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Three Reeds and a Horn: Flexing the Canon


February 18, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Location: Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall

Three musicians pose with their instruments

Explore a mix of classical, contemporary, jazz, and tango works of huge emotional breadth written for clarinet, horn, and bassoon. Performers include UMBC clarinet professor Natalie Groom and guest collaborators Kat Robinson (horn) and Qun Ren (bassoon). Hear world premieres and commissions designed as “flex” chamber music (chamber music that can be played by many combinations of instruments) and crafted with meaningful messages.

What is flex chamber music? Maybe you’ve heard of flex band pieces, where the parts are “flexible” enough to be played by many combinations of instruments. These are particularly helpful for incomplete or unbalanced instrumentations. This program includes commissions that were initiated to grow this body of repertoire and create unique performance opportunities for students and teachers through “flex” chamber music (flexing the cannon).

During the pandemic, flex band music grew in popularity, but not as much time and attention has been put into creating flex chamber music. Most of the works on this program are specifically designed to facilitate other instrumentations, such as exchanging clarinet for viola, horn for alto saxophone, or bassoon for cello.

Though an unusual instrument combination, clarinet, horn, and bassoon make a beautiful trio. With each instrument having a very warm, welcoming, and sonorous mid-range, the ability to meld into another voice and yet emerge into distinct textures is remarkable.

The program:
No Pressure (2020/2023)+ — Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova)
Freaks of Nature (2023)*+ — Kimberly Osberg
There is No Away (2023)*+ — Megan DiGeorgio
Why Do Sea Urchins Wear Hats (2023)+ — Natalie Groom
Meditation (2023)+ — Natalie Groom
Lesions (2017) — Catherine Likhuta
Tango, Encore! (2023)*+ — Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova)
Makalish Sophia (2015) — Hiroaki Kataoka

*indicates a commissioned work
+indicates a premiere

$15 general admission, $10 seniors, $5 students. Please visit here to reserve seats.

Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall is easy to visit, with plenty of free parking. Please visit here for directions and parking information.



February 18
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall
Earl and Darielle Linehan Concert Hall
Catonsville, MD United States
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