the Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus as part of the Sister Singers Network festival at Krannert. I soloed on viola with them for two pieces: a beautiful and haunting piece by Daniel Hall called “Reflections from Yad Vashem,” and a lively arabic-sounding piece by Abbie Betinis called “Songs of Hafez.” They are a fantastic choir with a great sound and interesting programming. It was a real pleasure to play with them!
Last weekend, I also performed on the final concert of the Prairie Ensemble. We played, as characteristic of the ensemble, a mixture of familiar and unfamiliar works: Britten’s
Soirées musicales, Butterworth’s “The Banks of Green Willow,” Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with our principal flautist Mary Leathers Chapman as soloist, and Beethoven’s 6th Symphony. I have performed with them a number of times over the past few years, each with interesting music ranging from Tango, to Chinese music with pipa. The loss of the Prairie Ensemble and its artistic director, Kevin Kelly, who also hosted the daily radio program “Live and Local” on WILL-FM will be a great loss to our community as Mr. Kelly moves on to new opportunities in the Chicago-area.
Upcoming performances on baroque viola are with a real Urbana rising star, Christopher Holman, for the final concert of his Urbana Bach Cantatas Project (Sunday, July 27th, 5pm, United Presbyterian Church in Urbana) and Lully’s “Armide” (Saturday, August 2nd at 7pm and Sunday, August 3rd at 3pm, performances at Smith Memorial Recital Hall). An expert organist and beautiful countertenor, Chris astounds me in every way with his talent, his artistic vision, and his professional and courteous way of working with everyone.