Student violinist plays with the pros


March 11, 2002|By Karen Nitkin | Karen Nitkin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CATHERINE KUNKEL, a student at Mount Hebron High School, had a chance recently to play violin with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra as part of the orchestra's "side by side" concert. The concert, held Feb. 27 at Goucher College, paired students from all over the state with the orchestra's professional musicians.

"It was a really good experience to play with a professional group because they're at such a high level," Catherine said. "I think we all learned from them."

Catherine, 16, has been playing violin for nine years. The senior, who will attend Princeton University in the fall, doubts she will make a career out of playing the violin, but it "definitely will be a hobby," she said.

The orchestra first held a "side by side" concert two years ago and hopes to make it a regular event, said Ted Jones, the orchestra's personnel manager. He believes the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra is the only group of professional musicians in the area in which students play in a concert that is part of its regular subscription series.

Participants were chosen from the ranks of the Maryland All State Orchestra, which is made up of students in grades 10 through 12. Students auditioned for the All State Orchestra but did not have to audition again for the concert.

The idea was to match one student for each member of the professional string section, which includes seven first violinists, six second violinists, five viola players, three cellists and two bass players.

"A few of the students for various reasons were not able to come through," Jones said, "so we ended up with a couple less. But the premise was a one-to-one ratio."

Catherine, who has been with the All State Orchestra for two years, was the only student chosen from Mount Hebron High.

The students practiced with the professional musicians and then performed three Brahms Hungarian Dances in front of an audience.

"I have a lot of fun playing with orchestras," Catherine said. "I felt I could hold my own with the other students, not with these professionals."

Catherine plays for both the Howard Regional Youth Orchestra and the All State Orchestra. The regional orchestra performs in a winter and a spring concert, and the All State Orchestra meets one weekend a year. More than 100 students rehearse on Friday and Saturday, and then put on a concert Sunday.

This year, the All State concert was March 3 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Easter party

VFW Post 8097 is having an Easter party March 23 for children 12 and younger. There will be games, prizes, ice cream, cookies and drinks. The event, sponsored by the Ladies Auxiliary, will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the post home, 7209 Montevideo Road.

Information: 410-799-5868.

Spring fair

Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church will have pony rides, games, crafts and face-painting April 27 when it holds its 18th annual spring fair. The fair is organized by the parents of the Mount Hebron Nursery School and will be held rain or shine.

Admission is free. Tickets can be purchased for the activities. Also for sale will be baked goods, plants and gifts in the Mother's Day shop.

Free concert

The Columbia Pro Cantare and Baltimore's Second Presbyterian Church Choir are teaming up to present a concert featuring composers whose works have religious themes. All four composers - Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, Maurice Durufle, Edmund Rubbra and Sir William Walton - are in the midst of either their 100th or 150th anniversaries.

The concert, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. March 24 at the church, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required, although donations will be accepted. The church is at 4200 St. Paul St., Baltimore.

Columbia Pro Cantare is a nonprofit organization funded by grants from the Maryland State Arts Council, the Howard County Arts Council, the Columbia Foundation and others.

Ellicott City and Elkridge performers include Florence Banikiotes, Kathleen Bowen, Elladean Brigham, Stan Brown, Phyllis Hayes, Mary Ann Heine, Linda Kuberek, Shannon Miller, Al Morse, Sally Morse, Heather Muller, Erica Murphy, Heidi Page, Mary Jane Recer-Daniels, Charlie Reisz, Frank Rittermann, Melissa Stanford and Mark Wynn.

For more information about the concert, call Columbia Pro Cantare at 410-465-5744 or 410-799-9321, or call Community Concerts at Second at 410-889-6819.

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