A concert on March 6 by the Cardinal Ensemble will launch a concert series at The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd.
The ensemble carries the gravitas of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, as the four members of the ensemble are all principal players from the acclaimed orchestra. The performance begins at 3 p.m. and will be followed by a reception.
After a successful orchestra subscription performance in May 2015 with positive response from the audience, the four members of the ensemble, a mixed instrumentation chamber music group, decided to launch themselves as a self-managed touring ensemble. The ensemble consists of these four musicians: Tracy Cowden on piano, Kelley Mikkelsen on cello, Kathleen Overfield-Zook as violist, and William Parrish on oboe.
“We feel very fortunate that the Cardinal Ensemble chose us to launch their 2016 season,” said Linda Fallon, president of the board of The Jacksonville Center for the Arts.
Named after Virginia’s state bird, all Cardinal Ensemble members are residents of Virginia, representing the state’s cardinal points of Harrisonburg, Lexington, Blacksburg and Lynchburg, and are highly committed to bringing live concert music to communities and various educational institutions throughout the Commonwealth.
Cowden is associate professor of piano and vocal coach at Virginia Tech. She has appeared as soloist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia and the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with tenor, Vinson Cole, and soprano Elizabeth Futral. Cowden is the chair of the music program in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech where she has been honored for her work.
Mikkelsen is the principal cellist of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and has performed in concerts throughout the U.S. and Europe and has worked with numerous celebrated soloists, chamber musicians, and conductors including Bobby McFerrin, Yo-Yo Ma, Joan Tower, Ursula Oppens, Gary Karr, as well as the Cleveland, Colorado and Cavani Quartets.
As cellist of the internationally renowned Cassatt Quartet, she made appearances at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the Kennedy Center, and the Library of Congress.
Overfield-Zook has been critically acclaimed for her “agile and sonorous” playing and is the principal violist for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the New Jersey, Delaware, Allentown, Vermont, and Philadelphia Chamber Orchestras. She also performs as Assistant Principal Viola with the Harrisburg, Pa., Symphony Orchestra and is a member of The Bloom Trio.
Parrish currently holds the position of principal oboe with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Opera Roanoke, and Opera on the James. He is also a member of the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival Orchestra. Parrish is an adjunct music faculty member at Radford University and Virginia Tech. He served as the Associate Director of pre-College at the Juilliard School for ten years and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, and Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets for the concert are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. Student tickets are $15. Tickets can be purchased at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts, 220 Parkway Lane South, Floyd, (540) 745 2784, or online at www.jacksonvillecenter.org
There will be a “meet the artists” reception immediately following the performance at The Jacksonville Center for the Arts.