KINGFIELD, MAINE (May 19, 2010) – Kingfield POPS has made it possible for MSAD 58 students to participate in three major music enrichment programs this spring.
On Monday, May 24 the Nordica Trio will be performing in the schools of Stratton (8:30 to 9:15 a.m.) and Kingfield (10:15 to 11:00) and on Tuesday, May 25, they will perform in Phillips (12:00 to 12:45) and Strong (1:35 to 2:20) schools.
Nordica Trio consists of three accomplished and well-known musicians who have performed throughout the state and internationally, and have received numerous awards, grants and honors. Graybert Beacham, who plays violin and viola, is also the district string teacher. Karen Beacham plays clarinet and Martin Perry plays piano.
Kingfield POPS offered district schools the possibility of participating in a musician-student Pen Pal exchange program this spring. The third- and fourth-grade teachers at Kingfield Elementary School accepted the offer and students are exchanging letters with a violinist from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, who will come to visit the school, play for the children and talk to them about music.
“This experience is particularly meaningful for students this at this age,” said POPS organizer Vici Robinson, “because they are in their first or second year studying violin in the school string program with Graybert Beacham.”
(Photo of Graybert Beacham-inset-with following text) Graybert Beacham, violinist with the Nordica Trio, is also a professor of music at Colby College and teaches strings in MSAD 58 schools. The Nordica Trio, composed of three outstanding musicians who have performed internationally, will be performing in Kingfield, Stratton, Phillips and Strong schools on May 24 and 25.
On May 5 Kingfield POPS provided a bus to transport area band and instrumental students to a live performance of some of North America’s finest traditional musicians at the Skye Theater in Carthage. This was a team effort: music teacher Gail Russ initiated the program; and Phil MacIntrye, owner of the Skye Theater, offered reduced-price tickets for the kids and made it possible for them to “jam”.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (May 14, 2006) – The Nordica Trio will perform a benefit concert, with the fee donated to an instrument fund for the puchase of beginning band instruments for the SAD #9 Music Department. The concert will take place on May 14, 2006, at 3:00 PM. The trio includes violinist Graybert Beacham and clarinetist Karen Beacham, who welcome their newest member, pianist Cheryl Tschanz. Ms. Tschanz studied with Lillian Freundlich at the Peabody Conservatory. She received bachelor's and master's degrees from Indiana University, where she studied with Boris Berman, Stephen Bishop, Zadel Skolovsky, and Abbey Simon. She holds a doctorate from State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied with Gilbert Kalish. She is currently assistant adjunct professor of music at Colby College, Waterville, Maine.
The concert will include works by Darius Milhaud, Aram Khachaturian, and Peter Sculthorpe. Karen Beacham and Cheryl Tschanz will be featured in the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 167, by Camille St. Saëns. The concert is free and open to the public due to a generous donation from the Neel Foundation. Contributions to the Mt. Blue Music Boosters will be accepted at the door for scholarships to aid talented music students.
Earlier in the day, at 1:00 PM, the Nordica Trio will perform a lecture/demonstration for SAD #9 music students in grades 4–12 at Mt. Blue High School. The trio will be discussing the many facets involved in rehearsing, performing, and maintaining a chamber ensemble. They will illustrate these points with spoken commentary and musical examples.
For ticket information, please call 207-645-2157 or visit the Web site of the Arts Institute of Western Maine at http://www.artsinstitute.org/. All AIWM concerts are held at Nordica Auditorium in Merrill Hall (224 Main Street) on the University of Maine campus in Farmington.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (April 9, 2006) – The Nordica Trio will perform on April 9, 2006, at 2:00 PM in Jewett Auditorium on the University of Maine at Augusta campus. The Nordica Trio performed on this series last year and returned with a varied program. Trios by Jan Vanhall, Darius Milhaud, and Paul Schoenfield will be performed. In addition, Cheryl and Karen performed the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Leonard Bernstein. For more information and tickets, please contact UMA Senior College at 207-621-3551 or e-mail email@example.com.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (February 12, 2006) – The "Third Sundays at Jewett" concert series, at the University of Maine at Augusta, features Karen Beacham, clarinetist, performing with the DaPonte String Quartet on February 12, 2006, at 2:00 PM in Jewett Auditorium on the University of Maine at Augusta campus. Nordica Trio's esteemed clarinetist will perform Mozart's Clarinet Quintet with the DaPonte String Quartet. For more information and tickets, please contact UMA Senior College at 207-621-3551 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (January 26, 2006) – The Nordica Trio will perform works by Vanhall and Martinu with guest flutist Lee Humphreys on January 26, 2006, at 12:15 PM. For more information, please call 207-775-3356 or visit the Web site of the Portland Conservatory at http://www.portlandconservatory.net/. The Noontime Concert Series is performed at First Parish Church, 425 Congress St., Portland, Maine, from October to April. The performances are free to the general public.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (July 10, 2005) – The Nordica Trio will performe works by Hovhaness, Stravinsky, Bloch, and Schoenfield on July 10, 2005, at 3:00 PM. For ticket information for other SRFA concerts, please call 207-625-7116 or e-mail email@example.com. Cornish is 45 minutes from Portland, Me., and North Conway, N.H. All concerts at the Saco River Festival are held in the air-conditioned auditorium of the Cornish Elementary School (follow signs on Rte. 25).
