Series brings renowned musicians to Morgantown

October 31, 2021

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The mission of the Summit Chamber Music Series is to bring hope, joy, comfort and encouragement to north-central West Virginia, including Morgantown by presenting top quality chamber music concerts.

Sunmi Chang is the founder and artistic director of the Summit Chamber Music Series. “The pandemic really gave me an opportunity to think about my role in this community. As a professional violinist, I strongly felt the responsibility to bring some life, joy, hope and comfort to our community during these incredibly difficult times,” she said.

“Ultimately, my vision and dream is for our series to be this little seedling that sparks the love of chamber music and more broadly classical music for people in West Virginia.”

“Chamber music is special because it communicates with the audiences through the sharing of space, air and breath with the performers in a very intimate setting,” Chang said. “So audience members get to witness intricate facial expressions, body language and the subtle changes in musical phrasings. As a listener, one really gets to react to it all in the moment.”

The series, which features Chang playing her violin alongside other accomplished musicians, began in September with world-renowned harpist Bridget Kibbey and will continue at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at Suncrest United Methodist Church with award-winning clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Adela Hyeyeon Park.

The Feb. 3 performance will be at St. Thomas a Becket Church and feature Anne Martindale Williams, principal cellist for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The season finale will be April 9 at Suncrest United Methodist and will feature celebrated musicians Edward Arron and Jeewon Park, a husband and wife duo.

“Morgantown is a wonderful community for the arts. There is so much going on in terms of theater and the visual arts. It’s a remarkable place for the arts,” said Bernie Schultz, dean emeritus of the WVU College of Creative Arts. “What this series is bringing is the added bonus of a professional chamber music series.”

The series will also give local students and community members the opportunity to learn from and engage with the musicians. All of the musicians will give free masterclasses at the WVU Creative Arts Center that will be open to not only students but all members of the community.

Anyone who is curious about the process of how musicians prepare a piece to bring it to concert level is encouraged to attend the classes.

Shifrin and Hyeyeon Park will present clarinet and piano master classes from 7–9 p.m. Nov. 11 at WVU Creative Arts Center (Falbo Theater, Clay Concert Theater).

“What this Series is doing is taking an already very vibrant artistic situation in our community and basically adding to it,” Schultz said. “Adding something which is very special and very, very high quality.”

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