Classical/folk 'mashup' to open Summer Music Festival Wednesday

Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Linda Hicks, Joe Peters and Allison Edberg will perform as part of the Summer Music Festival at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.

A "mashup" of classical and folk music, performed by some of Indiana's finest musicians, will open the seventh season of the 12-concert Greencastle Summer Music Festival this Wednesday at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church in Greencastle.

No tickets are required for the 7:30 p.m. performances, which are supported by donations from local individuals and businesses. Concerts will be presented every Wednesday evening through Aug. 17.

A classical-folk "mashup"?

"All our concerts have been strictly classical music in prior summers," explains Eric Edberg, DePauw music professor and the festival's founder and organizer. "While I've been in New York on sabbatical this spring, I've seen how many performers are combining, or 'mashing up,' music of different genres.

"So I've invited this summer's performers to include any kind of music they love, and to tell us in the audience why they love it. Most of our concerts will remain all-classical, but a few will include something different, including the folk music on the opening concert. Other concerts will include jazz influences, improvisation, and even some indie rock."

Violinist Allison Edberg (Eric's former wife) performs Baroque violin around the country and also loves folk music, performing frequently with Lafayette-area musicians Joe Peters and Linda Hicks in the group "Deep and Simple." She's invited Joe and Linda, as well as Keith Collins (Celtic harp, recorder and dulcimer) and Phil Spray (violone, a forerunner of the double bass) to join her in a program exploring the relationship between Celtic ballads, Baroque "classical" music, and present-day folk music, including original songs by Peters and Hicks.

"Growing up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, I was aware of the Appalachian culture around me," Allison Edberg explains. "My family could afford a cleaning lady once a week. Georgia, from nearby Oliver Springs, let me follow her around while she dusted and swept and mopped, singing a few tunes over and over. Years later I was given a recording of lullabies from around the world and lo and behold there was the song Georgia sang most often, a lullaby from Scotland.

"The music of Scotland has had many periods of great popularity and one was during the Baroque period. Some of the ballads collected by Francis James Child performed at this concert appeared in print as early as 1611. We will play them in their earliest incarnation and then show how they changed and transformed as they crossed the ocean. These songs inspired the folk music movement of the 1960s which had its influence on a generation of singer/songwriters."

Eric Edberg says he couldn't be happier with the program.

"Yo-Yo Ma, who will be visiting DePauw this fall, has been doing just this sort of thing for years. His 'Appalachian Waltz' album with violinist Mark O'Connor and bassist Edgar Meyer, with whom Allison grew up, has been extremely popular. Joe Peters and Linda Hicks are extraordinary singer-songwriters -- true Indiana treasures. This is a great way to start this summer's festival."

Other concerts in the series, which can be seen online at will include:

June 8: DePauw Music Faculty Anne Reynolds (flute), Leonid Sirotkin (oboe), and Randy Salman (clarinet).

June 15: Duo Amabile: violinist Mat-vey Lapin and pianist Katya Kramer.

June 22: Clarinetist Gareth Guest: The Classical-Jazz Connection.

June 29: Improvisa-tions, classical music and a touch of Michael Jackson from rising young New York pianist John Kamfonas.

July 6: DePauw faculty violist Nicole Brockmann and friends.

July 13: Pianist Eugenio Urrutia and cellist Eric Edberg.

July 20: Brilliant young trombonist and electronic musician Seth Tsui.

July 27: Marjorie Hanna (cello) and Jill Pitz (harp).

Aug. 3: Art songs from Russia, featuring vocalist Yana Weinstein and her brother, pianist Anthony Weinstein.

Aug. 10: DePauw faculty pianist May Phang, piano. 

Aug. 17: Soprano Barbara Paré and pianist John Clodfelter.

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