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Sun, May 26

Chaparral MusicFest brings Arizona musicians together

Maria Flurry plays water percussion during a performance with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.

Courtesy<br> Maria Flurry plays water percussion during a performance with the Spokane Symphony Orchestra.

Where else can you hear Bach, Brahms, jazz, flamenco, and a "water phone?"

The Chaparral MusicFest brings Arizona musicians together for more than a week of concerts and youth instruction classes at downtown Prescott locations from June 10 through 20.

The objective of the program, which started this past year, was to join local musicians with others from around the state to perform together, start new projects, and to share some of their expertise with children in the area, said Maria Flurry, artistic director.

"From last year, we have a recording project that's started, we have a commissioned project that's started, and a couple of musicians have hired each other to do concerts," Flurry said.

Flurry said the New Music Arizona concert on June 13 at the Elks Opera House highlights this year's events, with four pieces by Arizona composers mixed with some experimental renditions of classics, like a jazz version of Brahm's "Lullaby," with Max Borjon on saxophone and Glenn Stallcop on bass.

Samples of other music of the evening are a ragtime-style piece written by Phoenix-based composer Judith Lang Zaimont performed by Jeannette Moore on flute and pianist Rita Borden, both from the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra; a contemporary flamenco piece by Chris Burton Jacomel; and "Excerpts from the Water Concerto" by Tan Dun with Flurry on water percussion and Henry Flurry on piano.

Henry Flurry wrote "Threnody" to premiere at the concert - "a poignant lament on the death of a 7-day-old child" - sung by the Womansong choir and performed by Chaparral MusicFest Orchestra.

Like last year, the Flurrys, under their duo name Sticks and Tones, will conduct percussion academy for students ages 8 to 11, scheduled for morning and afternoon sessions Monday through Friday.

Students will learn about world percussion, like African and Latin instruments, and will perform with the Flurrys 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 630 Park Ave.

This year, the program has added a string academy taught by members of Quartet Sabaku, four Phoenix-based string players with backgrounds in university teaching, traditional string technique and Suzuki teaching, and performing with the Phoenix Symphony and Arizona Opera Orchestra.

This program is for students age 8 to 18 and is scheduled for sessions Wednesday through Friday.

"They're going to do stuff that's not in their in usual everyday lesson repertoire. They'll do mariachi stuff. They'll do some other fiddling stuff. Basically work on leadership, working in a group, position and tone, the basics of musicianship," Flurry said.

Flurry said she received tremendous support from local small businesses to make the festival possible.

The festival begins 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Raven Café with members of Quartet Sabuku, performing "classics with a twist."


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