Tabernash / Live Music: Quintet returns for raincheck concert
May 23, 2008
The Arundo Winds Quintet returns to Grand County tonight to fulfill a raincheck concert for Grand County Concert Series audiences. Heavy snowfall in December 2007 prevented the band from making it over Berthoud Pass for a scheduled concert.
The quintet, which returns for its second performance in Grand County, consists of five energetic players from three different countries.
“We’re really excited to be back up there,” said Jerome Fleg, who plays clarinet for the group.
The quintet hails from Boulder where they are graduate students at the University of Colorado. The group is named after the arundo-donax, Latin for the cane used to make the reeds for clarinet, bassoon and oboe.
Gina Vega, who plays flute for the quintet, is originally from Venezuela. She’s been playing the flute since she was 10 years old and moved to the United States to pursue her master’s degree at the University of Iowa with renowned flutist, Robert Dick. Since then, she has worked with several other musicians, orchestras and symphonies and was a founding member of the Venezuelan National Flute Orchestra.
Sarah Mellander plays oboe for the Arundo Winds Quintet and also plays the English horn. She was born and raised in upstate New York and received her bachelor of arts degree from Carleton College, where she graduated with honors in musical performance. She later went on to receive her master’s in oboe performance and pursued her DMA at the CU Boulder.
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She is the principal oboist of the Fort Collins Symphony, is a member of the Boulder Philharmonic and Central City Opera orchestras, and also performs regularly with the Colorado Symphony and Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
Fleg has played clarinet as a freelance and orchestral musician throughout Europe and the United States and currently plays with the Central City Opera and Wyoming Symphony. His performances have included Carnegie Hall, and he’s worked with Grammy Award-winning composer, Marvin Hamlisch. Fleg graduated with bachelors degrees in clarinet performance and music education, completed a master’s in clarinet performance, is currently a doctoral student and teaching assistant at CU, Boulder; and is an avid conductor for the Colorado Youth Symphony’s Philharmonica Wind Ensemble.
Bassoonist Kaori Uno is a student of Yoshiyiuki Ishikawa at CU Boulder, where she is pursing her master’s degree in bassoon performance. Before that she graduated from Aichi Prefecture University of Fine Arts and Music in Japan. She has performed nationally and internationally, participated in the National Repertory Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival and School, and has been a member of the Japan Double Reed Society ensemble.
Alexander Ritter George began studying the horn when he was 11 in his Idaho hometown. He made his recital debut four years later, earning first place, and later studied with Jerome Ashby, associate principal horn of the New York Philharmonic. After earning a bachelors degree, George accepted a graduate assistantship at Duquesne University’s Mary Pappert School of Music. He also performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony, served as principal horn with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, and recently earned a master’s degree from Duquesne University.
One of the pieces the group will play calls for a sextet, during which pianist Yu-Chi Hsu will join the musicians for a special debut guest appearance. She is a doctoral student at CU, studying collaborative piano.
“It’s rare to witness any group of musicians forge forward so tastefully, with such acumen, made of a common goal, but then you hear the Arundo Woodwind Quintet and swiftly come to take these characteristics for granted,” wrote Carter Pann, Grammy-nominated composer.
The show starts at 7 p.m. Individual tickets are available at the door for $15 for adults, and $8 for students. Patrons are encouraged to become a member of the volunteer nonprofit 501(c)3 organization helping to bring world-class performers to Grand County.
The group hosts complimentary receptions after each concert at the Church of The Eternal Hills in Tabernash and offers outreach programs for local students. All tickets may be picked up at the door on concert evenings.
For more information on the Grand County Concert Series, call Joyce Engel at (970) 726-9669, Mairi Nelson at (970) 726-5015, Helen Williams at (970) 887-3005, or visit http://www.grand-countyconcertseries.org.