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Tickets on sale now for Friends of Music concert

By Staff | Dec 18, 2015

Tickets are on sale now for the second concert of the Friends of Music’s current season, a special Martin Luther King Holiday Concert by the Two Rivers String Quartet.

The concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the Shepherdstown Opera House.

The concert will honor Dr. King with two works by pre-eminent African-American composers and two other works inspired by African-American music.

The works and their composers will be as follows:

“Panamanian Dances,” by William Grant Still.

“Lullaby,” by George Gershwin

“The American” String Quartet, by Antonin Dvorak

Three Rags: “The Entertainer,” “Solace,” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” by Scott Joplin.

Still is considered the “dean” of African-American composers. In these Dances, he created a work unlike anything that preceded it in the literature for strings by approximating the sounds of native instruments.

Composed in 1919, Gershwin’s Lullaby has its roots in the blues. It was heard as an aria in the opera Blue Monday until it was performed in its original string quartet form by the Julliard String Quartet in 1967.

Dvorak’s Quartet was based on his fascination with African-American spiritual music that he heard during his stay in New York.

Joplin’s Rags are among the best-loved of American music.

Admission to the concert will be free for Friends of Music members. The ticket price for others will be $20 per person ($18 before January 3). Seating at the Opera House is very limited, so those who want to purchase tickets are advised to do so early.

Tickets and Friends’ memberships can be purchased on the Friends’ website at www.friendswv.org or by mail (FOM, PO Box 220, Shepherdstown, WV 25443). Visa and Master Card will be accepted.

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 rotating principal violist of the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra in Washington, DC.

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.

The Friends of Music is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1999 to support and promote musical excellence in the Eastern Panhandle. For full information about the Friends and their concerts go to www.friendswv.org.