Members of Nashville's ALIAS Chamber Ensemble play works by two Baroque era favorites. The performers are Zeneba Bowers, violin; Matt Walker, cello; Kevin Bate, cello; Jessica Dunnavant, baroque flute and Francis Perry, theorbo.
So often, our only exposure to the double bass comes at an orchestral performance, when the instrument is used to provide a steady foundation of low notes deep below the rest of the ensemble. In Studio C, Nashville Symphony bassist Kevin Jablonski showcased the virtuosic possibilities the huge string instrument possesses, accompanied by NSO and Belmont pianist Robert Marler.
The Nashville Concerto Orchestra is a new ensemble made up of musicians of various experience levels, all pitching in to give local players a chance to perform concertos. Founder Roger Weismeyer modeled it on a group in San Francisco, and the premise is simple: Whether they're pros or amateurs, instrumentalists who play four concerts in a supporting role earn the opportunity to become a featured soloist. The group's first concert is at noon Saturday at Edgehill United Methodist Church. Members of the group brought a single concerto from that program to discuss and perform in Studio C.
This summer, hundreds of young artists from around the state are in Murfreesboro at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts. Music Division Director Jerome Reed brought a handful of young musicians, each a rising junior or senior in high school, to give a taste of how talented the Governor's School students are.
Each summer, talented high school students from throughout the state gather on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University for several weeks of intensive training in music, dance, theater and visual art. The faculty for the Governor's School for the Arts is drawn from around the region. In addition to running rehearsals, the teachers take the chance to pull together chamber music performances of their own. We get a sample of one of those faculty recitals featuring music for strings and voice.
As much as cellist Michael Samis enjoys the music written for his own instrument, he finds that transcriptions open up a larger musical world to him. Playing in Studio C, Samis and pianist Amy Dorfman performed a program entirely made up of duets derived from keyboard solos.
Jerome Reed returned to Studio C with a program of well-loved and well-played favorites, including a Brahms intermezzo that acts as a sort of musical mirror for him. On the instruction of a professor during his undergraduate years, Reed picked the intermezzo as something he would return to again and again through his life to see how he has grown and changed as a musician. Reed now teaches piano at Lipscomb University and directs the music program at the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts, and he passes on the advice to his students to select similar "mirrors" for themselves.
The Eastwood Ensemble's Spring concert is all about music written by — or for — Americans. The program includes the world premiere of a movement by Nashville composer Kevin Jablonski and a performance dedicated to the memory of East Nashvillian Paul Gordon. Ahead of the concert at Eastwood Christian Church at 3pm on Sunday, May 22, members of the ensemble brought a sample to Studio C.