A chamber music concert Sunday afternoon will benefit the Patricia D. and M. Scot Kaufman Cancer Center and its program, Cancer LifeNet.
The concert begins at 3 p.m. at the Callahan Center at St. Mary Magdalen Mission, 1716 E. Churchville Road near Bel Air. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. The event is presented by Dr. Andrew Nowakowski and Friends, many of whom are, or have been, musicians with the Susquehanna Symphony Orchestra.
Don't wait until 3 to arrive. Come when the doors open at 2:30 p.m., and listen as a dozen members of Doris Reinhardt's Steel Pandemic fill the air with the music of steel drums and enjoy refreshments courtesy of Wine World and Nowakowski.
The program of this year's concert is varied, including music by small groups as well as an 18-member chamber orchestra made up of violins, violas, cellos, bass, flutes, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn.
At a recent quintet rehearsal at his Bel Air home, concert organizer Nowakowski talked about the origin of chamber music.
"In the 18th century, people gathered in salons, in their chambers, and that was the entertainment of the times. People came to a house, and a small group of instruments played. It has been described as 'an intimate conversation among friends,'" Nowakowski said. "Add woodwinds and brass and you have a chamber music orchestra."
Nowakowski began playing the violin at age 12. At 13, he was featured on a WNYC-FM radio program called "Young America Plays." In medical school, he regularly took master classes for chamber music literature at the Brooklyn School of Music. He still plays the same violin, and he has gathered a number of fellow musicians who share his love of chamber music to perform the benefit concert.
After remarks from a spokesman for Cancer LifeNet, the program begins with The Opus 5 Quintet (Doris Reinhardt, flute; Cathy Zink, oboe; Fiona Sparks, clarinet; Dawn Zipay, horn; and Margaret Holmes, bassoon) playing Drew McManus' Celtic Fields. Sheldon Lenz (cello) and Chris Dillon (piano) follow with a Prokofiev cello sonata, followed by the Opus 5 Quintet performing Valerie Coleman's "Umoja" (The 1st Day of Kwanzaa).
Then Nowakowski, accompanied by Chris Dillon on piano, will play a violin sonata by Cesar Franck. Franck's Piano Quintet F Minor follows, performed by Nowakowski and Manfred Reek on violin, Edna Rainey and Enid McClure on viola, Sheldon Lentz on cello and Chris Dillon on piano.
Cellist Lewis Brandon will join violinist Nowakowski in Gabriel Faure's Apres un reve (After a Dream). Providing an interesting contrast, the same piece will then be performed by full chamber orchestra and soprano solist Crista Bohdel. Orchestra members include violins Nowakowski, Shannon Eaton and Amy Wilkinson; violas Edna Rainey and Enid McClure; cellos Lewis Blandon, Sheldon Lentz, Madeleine Clifton and Elaine Buddy; bass Beth Weed; flutes Doris Reinhardt and Carol Thompson; oboe Cathy Zink; clarinet Fiona Sparks; bassoon Vickie Carpenter; and horn Mike DeZearn.
Conducted by Wendy Bohdel, nine members of the Harford Choral Society and the chamber orchestra will perform Faure's Pavane. The program will close with a Mozart viola quintet.