FARMINGTON, MAINE April 10, 2005) – The Nordica Trio, with guest pianist Martin Perry, will perform a series of concerts for the Arcady Music Society from April 10 to 13, 2005. The program included works by Haydn, Poulenc, Khachaturian, and Arutiunian. In addition, the trio will perform in-school concerts in Mt. Desert Island, Bangor, Dover-Foxcroft, and Bucksport. For more information about other Arcady concerts, please visit their Web site: www.arcady.org.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (January 23, 2005) – The Nordica Trio, with guest pianist Martin Perry, will perform a concert in New York City at the Rutgers Presbyterian Church. The concert will take place on January 23, 2005, and will include works by Haydn, Khachaturian, Poulenc, and Arutiunian. Proceeds from the series benefitted the matching fund for the Marshall Williamson Antiphonal Organ, part of the restoration of Rutgers' 1926 Moeller Organ by Southfield Organ Builders. For information about other concerts, please visit the Rutgers Church Web site at http://www.rutgerschurch.com/music.html.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (April 10, 2004) – The Nordica Trio will perform the world premiere of a trio by award-winning Maine composer, Gia Comolli, at UMF's Nordica Auditorium April 10, 2004, at 7:30 PM. The program will also include the winners from the Nordica Trio Composers Competition. This competition, open to high school and college students in Maine, required the submission of a new work for violin, clarinet, and piano in one movement. The winners are Evan Fellman, who attended Mt. Blue High School, and Angus McFarland, a student of Dr. Joseph Packales and Dr. J. Mark Scearce at the University of Southern Maine School of Music.
The commissioning of Gia Comolli's new trio and the Composers Competition are components of a project partially funded by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. This grant was awarded to composer, Gia Comolli, and the Nordica Trio in 2003. School Administrative District No. 9 acted as the fiscal agent.
In January 2004, the Nordica Trio performed a series of educational concerts at Mt. Blue Middle School and Cascade Brook School for approximately 500 students and staff. These concerts included a lively movement from Ms. Comolli's new work, enjoyed by all. Gia Comolli will visit the theory class at Mt. Blue High school on April 7 for a workshop, and the trio will perform a lecture/demonstration for the music students on April 8. These events are made possible by the "Maine Excellence in Education Grants Program." This program is part of the MBNA Foundation.
Other works on the program are two trios by Armenian composers Aram Khachaturian and Alexander Arutiunian. There are sixty years between the composition dates of these two works, but both are harmonically rich, colorful, and rhythmically exciting.
The Nordica Trio's members are violinist Graybert Beacham, clarinetist Karen Beacham, and pianist Cheryl Tschanz. Their concert is sponsored by the Arts Institute of Western Maine. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $2 for children. UMF students are admitted free with ID. For more information, please visit the AIWM Web site (http://www.artsinstitute.org) or call 207-778-7136. More information about the Nordica Trio can be found at http://www.nordicatrio.com.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (March 1, 2004) – Graybert and Karen Beacham, members of the Nordica Trio, performed for children at "Halfway Down the Stairs Child Care" on February 17, 2004, in Phillips, Maine. Gwen Augusten, director of the school for preschool-age children, contacted the trio in January about presenting an educational concert.
