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Chamber orchestra to debut new baroque-style instruments at April 12 concert

RELEASED: April 7, 2011

EAU CLAIRE — The University Chamber Orchestra at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will give one of its two annual concerts at 7:30 p.m. April 12 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center. The performance is free and open to the public.

The concert will showcase student accomplishments in "historically informed performance practice" — playing music with the techniques used during the Baroque period and using baroque instruments. The music and theatre arts department's recently acquired viola da gambas, which come from the lute family of instruments, will be debuted.

"We are looking forward to featuring our viola da gamba students," said Dr. Tulio Rondón, assistant professor of music. "Having these instruments in our school makes us very different from other music departments in the United States."

Featured soloists in the concert will be senior music major and violinist Naomi Hasan, Middleton, as well as UW-Eau Claire music faculty members Dr. Tim Lane on flute, Nobuyoshi Yasuda on violin and Dr. Jeffery Crowell on percussion.

This student-faculty collaboration has been a valuable learning experience for students, said Rondón, who prepares and coaches the ensemble. The University Chamber Orchestra is composed of music and non-music students alike and performs without a conductor.

"It is really fantastic what they can do," he said. "Another special aspect of this concert will be the inclusion of woodwinds and percussion, which adds a different flavor to what we have been doing since I arrived here," Rondón said.

The Venezuelan-born Rondón came to UW-Eau Claire in 2008. He began teaching cello at the age of 17 and his chamber music performances and teaching have taken him around the world. He remains the artistic director of the European-based baroque ensemble L'incontro Antico.

The University Chamber Orchestra is a small student string orchestra that works on two major projects a year performed without a conductor. In the fall semester the ensemble concentrates on romantic and 20th-century music. The projects help improve the technical ability of the string players and enhance their understanding of a wide range of repertoire.

For more information, visit the UW-Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra website or contact Dr. Tulio Rondón, assistant professor of music, at rondontj@uwec.edu.

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RD/DW

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