The St. James Concert Series will open its 2013-14 season with the Mother Lode Woodwind Quintet at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia.
Bringing together musicians from Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador counties, this quintet, which was formed in 2011, features Janet Telford, flutist, Jane Buzzard, oboist, Hank King, clarinetist, Gail Buzzard, bassoonist and Bill Minkel, French horn.
The program will open with a "Quintet for Winds" by Robert Washburn. The first movement is march-like, exploiting the crisp soundsof each instrument. Written in a 6/8 meter, it employs accented cross-rhythms and driving rhythmic and melodic patterns.
The second movement has long melodic lines passed among the instruments while the final movement employs mixed meters, rhythmic and melodic motifs, interspersed with rapidly ascending and descending scales.
Washburn is best known for his works for band and wind instruments. His music has been performed around the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the White House. In 1980 he was commissioned to write music for the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid.
The second number on the program will be "Roaring Fork - Quintet for Wind Instruments" by American composer Eric Ewazen, a member of the Juilliard faculty since 1980.
The valley of the Roaring Fork River in Colorado is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the Rocky Mountains, and the three movements of this work capture the whitewater rapids, the serene beauty of Snowmass Lake, and quiet amazement at the top of the Buckskin Pass.
After a brief intermission, the quintet returns with "Quintette en Ut" by Claude Arrieu.
Arrieu was a classically trained musician from an early age. She became particularly interested in works by Bach, Mozart and Stravinsky. However, Gabriel Faure, Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel provided her the most inspiration.
She wrote music in all styles, composing works for theater, film, radio and music hall, contributing her own voice to every situation, dramatic or comic, with a particular taste for rhythm and imagery.
Her musical gift is typified by its ease of flow and elegance of structure. Vivacity, clarity of expression and a natural feel for melody are her hallmarks.
"Shenandoah," arranged by Frank Hafferty, is a traditional American folk song dating at least to the early 19th century. This boatmen's song found its way down the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to the American clipper ships and thus around the world.
Closing this concert is "Aires Tropicales for Woodwind Quintet" by Cuban-American clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera. The composition has several highly contrasting movements employing Latin Jazz dance rhythms and forms.
The final movement, "Afro," opens with an alto flute solo followed by an energetic, rhythmic six-eight dance over an African ostinato.
Janet Telford, flutist, holds degrees in music from San Francisco State and Penn State University. She retired from manufacturing management and continues as a quality management consultant and music teacher. She is the past executive director of the Sonora Bach Festival and was a founder and long-time president of the San Jose Chamber Music Society.
She has appeared as guest soloist with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Orchestra and has performed with the Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra.
Jane Buzzard, oboist, resides in Sonora. She graduated from Modesto Junior College and went on to earn her bachelor and master degrees in music education at the University of Northern Colorado. She taught instrumental music in Clovis, N.M., for 10 years, then returned to California and taught instrumental, vocal and classroom music at Soulsbyville Elementary School for 27 years.
Hank King, a clarinetist from Amador County, is a member of several small ensembles, and is currently playing with the Folsom Symphony and the Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra. He retired after 36 years of teaching music at Amador High School.
He conducted the Mother Lode Friends of Music Orchestra in its early years, and he currently conducts the Mother Lode Youth Symphony and the Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band.
Bill Minkel, a resident of Calaveras County, plays French horn. He studied music at San Jose State University, but graduated with bachelor's and master's in biology. He taught biology at Santa Clara University for 20 years, earned a master's degree in physical therapy from University of California, San Francisco, did home remodeling and built a retirement home in Big Trees Village. Over four decades in the Bay Area, he played with local groups including West Bay Opera, Scholar Opera, Nova Vista Winds Quintet and many others. Currently he is playing with Mother Lode Friends of Music, Great Mother Lode Brass and Reed Band, Amador County Concert Band and the Mother Lode Woodwind Quintet.
Gail Buzzard, bassoonist, resides in Sonora. She graduated from Modesto Junior College and went on to earn her bachelor's degree in both music education and bassoon performance as well as a master of music degree in bassoon performance at the University of Northern Colorado. She taught music in Odessa, Texas, for 10 years before returning to California, where she has taught music at Twain Harte Elementary-Middle School for 15 years and at Summerville High School for 11 years.
Concert tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students under 18, available at Mountain Bookshop and Sonora Music or by calling 586-0825.
Series tickets for all performances are available for $45. For details, visit www.sjconcertseries.org.