music in action

Taconic Chamber Players perform during a school Music in Action program in 2019.

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Following COVID-19 protocols for testing, masking ,and social distancing, Taconic Music has partnered with local schools to bring live music safely to students and teachers through “Music in Action!,” which will take place from Monday, March 15 through Friday, March 19.

Taconic Chamber Players—violinists Joana Genova and Heather Braun, violist Ariel Rudiakov, and cellist Tom Landschoot—will perform at Long Trail School, Burr and Burton Academy, Red Fox Community School, and The Mountain School at Winhall. The program honoring Women’s History Month features contemporary composers who live in the United States, but whose colorful music reflects their national heritage or upbringing.

In keeping with their motto, “where music meets life,” Taconic musicians will introduce students to composers who have broken traditional boundaries in their work. They will present works by:

• NYC and Paris-based, Japanese-born Sato Matsui, who grew up in nearby Williamstown, Mass. (where she studied violin with Taconic co-artistic director Joana Genova), whose musical language draws influence from traditional Japanese sonorities;

• California-born Gabriela Lena Frank, whose music is informed by her father’s Lithuanian Jewish and her mother’s Chinese-Peruvian heritages;

• Chinese-born Kansas City, Mo.-based Chen Yi, a prolific and celebrated composer who blends Chinese and Western traditions, transcending cultural and musical boundaries;

• Anjna Swaminathan, a queer multidisciplinary composer, musician, and theatre artist, whose work is informed by rigorous training in the art music traditions of India; and

• NYC born and raised Jessie Montgomery, an acclaimed composer, violinist and educator whose music interweaves classical structure with elements of vernacular music, improvisation, language, and social justice.

In between school concerts, as a thank you to all essential workers, Taconic Chamber Players will present an hour-long concert at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center’s vaccine clinic in Bennington at 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 18.

In addition to their school and clinic performances, Taconic’s musicians will work closely with student composers from Long Trail School and Burr and Burton Academy, who have written string quartets for “Music in Action!” week. Selected student pieces will be featured in the final concert on Saturday, March 20 at 2pm, which will be livestreamed from Yester House at Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester. Livestream links will be available on Taconic Music’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and at taconicmusic.org.


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