Chamber Players

Williams Chamber Players

Tom Bergeron, trumpet; Steven Dennis Bodner, saxophone; Ronald Feldman, cello; Matthew Gold, percussion; Edwin Lawrence, harpsichord; Nathaniel Parke, cello; Robert Phelps, guitar; Kerry Ryer-Parke, soprano; Doris Stevenson, piano; Scott Woolweaver, viola; Robert Zimmerman, double-bass

The Williams College Department of Music presents The Williams Chamber Players in their final concert of the season on Saturday, May 1, at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall on the Williams College campus. This free event is open to the public and does not require tickets.

The Chamber Players present another fascinating concert of music spanning from the Baroque to the Contemporary.

Faculty composer, Ileana Perez Velazquez presents her work, Light Echoes for Piano and Percussion, performed by the talented Doris Stevenson and Matthew Gold, which was inspired by an extraordinary astronomical event. For reasons unknown, star V838 Mon’s outer surface suddenly expanded greatly and as a result it became the brightest star in the entire Milky Way Galaxy in January 2002. Then, just as suddenly, it faded. A stellar flash like this has never been seen before. Supernovas and novas expel matter out into space; although the V838 Mon flash appears to have expelled material into space, what was seen in the image from the Hubble Space Telescope was actually an outwardly moving light echo of the bright flash. In a light echo, light from the flash is reflected by successively more distant rings in the complex array of ambient interstellar dust that already surrounded the star. V838 Mon lies about 20,000 light years away toward the constellation of the unicorn (Monoceros), while the light echo above spans about six light years in diameter. The composition is itself an echo of this stellar phenomenon.

Matthew Gold, percussion; Tom Bergeron, trumpet; and Steven Dennis Bodner, saxophone are faculty members and performers of the highest caliber.  They present a new work by David Kechley, not yet titled. This pleasingly intricate work keeps performers, and audience, on their toes.

The talents of Robert Phelps, guitarist, are on display, as he performs Elogio de la Danza by Leo Brower (b. 1939), the Afro-Cuban composer, guitarist and conductor. This is a unique opportunity to get to know the music of a composer who incorporates elements of many traditions. Described loosely as a neo-romantic, at least for some of his life, he brings his own particular musical view on life and guitar.

Kerry Ryer-Parke, soprano performs the delightful and much loved, Mélodies populaires grecques (Five Greek Folk Songs) by Maurice Ravel. These five songs were composed between 1904 and 1906 and are the finest examples of Ravel’s impressionistic flair.

To round off the program, the Williams Chamber Players perform Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B flat major, BWV 1051, featuring Scott Woolweaver and Shelley Tranposh, viola, Ronald Feldman and Nathaniel Parke, cello; Rob Zimmerman, bass and Edwin Lawrence, harpsichord. An unusual piece in some respects, Bach’s masterpiece does without violins and instead highlights the virtues of the viola.

The Williams Chamber Players is a resident chamber ensemble, founded at Williams College in 1999. It’s purpose is to present concerts for the college and community throughout the academic year. Antecedents of the Williams Chamber Players are The Williams Trio, founded in 1970, and the Group for 20th Century Music, founded in 1989. Repertoire for concerts is drawn from the standard chamber music repertoire with special attention to music of the 20th and 21st centuries, and to music by Williams composers. Musicians are normally drawn from the ranks of Artists-in-Residence, Studio Instructors, and other faculty, as well as occasional visiting artists.

concert hotline: 413-597-3146