Eastern Music Festival
Gerard Schwarz, music director, oversees a Faculty orchestra for six concerts in the wonderful acoustics of the Dana Auditorium on campus of Guilford College, Greensboro, NC. We also perform for the Appalachian Summer Music Festival each summer and perform for the Rosen-Schafel competition winners, many of whom have been UNCSA students!
I have been on faculty since 1997; I have played all the chairs in the trumpet section of the faculty orchestra. For the last number of years I have served as Associate Principal/Third trumpet; I also serve as the faculty representative to the EMF Board of Directors, and I attend their meetings throughout the year at the Greensboro Cultural Center. Please see ‘Chamber’ for more about EMF.
Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival
i have been principal trumpet with this gem of a festival in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley of Virginia since 2000. Eastern Mennonite plays host each summer to 10 days of intense music making under the mission-led music direction of Kenneth Nafziger. Ken crafts a theme each year of “Bach and other things”, so while much Bach is often featured, we have strayed far and wide from his incomparable musical clarity.
Last year it was Bach and Haydn, so we performed some Haydn symphonies, and the next evening, gave a performance of Porgy and Bess with vocal soloists one evening featuring music related to Charleston (programmed well in advance of the terrible shooting that occurred there during our June rehearsal process). Ken has an uncanny way of finding the deep, spiritual humanity of each moment, and distilling world events down to our human connections and frailties. This past summer was no exception. The presence of the Summer Peace Building Institute, an outgrowth of EMU’s Conflict and Peace Transformation program, one of the country’s first, can be felt throughout the week in the offerings and with Ken’s soft-spoken, but clear vision for the musical connections that weave all of us together.
The musicians are hosted by area families and music-lovers. This, too informs the special spirit of the place.
Please see ‘Chamber’ for more about SVBF.