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Summertime Sounds with the Sherman Chamber Ensemble

The Sherman Chamber Ensemble’s Summertime Sounds classical music series concludes on Labor Day weekend as it celebrates The Old and the New on Friday, September 3, at St. Andrews Church, 1 No. Main Street, Kent and Saturday, September 4, at Christ Church on Quaker Hill, 17 Church Road, Pawling, NY. Both concerts are at 7 p.m.

The Old and the New is an ambitious program highlighting current composers as well as favorites like Johannes Brahms. Pianist Margaret Kampmeier joins Susan Rotholz (flute), Paul Woodiel (violin), Michael Roth (violin), Sarah Adams (viola), and Eliot Bailen (cello).

Works include Carlos Simon’s Piano Trio, Andrew Norman’s Light Screen Flute Quartet

and Johannes Brahms’ Piano Quintet in F Minor.

Simon is a native of Atlanta, Georgia whose music ranges from concert music for large and small ensembles to film scores with influences of jazz, gospel, and neo-romanticism. He was named as one of the recipients of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the highest honor bestowed by the Sphinx Organization, recognizing extraordinary classical Black and Latinx musicians.

Norman is a composer, educator, and advocate for the music of others. Recently praised as “the leading American composer of his generation” by the Los Angeles Times, and “one of the most gifted and respected composers of his generation” by the New York Times, he has established himself as a significant voice in American classical music. Upcoming engagements include a year as Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair (2020/2021), the premiere of his violin concerto with Leila Josefowicz and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and an American tour with Kiril Petrenko and the Berlin Philharmonic.

The concerts will take place indoors and follow CDC and State Covid guidelines for social distancing and rules for events and programs. Face masks are requested for all.

General admission to the concerts is $25. Children 15 and under will receive free admission when accompanied by an adult purchasing a regular admission ticket. Tickets may be purchased at SCEmusic.org or by calling 860-355-5930. Tickets may also be purchased at the door subject to availability.

Also on Labor Day weekend, the Ensemble will let down its hair as it goes Bluegrass. The annual free concerts expand this year with an added performance in Washington.

Dates are Saturday, September 4, 1 pm, at the Sherman Town Center (IGA Plaza), Sherman; Sunday, September 5, 1 pm, at the Kent Barns, Kent; and Sunday, September 5, 5 pm, at the Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens, Washington.

Leading the musical fun are Eliot Bailen (trading in his cello for the guitar) and Ensemble musicians Susan Rotholz on flute and vocals, Peter Weitzner on bass, fiddlers extraordinaire Paul Woodiel and Ambrose Verdibello. They will be joined by a roster of talented area musicians including guitarist/vocalist Bob O’Connor, Jim Vogt on mandolin, Gary Di Giovanni on banjo, and Norman Plankey on guitar and mandolin.

These are outdoor concerts, so audience members are asked to bring their own chairs, snacks and beverages or visit and support local purveyors. Concerts will follow CDC and State of Connecticut Covid guidelines for social distancing and rules for events and programs. Face masks are requested for all.

The concerts are free. A suggested donation of $10 will help to support the Ensemble’s ongoing programs. Advance ticketing is requested and can be obtained at SCEmusic.org or by calling 860-355-5930. Tickets may also be obtained at the door subject to availability.

Concerts are possible due to generous support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, which also receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and supporters, local businesses and donors.

The Sherman Chamber Ensemble was founded in 1982 to bring world-class live classical music performance to Western Connecticut and nearby New York State. It has been described in The New York Times as “about as close as it gets to the Platonic ideal of a chamber music concert.”