A Mandolin Festival Concert returns to BF

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BELLOWS FALLS — Led by August Watters, a Boston area teacher and composer, the Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music IX at Stone Church Center, 12 and 14 Church St., is designed for the classical mandolin community and for concertgoers interested in classical chamber music. It creates learning and performance opportunities for those interested in chamber music composed for mandolin and its related instruments (as well as classical guitar).

This year we introduce special guests from Novosibirsk, Russia, Aleksei Aleksandrov and Ekaterina Skliar, masters of the Russian Domra. Akesandrov and Skliar are prize-winning virtuosos of the domra, a Russian folk instrument with a rich and diverse literature. They are also masters of the American-style mandolin, and perform music drawing on classical and jazz idioms.

A great wealth of music exists for mandolin-guitar ensembles. Since most of it has been forgotten or out of the public eye for generations, it's an exciting time to be a mandolinist! FMCM provides an opportunity to explore mandolin ensemble music, from baroque to romantic and contemporary works.

FMCM is open to anyone who plays mandolin, mandola, or guitar, and reads standard notation. Music will be available for advance preparation. Guitar parts will be written in standard classical guitar format, although pick-style guitar may substitute for mandola. A violin teacher is always on staff, so violinists who wish to try mandolin are welcome.

Participants will divide their time between ensemble rehearsals, workshops, and informal chamber music sessions. A variety of workshops will be available, addressing technique, repertoire, and theory.

The workshop will culminate in a public concert on Sunday, June 18, at 3 p.m. in the Chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St.

Watters will perform with the New England Mandolin Ensemble, special guests, and Festival participants. Together they will present a wide-ranging concert, illustrating the many sounds of the concert mandolin. The concert will have limited seating. Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased at stonechurcharts.org.

Watters is a multi-stylistic, improvising mandolinist, composer/arranger, and teacher in the Boston area. As a composer, performer, teacher and conductor, he is actively engaged in today's revival of this most elegant instrument, and the advancement of its musical traditions. His work as an interpreter, improviser, composer and arranger bridges contemporary classical music, jazz, folk music traditions, and the historical concert mandolin repertoire

Special guests Aleksandrov and Skliar will join the FMCM IX faculty, presenting workshops and coaching ensembles throughout the weekend. They will also be featured in Sunday's concert.

If you play mandolin or an of its related instruments including classical guitar, check out the Mandolin Chamber Music IX, today through June 18 at Stone Church Center, 12 and 14 Church St. in Bellows Falls. If you enjoy Baroque to contemporary music for mandolin ensemble, attend the public concert on Sunday, June 18 at 3 p.m. For more information, registration for the workshop and tickets for the concert, visit stonechurcharts.org or call 802-460-0110.




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