Monday, June 8, 2009

SOWETO Festival double-header

Melomanie co-hosted A Concert for Peace with Pacem in Terris on June 5 at Grace United Methodist Church. The concert featured ensemble members and guest artists in a repertoire of "Music Uniting the World". This was a fundraiser for both organizations, held in conjunction with the 20th SOWETO Festival Art Exhibit at Grace Church.

The music began with three vivacious movements of Paris Quartet in D Major by Georg Philipp Telemann. Guest artist & Baroque violinist Linda Kistler and Melomanie's Baroque flutist Kimberly Reighley played with such verve, switching off parts of the lively Vivement, that in the audience local conductor Lawler Rogers remarked to me, "I wanted to get up and dance after that!"

Composers Chris Braddock and Mark Hagerty had pieces featured in the program. Braddock's Pluck showed the versatility of the harpsichord, the sound of which evoking a "country music" feel, and proved that period instruments are not mired in the sands of time.

Mark Hagerty's Alla Raga (see 5/25 post) ended with a magnificent, rapid stretch of notes played by Richardson with each hand, as she improvised a melody with her right thumb. It sounded as though she had three hands on the keyboard!

The concert ended with the last three movements of Telemann's Paris Quartet. Cello, harpsichord and guitar were joined by fast and furious notes from the Baroque violin, viola da gamba (played by Donna Fournier) and Baroque flute. As the piece concluded, the audience gave a standing ovation.

Before the concert, the SOWETO Festival exhibited works from several noted regional visual artists. From the light blues in Doris L. Hill's Bambi Blue mixed media piece to the deep blue hues of the abstract I Rise from Eunice LaFate, the artwork seemed to depict man's global struggle.

Debbie Hegedus' work There are so many hungry people, is made up of a bottle and landscape with silverware dangling from it. Inside the bottle reads a quote from Ghandi: "And God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread." Michael J. Riley's pencil on paper, entitled No Fancy Parade, showed a lineup of African-Americans unrecognized for their service to society: a soldier, a pastor, a teacher, and the line goes on.

The art exhibit will be open to the public at Grace through August 15, a portion of all artwork sales will benefit Pacem in Terris' charitable efforts.


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