Graybert and Karen played a few selections, including a duet by Beethoven and "Theme from the Pink Panther" for approximately 20 students, teachers, and a few interested parents. They demonstrated how sounds are produced on the clarinet and violin, and they answered questions from the group. The Beachams feel it is important for young children to hear live performers and to kindle their interest in a variety of music. In a world full of artificially created commercial music, it is important for young people to hear the kind of music that can be played on classically oriented instruments.
The Nordica Trio, complete with their pianist, Cheryl Tschanz, will perform a world premiere of a piece written for them by Maine composer Gia Comolli in Nordica Auditorium on the UMF campus on April 10, 2004, at 7:30 PM. For more information, please visit the Arts Institute of Western Maine Web site: http://www.artsinstitute.org.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (January 2004) - In January 2004, the Nordica Trio will perform a series of educational concerts in the SAD #9 elementary and middle schools. Composer Gia Comolli will visit the theory class at Mt. Blue High school during the spring semester for a workshop, and the trio will perform a lecture/demonstration for the music students in April. These concerts are made possible by the Maine Excellence in Education Grants Program. This program is part of the MBNA Foundation.
The world premiere of Gia Comolli's trio will take place in Nordica Auditorium on the UMF campus on Saturday, April 10, 2004, at 7:30 PM. This concert is sponsored by the Arts Institute of Western Maine. Information can be found at http://www.artsinstitute.org/. The concert includes a trio by Aram Khachaturian (written while he was still a student) and the winning entries from the Composers Competition.
PORTLAND, MAINE (April 17-24, 2003) – Far from the maddening crowd, from clueless critics’ outsized comparisons, young budding string quartets spring from hibernation to feed what is quite possibly the best and healthiest string program in the state of Maine: Farmington’s School Administrative District No. 9.
And the coach behind the farm team is none other than Graybert Beacham.
Beacham, and his wife Karen, have made their home in Maine for more than a decade. In fact, next season is the tenth anniversary of the trio they formed in Farmington — the Nordica Trio.
The association with Farmington goes deep with the Beachams. Even the name they took for their trio honors the nineteenth century " Yankee Diva, " Farmington soprano Lillian Nordica, whose name also graces the auditorium at the University of Maine at Farmington.
Graybert’s brother, Robert, a luthier, moved to Farmington with his wife, Nancy, in the ’80s, building what is now the renowned SAD9 string program from scratch. So it was something of a homecoming when, this year, Graybert centered his vast teaching empire at Farmington’s Emery Community Arts Center, forming its String Program with himself as Director.
" I remember we were in Mexico City when Robert called and invited us to move here and inherit a class of 40 private violin and viola students. We visited, hiked up Tumbledown, and fell in love with Maine, " Graybert recently told the Phoenix from his farm team headquarters.
Graybert Beacham has quite a name for himself. The one he has made to be sure, but also the one he was born with, a concoction of his parents’ names: Grace and Robert. But " Graybert Beacham " conjures up not just a man, but an institution — a Wall Street trading firm, say, or a swarthy North Atlantic pirate. Arrgg! In truth, he is musician through and through.
Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee — a place that has spawned many musical greats — Graybert has performance degrees from the renowned Cleveland Institute, and chamber music studies with members of the famed LaSalle and Guarneri Quartets. He has played with orchestras in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Kansas City, and throughout Mexico. Locally he’s played as guest artist with the PSQ, and with the PSO he’s played — get this — concertmaster, principal second, principal viola, and viola soloist. Just about the only thing he hasn’t played with them are the kettledrums.
And now — look out Toshi — Graybert wants to conduct.
In the last several years, conducting has tempted him away from the fiddle — as it tempted Lawrence Golan away from the PSO concertmaster chair to eight feet of snow and a baton at the University of Denver. This past summer, Beacham participated in the sixth annual Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak in Washington, Maine, and all signs point to him loving every minute of it. Part of his duties at UMF, separate from Emery, are, in fact, conducting the orchestra with a concert coming up two weeks from Saturday.
Besides his duties in Farmington, Graybert has held faculty positions at the Portland Conservatory, at USM, and at a host of summer institutes and festivals. When not teaching up north, the Nordica Trio keeps him playing, as does his principal violist gig with the Boston Academy of Music and as Concertmaster of the Lewiston-based Maine Chamber Ensemble.
The Nordica, though, is nearly full-time unto itself, with collaborations locally with hornist John Boden, mezzo Margaret Yauger, and soon, with Maine composer Gia Comolli, whose work will close out the PSO’s season next week.
