A precursor to Musica was a baroque ensemble which formed to give an an Italian program at UNC, hence its title "I Musici di Cappella della Collina" (the musicians of Chapel Hill, sounds more romantic in Italian!) That performance was received well and we were encouraged to continue performing. Recently in July of 2017, I as cellist and Ann as violinist, were playing a wedding in the Horace Williams House. During a break we noticed an album in the parlor. Lo and behold it contained an article for a new series at the house in 1976, which included an I Musici program. Below are photos of then and now.
Here we are together in 2017 - Florence still teaches at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, Mary Fran plays with the UNC Baroque Ensemble, Ele is enjoying retirement after 18 years as a NC State Senator, Jane harpsichord is busy teaching Library Science at UNC-G. and I continue to play my cello at various events. More recently, I am able to spend more time playing the treble viol, so I have the best of both the glorious richness of the cello and the sweet silvery sound of the treble.
For over 15 years the Musica String Ensemble has been privileged to perform in the Duke Gardens for the Alumni Reunions. This year was extra special commemorating our 30 years of providing music for all occasions to clients in the Triangle and beyond.
Sunday, April 17th, 2016 was a gloriously sunny day, perfect temperature for playing, with a canopy to shade us when the sun was high in the sky. The gardens were spectacular.
This year our performance venue, on the large lawn to the left of the Fishpond, was a new one for us. This gave the visitors much more room to sit around on chairs or picnic on the grass, and we liked the feeling of an outdoor lawn concert.
Our 3 hour performance consisted of 3 programs. Something for everyone.
10-11am Classical and light classical, including the Mozart Divertimento K136 and the Bach Concerto for 2 Violins.
11am featured the debut of the Durham Symphony Cello Quartet playing pieces from classical to tango.
11:30am The Vivaldi Concerto for 2 Cellos, light classical, Beatles, Joplin and fiddle tunes.
I am proud to have designed their website http://nccellosociety.weebly.com, which has much information about this new organization. Concert lists and dates, members' events, calendar, blog and photo gallery. May it prosper!
During 2014-15, for nearly a year I spent a personal sabbatical travelling overseas in the UK and Europe, returning to North Carolina in July 2015. Thanks to the wonders of technology, my assistant in Chapel Hill and all the musicians kept Musica alive while I was away. This was my second absence from Musica. In 1986, I returned to Chapel Hill after a three year stay in the UK, my homeland, where I had taken my two sons to get some English education. Our group of musicians which had been performing for special events since 1974, had kept going while I was gone. By the time I got back it was doing well enough to become a business, and I was elected to be the Business Manager. They were glad for me to take over its management, and I was very happy to do so. How 29 years has flown by! It has been a very fulfilling way of life over the decades, helping people during the most important events in their lives. A huge responsibility for us, but in return, giving us a great sense of accomplishment.
2016 will be a momentous occasion for Musica, celebrating 30 years as a business providing professional musicians for life's special occasions. Over the years we have celebrated anniversaries by performing special concerts to raise funds for musicians. See the Giving Back section on the About Us page.