FL Chamber Music Festival players perform at Marcus Whitman

The quartet played in the gym for students at Marcus Whitman’s school.

Last month, students in the Penn Yan, Hammondsport, Dundee and Marcus Whitman school districts had an enriching musical experience.

Richard Auldon Clark, artistic director of the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival, together with three string players from his NYC chamber ensemble performed concerts in each school district and also provided two master classes for Penn Yan students studying string instruments. These programs are part of the Festival’s mission to provide music education outreach for youth in the Finger Lakes area.

Spanning 400 years of music diversity, students listened to music from the baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary periods. Selections included Vivaldi, (Italian), the Four Seasons; Mozart (Austrian), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Mussorgsky (Russian), Hopak, a Hungarian folk dance tune, and Tchaikovsky’s (Russian) Sleeping Beauty Waltz. Students heard Scott Joplin’s Country Club Rag and learned that this Afro-American composer created a truly American style of music which was the forerunner for jazz, blues and pop. The rock group the Beatles loved Joplins’ music. Their hit song, “When I’m 64,” which the quartet played next, was rag-time, Beatles style. The concert concluded with a rousing tango, music indigenous to Argentina.

Over 1,400 students benefited from this educational outreach opportunity.

Now in its 17th season, the Festiuval sponsors a series of summer concerts in the Finger Lakes area, this year from June 15 to July 27. All concerts are with Richard Auldon Clark, and musicians from his NYC chamber ensemble, and guest artists. The opening concert, at 7:30 p.m. June 15, is at Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport. It features The Abel Family String Quartet with Clark on viola performing music of Beethoven and Dvořák.

Admission is $25/adult; students attend all concerts free.

For more specific information, visit the FLCMF website, www.FingerLakes-Music.org.

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