Music in the American Wild concerts put classical music in national parks

Posted on: August 9, 2016

“A snake came to visit, and inchworms, too, glissading on gossamer silk, right into the percussion section,” reports Lynda Mapes in Saturday’s (8/6) Seattle Times. “In celebration of the centennial of the National Park Service, the musicians are performing all new works by composers who evoke and are inspired by the sounds and experience of nature. The 11 composers and seven musicians—on flute, clarinet, French horn, violin, viola, cello and percussion—all are from the Eastman School of Music…. The players began their scheduled Music in the American Wild tour in national parks back east in June and now are on tour in all three Washington national parks … ‘We wanted to play for different audiences, in different places, reaching everyone we can on their own terms,’ [co-creator and ensemble director Emlyn] Johnson said.” At a recent concert, “Percussionist Colleen Bernstein rendered the sound of crackling ice, rockfalls, the knock of a woodpecker, the swish of grass in tall meadows, and hoof beats of a running deer…. For an afternoon, the harmony of nature was not just an expression, but an experience, for players and listeners alike.”

Posted August 9, 2016

Pictured: A Music in the American Wild performance at San Juan Island National Historic Park. Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times