Music Festival Trombone Mentor will Play a “Sackbut” on January 15


Michael Kris, the National Music Festival’s trombone mentor, says early 17th century chamber music is popular in Europe, and along with the other musicians in the Ensemble Collina, he loves enticing American audiences to enjoy early Baroque works that led the way to the era of Bach, Handel and Vivaldi.

“You’ll hear the beginnings of what chamber music will become,” Kris says.  “When instrumental music started to develop, they were modeling the way people sang, so you’ll hear lots of call and response—one voice will make a musical suggestion and another will respond.  And there’s a huge amount of improvisation.  In a way, this is more like jazz than one would think.”

collinaKris will leave his trombone in North Carolina when he comes to Chestertown for the NMF Resonance concert.  Instead, he’ll play an early trombone known as a “sackbut,”an instrument whose name comes from the old French word “saqueboute,” which means “pull-push.”

The concert will be at 3 pm on Sunday, January 15, at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 508 High Street in Chestertown.

NMF and Resonance series Resonance Director Richard Rosenberg says he enjoys introducing Chestertown audiences to music they haven’t heard much before, and he thinks that few, if any, audience members will be familiar with Ensemble Collina’s mostly Italian selections.

“The reason I thought it would be good to bring Ensemble Collina is because I trust Michael Kris,” Rosenberg said.  “He’s an amazing player and an amazing teacher, and he’s super-excited about the music he’s playing.  I’m amazed by how adventurous our National Music Festival audience seems to be, and I’m sure the performance will take us all on an exciting journey.”

Kris agrees that there’s a great deal that’s special about Chestertown’s concert music audiences.

“I’m glad to come back to Chestertown anytime,” he said.  “Last summer was my first NMF and I was really knocked out by Chestertown.  It’s not only about the Colonial architecture and the small town charm, it’s about the community effort, unlike anything I’ve ever been involved in.”

In addition to Michael Kris, the Ensemble Collina musicians are violinist Leah Peroutka, Brent Wissick, who plays both viola de gamba and violoncello, and harpsichordist Elaine Funaro.

“You would never expect to hear the blend of instruments you’ll hear at this concert,” Kris said.  “The expectation of hearing a trombone and a violin—you will never have heard it before.  It’s new and fresh, and it’s 400 years old!”

Ensemble Collina Resonance chamber concert tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door or online at Resonance, formerly Kent Chamber Music, is in its debut season as a program of the National Music Festival.

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