Allegheny Chamber Players

Chamber Players StaircaseAllegheny Chamber Players Return To Downtown Morgantown

Monongalia Arts Center (MAC) is pleased to welcome the return of the Allegheny Chamber Players (ACP) to the Tanner Theatre on February 19 at 4 pm. Ten members of the ACP, including accomplished professionals and dedicated amateurs, will participate.  The Allegheny Chamber Players last performance on June 5, 2016 enticed one of MAC’s largest crowds. Its director is Christopher Wilkinson, Professor Emeritus of Music History, School of Music, at West Virginia University.

“This concert represents another step in the diversification of the ACP’s repertory,” Wilkinson says.  “The first of what I hope will be many programs including works by women also brings a new instrument to our group: the harp as played by the area’s distinguished harpist Christine Mazza.”

Wilkinson and ACP approach music in a way that is exploratory and enjoyable for its members, most of which have careers teaching music. Often performing unfamiliar pieces, they use it as an opportunity for self-discovery and creative expression, democratically electing the pieces they perform.

“These programs are created collaboratively,” notes Wilkinson. “I ask my colleagues which pieces they would like to perform, I suggest a few pieces, and we make sure we all agree. All the members are volunteers, all passionate about music, and I want them to enjoy playing together.”

Chris Wilkinson reveals the piece he suggested for the group, one he has been particularly fond of for many years. Wilkinson is revisiting Trio for Clarinet, Cello, Piano, Op. 114 by Johannes Brahms, one of his all-time favorites that he recalls performing in college. The piece will be performed by Wilkinson, Sara Beattie and Natalie Buckley.

The program is entitled 4×3+2+1.  Four compositions for three musicians each are joined by a duet and a performance of music for solo piano.  The four trios consist of works by composers from Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States: Johannes Brahms, Madeline Dring, Andre Jolivet, and Peter Schickele.  British composer Paul Reade wrote the sound track for a BBC television series, “The Victorian Kitchen Garden,” from which he created a suite for clarinet and harp.  Brahms’s Four Piano Pieces, Opus 119 completes the program.

In addition to Mazza, members of the group include Carol Beall, piano, Sara Beattie, Cello; Natalie Buckley, piano; Jeanne Frieben, clarinet; Matthew V. Held, bassoon; Evan Klein, oboe; John Morrison, piano, Alyssa Schwartz, flute, and Christopher Wilkinson, clarinet.

Admission to the concert is $10 at the MAC Lobby Desk or online at monartscenter.com/shop. MAC is located at 107 High Street, Morgantown, WV.  Inquiries should be directed to info@monartscenter.com or 304-292-3325. For more information about the Allegheny Chamber Players, contact Christopher Wilkinson at Chris.Wilkinson@mail.wvu.edu.

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