Concert series opens season with St. Louis' Kingsbury Ensemble

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Sundays at Three concert series is still just a youngster.

This will make only the third season of the concert series in Cape Girardeau -- a series different than other chamber music offerings in the city.

"This is the only thing in town that is a fully professional series," said organizer Dr. Brandon Christensen. "Everything else is mostly student-based, besides faculty recitals."

On Sundays at 3 p.m. throughout the fall and spring, professional performers descend on Old St. Vincent's Church. The concerts have a growing and loyal following, even though it can be a small one.

"We don't have a huge audience, since chamber music is kind of a niche market," Christensen said. "We might have anywhere from 50 to 60 people to 150 to 200."

This year the series is coming out with a variety of offerings, starting with a concert this Sunday featuring the St. Louis-based Kingsbury Ensemble.

The group is billed as one of the Midwest's premier early music ensembles, playing tunes that come mostly from the Baroque pages of musical history.

The group will play on three recorders, two of which double as Baroque flutes, a Baroque bassoon, cello, harpsichord and a vocalist.

Music from the Baroque era may be unfamiliar to modern audiences, said artistic director Maryse Carlin, but not because the music isn't fun.

"It's not forbidding, we usually have fun doing it," said Carlin. "It's not an exercise in dusting off history."

Many of the tunes to be played will be festive pieces, with somewhat of a holiday feel. But the songs will come from different parts of Europe, lending some cultural diversity in a historic musical context.

This Sunday's concert will be followed by four others to complete the season. On Dec. 11, Christensen will perform with another St. Louis-based musician, Dr. Jennifer Lim, on an eclectic program of piano and violin featuring works from Beethoven to Gershwin.

A Jan. 22 concert will feature a string quintet of unusual arrangement, with two cellos. The March 5 concert will feature Southeast Missouri State University's top music performance majors along with chamber choir. The final concert on May 7 will showcase the ensemble Musickes Cordes, an early Italian Baroque ensemble with Christensen himself as a member.

For more information on the Sundays at Three concert series, call 651-2265.

335-6611, extension 182

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