The Tallahassee Bach Parley chamber music group will perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Albany Museum of Art for the final 2013-2014 Symphony @ the Museum Willson Chamber Music Series. (Special Photo)
ALBANY — The Tallahassee Bach Parley, now in its 33rd year, who perform music of the Baroque era using period instruments, will be in concert at the Symphony at the Museum Willson Chamber Music Series at 4 p.m. Sunday in the Albany Museum of Art.
This is the third and final concert of the 2013-2014 series, a collaboration between the Albany Symphony Association and the art museum.
Bach Parley recreates for their audiences the experience of hearing and seeing Baroque music as it may have been originally performed hundreds of years ago. The group is made up of experienced musicians who are trained in historically informed performance, mainly local professional performers and teachers, and Florida State University faculty and students.
The word “parley” in French means discussion, and a key element of Tallahassee Bach Parley concerts is the commentary offered by their music director. These dialogues give the audience historical background about the composers and their world, and suggest what to listen for in the music.
“Having the Tallahassee Bach Parley Ensemble will be our first opportunity to feature music from the Baroque era performed by an ensemble that specializes in music and performance practices from that era in music history,” said Dr. Claire Fox Hillard, Albany Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor.
The musicians are violists Brian Arsenault and Melissa Brewer, violinists Valerie Prebys Arsenault and Miriam Barfield, violin cellist Marnie Kim Jones, bassist Melanie Punter and harpsichordist Iain Quinn.
Brian Arsenault studied viola with Roberto Diaz and Burton Fine and earned a bachelor’s degree in music in viola performance from the New England Conservatory. He earned a master’s degree in library science from FSU and works as a web programmer for the Center for Information Management and Educational Services at FSU.
Ms. Arsenault has two favorite musical activities: teaching the violin and playing Baroque music. Since 2002 she has maintained a private violin studio of students of all ages at Cavatina Music Studios. As visiting assistant professor at FSU, she directs the Baroque Ensemble and has taught violin and directed the Irish Ensemble.
Barfield began studying the violin at age six with Brewer. She received her bachelor’s degree in music from FSU, where she studied with Dr. Pamela Ryan, and recently completed a master’s degree in music in viola performance at The Boston Conservatory. She has attended the Meadowmount School of Music, where she is a teaching assistant.
Brewer began her professional studies in violin and viola at the University of Miami. On period instruments, she has performed with the FSU Baroque Ensemble, Baroque Southeast, the Apollo Ensemble, and is principal violist with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra. She plays on a 1760 Locky Hill viola.
Jones holds a bachelor’s in music degree and an artist diploma from McGill University and a master’s in music degree from the Eastman School of Music . Previously a tenured member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, she now serves as associate principal cellist with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and maintains a private studio of over 20 students.
Punter is associate professor of double bass at FSU. As a member of the Juilliard Music Advancement Program faculty, she coached chamber music and bass ensembles and taught double bass. She is a member of New York’s prestigious Orchestra of St. Luke’s performing at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and is principal bassist of the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra performing on period instruments.
Born in Cardiff, Wales, Quinn is an organist, musicologist, and composer. He has studied at The Juilliard School, The Hartt School, University of Hartford, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music, summa cum laude, the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, where he earned a master’s degree in music, and the University of Durham, earning a doctorate in historical musicology. Quinn is assistant professor of organ at FSU.
Tickets are $20 per person and $10 per student with ID. A post-concert reception follows the concert. To purchase tickets, contact the Symphony office at 229-430-8933 or go online to albanysymphony.org. Tickets will be available at the door.
The ASO’s next season subscription concert will feature “The Orchestra SINGS” Family Concert on March 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Albany Municipal Auditorium. An Instrument Petting Zoo will be offered at 6:30 p.m.
The ASO is celebrating its 50th anniversary season.