This year, the trio and Comolli were awarded an " Artists in Maine Communities " grant from the Maine Arts Commission. As part of the grant, Gia will write a new work for the trio as well as oversee a competition for student composers to write for any combination of the trio’s violin, clarinet, and piano instrumentation. Concerts associated with this project will be presented at UMF and in the SAD9 public schools.
But with all this going on, it is the Emery Community Arts Center that Graybert speaks of with a real future. For in these tough economic times it is the Center that has one, guaranteed. As part of an anonymous $5-million-dollar gift, the Center will one day, in the not too distant future, become part of a performing arts center on the UMF campus. As part of that substantial gift, the donor has wisely stipulated that community arts must always have a place in whatever is to be.
Last spring, Graybert made a proposal to Emery to begin a string program in Farmington and it was not only accepted, it flourished. Now, mere months later, with 40 students and three violin teachers on the faculty, Graybert Beacham coaches three student string quartets every week — tuning them up, running them through their paces, and preparing them for the show and the season to come.
Composer J. Mark Scearce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The UMF Community Orchestra, conducted by Graybert Beacham, performs May 3, 2003, on the University of Maine at Farmington campus with guest pianist Steve Pane. Call (207) 778-5052.
Issue Date: April 17 - 24, 2003
FARMINGTON, MAINE (March 24, 2003) – The Nordica Trio will perform two concerts this week with a guest artist, mezzo-soprano Margaret Yauger. The first concert will be performed as a benefit for the Portland Conservatory of Music at Trinity Church in Portland, Maine, on Friday, March 28, 2003, at 8:00 PM. Proceeds from this concert will go toward their work/study program. For more information and tickets, please call the Portland Conservatory at 207-775-3356.
This concert will be repeated for the Arts Institute of Western Maine concert series in Farmington, Maine. The concert will be given in Nordica Auditorium on the University of Maine at Farmington campus on Saturday, March 29, 2003, at 7:30 PM. Admission will be $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students, $2 for children 12 years and younger; UMF students free. For information on the concert series, please visit http://www.artsinstitute.org/.
For these concerts, the Nordica Trio welcomes guest artist mezzo-soprano Margaret Yauger. Ms. Yauger is an internationally acclaimed singer. She was the leading mezzo-soprano of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Dusseldorf) for ten years, where she performed in over eighteen productions. She is currently a member of the voice faculty at the USM School of Music.
The program will open with "Fairy Tales," a beautiful and expressive piece by Robert Schumann for viola, clarinet, and piano. This piece was written right before Schumann's final mental breakdown and attempted suicide, yet has a light-hearted character. The program will include several songs of Schumann and Mahler performed by Margaret Yauger and Cheryl Tschanz. Cheryl will play a very colorful piano solo by Toru Takemitsu and will join Karen Beacham for a virtuoso work for clarinet and piano by von Weber. Two Songs for Alto, Viola and Piano by Johannes Brahms will conclude the program. Graybert Beacham, as violist, will join Margaret and Cheryl for these songs. Brahms wrote this piece for Joseph Joachim and his wife, Amalie, in an effort to bring them together. The couple had recently split. Joachim was a Hungarian violinist, composer, and conductor and a close friend of Brahms. Amalie was (you guessed it) a singer.
FARMINGTON, MAINE (February 12, 2003) – The Nordica Trio and Gia Comolli have just been awarded a grant, funded in part by the Maine Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Maine School Administrative District Number 9 is the fiscal agent for this grant.
This is an "Artists in Maine Communities" grant for the Nordica Trio to commission a piece from Maine composer Gia Comolli. The project includes a series of concerts, preconcert lectures, workshops, and lecture/demonstrations to present the piece. Members of the Nordica Trio and Ms. Comolli will conduct the lectures and workshops. A component of the educational concerts will be an opportunity for students to write and submit a piece for any combination of violin, clarinet, and piano. If selected, the student's piece will be performed, discussed, and recorded. A CD of the performance will be presented to the student composer.
Concerts associated with this project will be presented at the University of Maine at Farmington and at schools in the Maine School Administrative District No. 9. The concerts and workshops will take place between September and April 2004 and will be publicized via this Web site and all other media when dates are set.
The Nordica Trio and Ms. Comolli will also be available for workshops, in-class lecture/demonstrations, and concerts throughout Maine and the Northeast. If you are interested in one of these presentations, please contact Graybert Beacham at email@example.com.