2022 festival finale at Happy Retreat in Charles Town (Brian Christopher photo).
Mark your calendar and plan to ring in the new year with a series of three concerts organized by the Appalachian Chamber Music Festival (ACMF) on December 29, 30, and 31. After two successful summer festivals in and around Jefferson County, ACMF is eager to warm up audiences with some holiday cheer. ACMF brings a youthful energy and an inventive spirit to classical music, inviting patrons to join them in non-traditional venues for energetic and accessible programs. A typical ACMF concert will feature orchestral string instruments performing in different configurations (solos, duos, trios, quartets) and a wide variety of genres.
DEC 29 (THU), 7 pm — Festive Cheer
This performance will feature a selection of jolly and uplifting music to celebrate the yuletide season. There’s something for everyone in this one-hour, family-friendly concert. Selections include original arrangements of some holiday classics by ACMF artist Sinead Frost, Corelli’s Christmas Concerto, and “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The concert will take place in the Zion Episcopal Church (301 East Congress St, Charles Town).
DEC 30 (FRI), 7 pm — Works to Warm Us
Enjoy a concert that will warm the body and soul with some foot-tapping favorites and poignant moments of reflection. Enjoy beloved works such as “Winter” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons paired with Piazzolla’s tango-inspired “Winter” from the Southern Hemisphere. Come on a journey from darkness into light with Golijov’s “Tenebrae” (an audience favorite from the festival’s 2021 summer season). The concert will also feature music by Danish String Quartet, from their “Wood Works” and “Last Leaf” collections. Expect a few nostalgic holiday tunes thrown in, too. The concert will be held at Camp Hill-Wesley United Methodist Church (601 Washington St, Harpers Ferry).
DEC 31 (SAT) 2 pm — Fire and Ice
The theme of this concert is inspired by Janos Starker, a legendary cellist of the 20th century who was born in Hungary, narrowly avoided being sent to a concentration camp during WWII, and ultimately established himself in America. Katie Tertell, artistic director of the music festival, counts herself fortunate to have studied under his direction during her time at Indiana University. With the tremendous amount of turmoil in the world at this moment in time, Tertell felt drawn to visit works reflecting the history of eastern Europe in the face of another refugee crisis and displacement of Ukrainians from their homes due to war. The program for “Fire and Ice” is inspired by Slavic and Eastern European music that would have been in the air for Starker and his contemporaries. The featured music is very characterful, representing cold barren textures of winter in Peteris Vasks’ “The Book,” contrasted with fiery folk-slavic rhythms in works like the Smetana and Martinů. In keeping with the theme, the venue for this concert will be the War Memorial Building (102 East German St, Shepherdstown).
For tickets, visit AppalachianChamber.orgBy Staff Contributor