Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pine Mountain Music Festival String Octet to perform July 8 in Houghton

HANCOCK -- Pine Mountain Music Festival announces that the PMMF String Octet will give a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, at Grace United Methodist Church in Houghton. Other performances will be in Kingsford on July 6, Ironwood on July 7, and Marquette on July 11. Tickets are $20, or $10 for students and children.

The Pine Mountain Music Festival String Octet musicians are pictured here, top row to bottom row: John Madison, Molly Hughes, Karen Jenks, Caroline Coade, Judith Teasdle, Daniel Thomas, Carrie Pierce, Paul Lundin. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo courtesy Pine Mountain Music Festival)

The octet members are also members of the orchestra for the new opera Rockland, which will premiere Friday, July 15, and Sunday, July 17, at the Rozsa Center in Houghton. The violinists include Karen Jenks of the Ann Arbor, Flint and Saginaw orchestras; Molly Hughes, who plays with Michigan Opera Theatre and the Flint Symphony; Paul Lundin, an Escanaba native who directs the "Strings on the Bay Series" there; and Judith Teasdle, a freelance chamber musician and teacher in Oakland University’s Preparatory Division. Violists are Caroline Coade, who is a member of Detroit Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University, and John Madison, who is principal violist with Michigan Opera Theatre and substitutes with the Detroit Symphony. Cellists are Carrie Pierce, who is principal cellist with Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and Daniel Thomas, who plays with Detroit Symphony Orchestra and other southeast Michigan orchestras.

Their program includes works by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn. Since the players usually appear as members of full orchestras, they are looking forward to playing as part of a smaller ensemble and performing these chamber works "on their own."

Joshua Major, the Festival’s artistic director, says, "This will be a very dynamic concert; the pieces are masterworks, and the players are superlative musicians."

The Pine Mountain Music Festival String Octet concerts are sponsored by Champion, Inc.

Still to come in the PMMF 2011 season are appearances in Ironwood (July 12) and Calumet (July 14) by Ameriikan Poijat, a Finnish-American brass septet from Minneapolis; and the New World Premiere of Rockland, an opera based on local history, at the Rozsa Center in Houghton on July 15 and 17.

Pine Mountain Music Festival presents a season of opera and classical music each June-July in the Dickinson County area, the Marquette area, the Keweenaw Peninsula, and other towns in the Upper Peninsula. Visit their Web site at www.pmmf.org or call 888-309-7861 for more information. Tickets are also available through the Rozsa Center Box Office (which is operating out of the Student Development Complex on MacInnes Drive), telephone 487-3200.

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