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Monmouth, Knox ensembles come together for performance

Barry McNamara
11/12/2019
MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College and Knox College competed against each other on the playing field three times last weekend, but this weekend will bring a collaboration between the two schools.

The Monmouth College Chamber Orchestra and the Knox College String Ensemble will join together for a concert at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15 in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The performance is free and open to the public.

“Music has the capacity to bring people together, and these students tell me they love joining forces with string players from both colleges,” said the ensembles’ director, Carolyn Suda.

The joint group will perform a wide variety of string orchestra literature from the 1700s to the present. The “kinesthetic energy” of Bach’s famous Brandenburg Concerto #3 will open the program, featuring many students in solo roles. Suda said “humor and elegance reign” in Joseph’s Haydn’s Symphony #13. Jennalynn Cisna, a post-baccalaureate student at Monmouth, will perform a “beautiful and unusual” solo cello part.

The central work of the performance is Grieg’s well-known Holberg Suite.

“Exquisite Romantic melody and hints of Norway make this challenging work so popular,” said Suda.

Violinists Holly Reyner ’21 of Independence, Iowa, and Knox student Alexis Kellogg of Yellow Springs, Ohio, will be the soloists in Bailes Para Orquesta, an exciting collection of Spanish-flavored dances. The program will conclude with Hungarian Dance #5 by Brahms, which Suda said is “a piece everyone will recognize.”