» Memorial Day Weekend with Student Alumni
Memorial Day Weekend with Student AlumniMemorial Day Weekend performances (Friday, May 25, Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27) includes masterworks performed by the Garth Newel Piano Quartet and four guest artists – alumni from the music center’s Student Fellowship program. Concerts begin at 7pm on Friday and Saturday and at 11am on Sunday. Dinners are available on Friday and Saturday evening following the concert and brunch will be served following the Sunday performance. (Reservations required for meals.)
For over 30 years, young musicians have studied with the Garth Newel Music Center’s artistic staff in intensive summer residencies. Each year, twelve to fifteen young professionals come from universities and conservatories across the country to spend their summers deeply immersed in study at the music center. After completing their studies many of the Student Fellowship program alumni have gone on to impressive careers in the arts, joining symphony orchestras, teaching at major institutions and concertizing around the globe.
“In many ways, the Student Fellowship program is the very heart of Garth Newel,” says Co-Artistic Director and violist Evelyn Grau. “These young professionals come here to find their musical voice. They work hard, perform for the community and develop a deep understanding of the commitment required of professional musicians. They’re of the highest musical skill and they work their tails off while they’re here.”
Four alumni from the Student Fellowship program return to share the stage May 25-27. Violinists Jennifer Herrera and Jaime Letourneau, Cellist Gracie Keith, and pianist Rachael Kerr will join the quartet in performances of Haydn’s Piano Trio in A major, Schubert’s Cello Quintet in C major, D. 596, Debussy’s En Blanc et Noir for two pianos and other works.
Jennifer Herrera, violinist, is on faculty at the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Division in Baltimore where she enjoys a busy and fulfilling teaching schedule. She earned her Bachelor’s of Music from the University of Memphis and a Master’s of Music degree in Performance/Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory where she is completing her Doctor of Music Arts degree. At Peabody, she was a scholarship student under Violaine Melançon and also completed violin and viola pedagogy studies with Rebecca Henry. She served as the principal second violinist of the Iowa Chamber Orchestra and concertmaster of the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Herrera was a member of the winning string quartet in the 2003 University of Iowa Chamber Music Competition. She has also been a faculty member at the University of Mobile and the University of Memphis Summer Music Camps and the Five Seasons Music Festival in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Jaime Letourneau grew up in Las Vegas, NV and began to study violin at age 12. After graduating high school from Interlochen Arts Academy she earned a BM in Music Performance from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas studying violin with Teresa Ling (Co-Artistic Director and Violinist with the Garth Newel Piano Quartet), then completed a MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While living in San Francisco, Jaime taught violin at the San Domenico Music Conservatory and she served as concertmaster of the Coastside Symphony. In Las Vegas Jaime taught at the College of Southern Nevada and founded the resident chamber music group "SOL" as well as performing in the Las Vegas Philharmonic. Currently teaching violin and chamber music at Washington & Lee University, Jaime is a member of the resident group, the Marlbrook String Quartet. She is also co-founder of the Allegheny Mountain String Project, whose purpose is to provide string education and the first youth orchestra to Alleghany, Bath & Highland Counties. In her free time, Jaime can be found on the trails of Bath County with her dog Linus - riding horses whenever possible, and making home-made soap.
Gracie Keith started her cello studies at the age of five. Since then, she has grown to love music and shares it with anyone she can get her hands on. In her performances abroad, Gracie has found a new appreciation for world music and is using it as a source of inspiration in her music-making. Gracie is currently a Master’s student at Boston University where she studies with Michael Reynolds, cellist of the Muir quartet. An alumna of Baylor University, Gracie was a scholarship student of Dr. Gary Hardie.
Rachael Kerr is currently pursuing a master’s degree in piano performance at Northwestern University. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Rachael began studying piano at the age of 5 and was the recipient of the Paderewski Medal in the National Guild Auditions in 2004. She obtained double bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and piano performance at Johns Hopkins University and Peabody Conservatory, where she was the recipient of the Abrams Double Degree scholarship, studying piano with Yong Hi Moon. There, she performed as a member of the SONAR Contemporary Music Ensemble and was named the Homewood Campus Music Scholar for four years in a row. As a graduate student, she is the recipient of the Alvia S. and Helen Cottongim VanKirk Endowed Scholarship, studying with Dr. Sylvia Wang. She is a staff pianist for the Opera Training Institute of Chicago, as well as a faculty accompanist at the Viandan International Music Festival in Luxembourg.
**Pictures from top to bottom: 2011 Summer Students; 2010 Summer Students; 2009 Summer Students