The newly combined Department of Music and Theatre introduces its first Ensemble-in-Residence with an inaugural free concert at Xavier on Monday, Sept. 17. The Double or Nothing Ensemble, a double reed quartet, is performing in Bellarmine Chapel at 7:30 p.m.
A second concert on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Bellarmine Chapel is a collaboration between the ensemble and the Ohio State University double reed faculty. Both groups will play separately and also together as an octet.
The members of the ensemble—Julie Grasso, Connie Ignatiou, Lauren Piccirillo and Melissa Walding—are professional double reed players and teachers in the greater Cincinnati area. Their ensemble performs repertoires ranging from the Baroque period to contemporary music, offering creative and inspired programming for audiences of all ages. Their concerts often include works by composers such as Bach, Handel and Debussy, as well as the members’ original compositions and arrangements of popular hits by well-known contemporary artists.
“The collaboration between Xavier University’s Department of Music and Theatre and the Double or Nothing Ensemble is part of a new era of wind music at the university,” says Matthew Westgate, director of instrumental activities.
“Instrumental ensembles on campus are performing at a high level, and we are excited to collaborate with other professional groups and artists on a more regular basis. The Double or Nothing Ensemble is young, energetic and innovative. As the newest members of our department family, they will expand our ability to bring high quality music to the Xavier campus and Cincinnati community."
The ensemble will collaborate with Westgate and players from the Xavier University Symphonic Winds in rehearsals and performances throughout the year. In addition, the ensemble members will coach student chamber ensembles, perform outreach concerts at local high schools and perform their own concert series on Xavier's campus. Double or Nothing and the Music and Theatre department will host a double reed summer camp for local junior high and high school students at Xavier in 2013.