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Keene Chamber Orchestra to Benefit Playing for Peace at KSC

KEENE, N.H. 2/27/03 - Last May, the Keene Chamber Orchestra presented a program featuring the world premiere of "Monadnock Tales," a symphonic work by composer Larry Siegel with a text by poet Edie Clark, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Eric Stumacher as soloist. The high degree of public acclaim has occasioned an encore presentation on Saturday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Keene’s Colonial Theatre, site of the first performance.

Once again the Keene Chamber Orchestra will play these symphonic works under the baton of music director and conductor Eric Stumacher, as Lew Feldstein, president of the N.H. Charitable Foundation, narrates the text of "Monadnock Tales." In music and words, "Monadnock Tales" shares stories of Mount Monadnock, the region’s most prominent natural feature. The March 22 performance, however, is also part of another story - an initiative to bring two international music students to Keene State College for a year as part of the Playing for Peace project of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music.

The Apple Hill Playing for Peace project brings musicians from cultures in conflict from around the world to Apple Hill’s base in East Sullivan, N.H. This fall, two of the international participants will begin an academic year at Keene State, where they will take courses, perform, and present special outreach activities for local schools and other community members. Proceeds from the March 22 concert will fund the scholarships needed for the two international participants to attend the College.

"Keene State is very pleased to be involved in an event that will build connections between residents of the region and musicians from war-torn areas of the world," said KSC President Stanley J. Yarosewick. "We look forward to these musicians becoming part of our campus community and learning about their lives."

The concert is made possible by a generous grant from the Monadnock Community Foundation, with additional support from Edie Clark, Lew Feldstein, the Hoffman Family Foundation, the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, the E.F. Lane Hotel, Keene Chamber Orchestra, The Colonial Theatre, Tricinium, and Charles Zoulias.

The Monadnock Community Foundation is a regional division of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, established in 1998 to build a permanent endowment for the Monadnock region.

Annually since 1988, the Apple Hill Chamber Players, praised as "positively irresistible" by the New York Times, have performed in many countries that have been affected by political or religious conflict, including the Transcaucasus Region (Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia), China, Northern Ireland, and all over the Middle East. The Apple Hill Chamber Players include Elise Kuder, violin; Mike Kelley, viola; Rupert Thompson, cello; Richard Hartshorne, double bass; and Eric Stumacher, piano/director.

Siegel, who is artistic director of Tricinium, Ltd., has created and directed many well-known original music theatre works that draw communities together. Tricinium’s work is poised to expand its reach this year with the hiring of a new managing director.

Clark has written extensively about New England for 25 years and has served as senior editor and writer for Yankee Magazine. Her memoir The Place He Made, was described in the New York Times Book Review as "a triumph of the human spirit [which] may take its quiet place among the best of the literature."

A limited number of Dress Circle tickets are available for the concert. These tickets will provide orchestra section seating for the performance, an invitation to a performers’ reception hosted by the E.F. Lane Hotel and Charles Zoulias, a CD of Monadnock Tales and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 (due out later in the spring), and an autographed book of Edie Clark’s poem. Dress Circle tickets are $100, of which $40 is eligible for a tax deduction. For Dress Circle tickets, call the Colonial Theatre at 352-2033. Other tickets are available at $29, $20, and $10, by visiting the box office at www.thecolonial.org.

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