Monday, June 4, 2012

Washington College Welcomes the National Music Festival to Campus for Concerts and Rehearsals


Conductor Richard Rosenberg is Artistic
Director of the National Music Festival.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Washington College campus is alive with classical music as the National Music Festival, co-founded and directed by WC alumna Caitlin Patton ’05, begins its two-week run in Chestertown, June 3-16. In venues throughout Kent County, including the Gibson Center for the Arts, the Festival is offering some 30 classical music concerts and a constant schedule of rehearsals open to the public.

Founded two years ago by Patton and her husband, conductor and composer Richard Rosenberg, the National Music Festival (NMF) mentors gifted musicians who are just starting their professional careers by providing them with performance experience and master classes with seasoned musicians.  Last year, the inaugural NMF was held in Floyd, Va., and drew 90 apprentice musicians and 23 mentors. This year’s festival expects some 110 apprentices and 25 mentors.

 Caitlin Patton '05 is NMF's
executive director.
Patton grew up in Chestertown and hopes to make Kent County a permanent home for the festival, which she serves as executive director. Musicians are being housed in local homes, and the performance venues range from the College’s Decker Theatre to area churches. While most of the concerts are ticketed events, a series of free concerts will include two performances during the Saturday morning Farmers’ Markets in Fountain Park, June 9 and 16, and several events at Emmanuel Church.

The eight performances being hosted by Washington College include a June 4 Master Class in Hotchkiss Recital Hall, beginning at 7:30 p.m, where horn mentor Lowell Greer will lead apprentices and the full festival orchestra in Mozart’s Concerto for Horn No. 4 in E-flat.  The Festival Chamber players will perform in Tawes Theater on Thursday, June 7, at 7:30 p.m., and in Hotchkiss Recital Hall Friday, June 8.

The Chester River Chorale will join the Festival Symphony Orchestra in Decker Theatre on Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m. for a program that includes The Star Spangled Banner Suite, and compositions by Glass and Brahms.

Another special offering: On Monday, June 11, former NPR journalist and host Liane Hansen, who hosted Weekend Edition Sunday until her retirement last spring, will narrate Ogden Nash’s verses to Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals as part of Piano-Mania! That event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre and will be led by piano mentor Uriel Tsachor.

Many performances require tickets, which are available for suggested donations of $10 (for chamber concerts) and $15 (for full orchestra performances). A $160 Festival Pass provides entry to all performances and includes some special receptions and guaranteed seating. Tickets and passes are available through the website or by phone at 410-778-2064.
Click here for a full schedule of all concerts and open rehearsals, or visit the festival website at http://www.nationalmusic.us.

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