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In the Chamber


  • Viola

After a busy May full of big concerts, June is relatively lean on the classical front. The exception is in the chamber music world, including a Sunday afternoon concert on June 12 at Trinidad Town Hall by Chamber Players of the Redwoods benefiting Trinidad Library.

The program by the countywide chamber musicians' alliance starts with the 2D&C Trio (Joseph Hazen flute, Holly MacDonnel viola and Mark Creaghe cello) playing Albert Roussel's Trio, Op 40, a French work from the Romantic era, and Divertimento No. 2, a neoclassical work by 20th century composer Joachim Kotschau. 

Then it's Sweetflower Quartet (Allen Lesser and Gwen Post violins, Aryay Kalaki viola and Helen Ann Reid cello) performing Antonin Dvorak's Tenth String Quartet, a four-movement piece often called "The Slavonic Quartet" because it reflects the melodies of Dvorak's homeland, Bohemia.

The North Coast Brass Ensemble (Tom Hyde and John Ferreira trumpets, Ronite Gluck horn, Dan Aldag trombone and Fred Tempas tuba) closes with some dance music: a Renaissance dance suite by Tylman Susato, Leonard Bernstein's "Danzon" from the ballet Fancy Free, "Samba" by John Palmer and Wilke Renwick's "Dance."

The program begins at 3 p.m. A $10 donation is suggested with proceeds going to the building fund of the Trinidad Library.

While it's mostly a well-kept secret, June is also a time when chamber musicians come to Arcata from near and far for the annual Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop at Humboldt State. Now in its 30th year, Sequoia's stated goal is to "offer young musicians the opportunity to develop their technical skills and passion for music through a program of total immersion in the world of chamber music."

This happens in two sessions on the HSU campus, June 12-18 and 19-25. Check the schedule at and you'll see that there are concerts pretty much every evening, most of them by the workshoping participants, which means performances are not always totally polished. Highlights are the faculty shows (both Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.) and a variety show they call Friday Forum (8 p.m. both Fridays). The audience is, for the most part, the other attendees, but I've snuck in in the past and no one complained. If chamber music is your thing, give it a shot. No telling, you might get to hear some future Yo Yo Ma. 


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