WMU News

High school string musicians come to campus

Oct. 27, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- The inaugural Western Invitational String Festival will be held on the Western Michigan University campus Friday, Nov. 7, concluding with a free, public concert at 5:30 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Two Michigan high school string orchestra programs were invited to the festival: the Grand Rapids Christian High School Orchestra, directed by John Blakemore, and the Troy High School Orchestra, directed by Alan MacNair. Some 150 string students will come to WMU's Dalton Center to perform for each other and with members of the University Symphony Orchestra sitting in with their ensembles.

The day will consist of activities such as master classes with WMU string faculty--violinist Renata Artman Knific, bassist Tom Knific, violist Igor Fedotov and cellist Bruce Uchimura--a mini recital featuring WMU student soloists and chamber ensembles, and a discussion with guest artist Ivan Chan, first violin of the Miami String Quartet and professor of violin at Florida International University and Kent State University.

The day's festivities close with both guest orchestras performing in the concert and the University Symphony Orchestra performing with soloist Ivan Chan.

The Western Invitational String Festival replaces the 25-year-old Western String Fesitval. Its purpose is to acquaint high school string programs from throughout the state with the WMU School of Music faculty and facilities. Each year, two or three high school orchestras will be invited to attend the festival and participate in its activities.

Media contact: Kevin West, 269 387-4678, kevin.west@wmich.edu

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