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Arcadia Consort re-forms to play program intended for 2020 season

c. 1855, Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Public Domain
French composer Louise Farrenc

Members of the woodwind group the Arcadia Winds and the piano trio known as Trio Des Amis decided to combine the groups to form the Arcadia Consort after the pandemic shut down their music activity for two years.

At 7:30 pm on Friday, March 11 at Westwood United Methodist Church, the Consort will present a free concert first dreamed up for the 2020 season. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, horn player Ron Chase, pianist Barbara Hong, and oboist Luke Conklin preview the three pieces on the concert.

It begins with Louise Farrenc’s 1861 Trio for clarinet, cello and piano Op 44 — an example of the French composer’s elegant music in a Romantic style. Her talent led to her appointment as the first-ever woman professor at the Paris Conservatory.

The concert continues with two woodwind quintets, both published in 1956: Walter Piston’s Wind Quintet and Five Easy Dances by Hungarian-born American Denes Agay.

Chase and Conklin are both members of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia, and Chase says he’s grateful to play with several section leaders of the orchestra in the Consort. For Conklin, the act of community music-making is fun for musicians and listeners and is a sign of rich artistic life in Kalamazoo.