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EMU Sets Music Programs for Children and Parents

Posted on January 8th, 2008

Lynne Mackey and Joan Griffing of EMU
Lynne Mackey (seated) and Joan Griffing are EMU members of the recently-formed “Harmonia Musica” ensemble that will perform Jan. 18 and 19 on campus. Photo by Jim Bishop

This ensemble formed in 2007 with a goal “to promote peace and cultural understanding through musical collaboration.”

All five musicians have experienced life and performed in countries including Brazil, Australia, France, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Group members are Lynne Mackey, pianist; Joan Griffing, violinist; Diane Phoenix-Neal, violist; Beth Vanderborgh, cellist; and Luciano Carneiro, bassist.

Now, “Musica Harmonia” is launching an effort to promote appreciation of classical music with two local programs, one of which is especially designed for children and their parents.

The chamber music ensemble will perform the playful “Trout” Quintet by Franz Schubert 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, in Martin Chapel of the seminary building at EMU.

Folk Music and Storytelling

Bill Wellington, folk musician and storyteller from Staunton, will tell lighthearted anecdotes designed for children and their parents between movements of the Schubert piece. He describes his role in the performance as “a cross between Danny Kaye and Leonard Bernstein.” Wellington has entertained audiences, including youngsters, for more than 30 years and is creator of Radio WOOF, a unique series of audio recordings for children.

Dr. Griffing described the Schubert work as “an evocative tale composed in 1819 of a fish caught by a wily fisherman.

“We encourage children and parents to come together to this fun, yet educational program that aims to promote an early appreciation for classical music,” Griffing said.

Brahms and Brazil

Bass player Luciano Carneiro, who currently lives in Brazil, will present an hour of music and conversation 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, in Martin Chapel. He and Lynne Mackey will perform an arrangement of the Brahms’ “Sonata in E Minor for cello and piano” in addition to some shorter pieces by Brazilian composers.

Carneiro will also talk about his music and his international experiences.

Griffing said the ensemble members met at the annual Eastern Music Festival held each year at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., and decided to collaborate in additional settings. “We hope this is only the beginning of working with more musicians from around the world,” she said.

Griffing is chair of the music department at EMU and concertmaster of the annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. Dr. Mackey is associate professor of music at EMU and performs regularly as a lecture-recitalist.

Dr. Phoenix-Neal is assistant professor of music at Fayetteville (NC) State University, where she directs the FSU community string ensemble and founded a string program for children. Dr. Vanderborgh, a member of the Guilford College faculty, is principal cellist of the Greensboro (NC) Symphony Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Symphony. Dr. Caneiro is professor of double bass at the Universidade Federal da Paraiba in Brazil and plays with several symphony orchestra in his native country and in the US.

More Info

The ensemble plans to give additional programs in January at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Mary Washington University, Guilford College and Fayetteville State University.

Admission to both programs is free; donations will be accepted. For more information, call the EMU music department at 540-432-4225.

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