Joan Griffing, head of EMU’s music department, has been appointed concertmaster of the faculty orchestra at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp near Muskegon, Mich. She will take part in the festival Aug. 11-22.
The camp brings together 2,000 student musicians, artists, dancers and actors and accompanying faculty from around the country.
As concertmaster, Dr. Griffing will sit first chair in the first violin section of the orchestra, be responsible for tuning the orchestra at rehearsals and concerts, and serve as liaison between the conductor and the other musicians.
“I was surprised to receive this prestigious appointment because at a camp like Blue Lake, which has operated for 35 years, the concertmaster is likely to be chosen from players who have attended previous festivals,” Griffing said. “The role requires good interpersonal as well as fine musicianship skills. I do have considerable experience as an orchestral player as well as concertmaster, so my appointment probably means I was in the right place at the right time,” she added.
The professor is spending her summer involved in music festivals. She was concertmaster and soloist with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival at EMU in June, and then attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C., for five weeks in June and July. In the latter, she played first violin in the faculty orchestra, which gives five concerts, played chamber music with other faculty and guest artists, coached student chamber music groups and taught violin lessons.
Performances of the faculty orchestra, the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, are regularly broadcast on National Public Radio during the year on a program called “Performance Today.”
Griffing, who earned her doctorate from Ohio State University, joined the EMU music department in 1996.