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A Far Cry orchestra opens Tri-County Concert Association's season
Innovative chamber group performs Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Yuba City
A Far Cry
Presented by Tri-County Concert Association
TIME: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 3101 Colusa Highway, Yuba City
TICKETS: $20 to $35
At the forefront of a new generation in classical music is the innovative 15-piece chamber orchestra A Far Cry. Founded in 2007, the "Criers" — as they call themselves — are based in Boston and have played to audiences around world. The group has recently collaborated with several notable musicians, including virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Acting Tri-County Concert Association publicity chairman Karner Trethewey said A Far Cry will perform its "Fiddlers" program at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Yuba City at First United Methodist Church to open TCCA's 2012-2013 season.
"This is the first performance in our four-concert season, and it's dedicated to the memory of Joaquina Johnson — long time music educator; choir director and founder; vocal trainer and coach; and a valued Tri-County Concert board member," Trethewey said.
"Joaquina was herself a concert soloist in her early years. She created the local opera Borgamaria Opera Company, which has presented fine programs using local singers — most of whom had spent years with her learning to sing beautifully — and she strongly believed in TCCA's goal to bring high-level music to our community. Which, by the way, we have been doing for 80 years now in this community," he added.
"Joaquina is pretty much irreplaceable — to have all that energy, all that knowledge, and she drew people to her just because of the strength of her loving personality. How do you find someone else like that?" Trethewey said.
Saturday's program includes Vivaldi's "Concerto for Four Violins in B minor"; Bartok's "Romanian Dances"; Piazzolla's "Two Tangos for String Orchestra"; and Walton's "Sonata for Strings."
The orchestra includes Omar Chen Guey, Alex Fortes, Semion Gavrikov, Jesse Irons, Annie Rabbat, Liesl Schoenberger, Megumi Stohs and Ethan Wood on violin; Jacob Adams, Jason Fisher and Frank Shaw on viola; Clara Lee, Hiro Matsuo and Emileigh Vandiver on cello; and Karl Doty on bass.
"A quartet of 'Criers' will perform an outreach program for local students at Andros Karperos middle school on Thursday," Trethewey said.
"TCCA has for years shared music with local students at no cost to the schools. It's one of the things we do. These programs are an important facet of a child's learning experiences — maybe even a life-changing one," he added.
"When these kids see a shiny instrument, or if they hear something that they didn't even know existed — who knows? You don't know what difference it will make in the future," Trethewey said.
As a retired Franklin School math instructor, Trethewey has seen this first hand. "In teaching school, it's the same thing. You don't know if what you do does any good or not. And then a kid will come back to you five or 10 years later and say, 'Remember when you said this?' You planted a seed."
Trethewey, who is also a musician with the Sierra Nevada Winds, said that one of the defining characteristics of a chamber orchestra is that the artists perform without a conductor. "In that way, it makes it all a little bit harder. It requires more focus. They have to listen to each other. No one is up there keeping them all together. I've been in groups like that and it's challenging, but it's a fun thing to be a part of when things come together."
Trethewey said that when they met to select the artists to present this season, the TCCA music committee was impressed by A Far Cry's energy and technical proficiency. "And they are entertaining. We haven't had a group this large perform in a long, long time. I think they will be great, and I'm looking forward to it very much.
"This is a professional, top-grade chamber group. The 'Crier' concert will be a great start to our season, and concert-goers of all ages will be wowed by this orchestra," Trethewey said.
TCCA's season will also include the Aleron Trio on Nov. 8; Axiom Bass on Jan. 28; and the Poulenc Trio on March 18.