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Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society 2023-24 season begins in October

Once again, we at the Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society (RCMS) are pleased and excited to announce our offerings for the upcoming six-concert 2023-24 season. The new season contains a mix of artists never before heard in Ridgecrest, as well as several groups that are always received with enthusiasm.

Once again, we at RCMS are pleased to feature local, school-age artists preceding the regularly-scheduled performances, an exciting opportunity for budding artists and RCMS subscribers.

We have a few changes this season. This year, the venue will move from Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church on Las Flores to Ridgecrest Methodist Church at 639 North Norma Street, a larger, more accessible space. Additionally, several of the offerings will be on days other than Sunday. This year, as a convenience to subscribers, you have the option of purchasing season tickets online at http://www.RCChamberMusic.org. You can also make a check payable to RCMS and mail it to RCMS, P.O. Box 264, Ridgecrest, CA 93556-0264. When you do so, please consider adding a membership ($30 Individual or $50 Family) or donation to keep our programs going. Members go out to dinner with the performers after the concerts.

A General Admission season ticket is $165, $135 for seniors. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for individual concerts, $30 General, $25 Senior and $5 Student and Active-Duty Military. With the lineup we have, we hope you will want to attend all the concerts, and, by buying a season ticket, you save. Seating is unassigned, so it’s worth coming early. When you do, you have a front-row seat to live music played for you right here in Ridgecrest by some of the best musicians in the world.

This year’s schedule is as follows:

On Sunday, Oct. 8 at 4 p.m., a group new to RCMS, Beo String Quartet (violin, viola and cello), will kick off the new concert season, providing an assortment of classics, modern lesser knows and Latin compositions. The word beo comes from the Latin “to make happy.” The group strives to, “tell a story through each concert experience” and wants “each and every audience member to feel a unique emotional connection to the music” they perform. Check our http://www.beostringquartet.com/repertoire for more information. There will be no school program for this group but, rather, a student outreach event.

On Sunday, Nov. 12, at 4 p.m. the ever-popular Neave Piano Trio (violin, cello and piano) will delight audiences with selections from Debussy, Bonis and Esmail. They have been a feature of RCMS concerts since approximately 2014. The group states it’s purpose is, “To Engage. To Exchange. To Connect.” Check out http://www.neavetrio.com/story-of-neave for more information. School programs will be held on Monday, Nov. 13*.

On Friday, Jan. 12, 2024 at 7 p.m., a new and exciting group, the Valencia Baryton Project (baryton, viola and cello) will be with us, presenting trio selections from Haydn, Pickup and Zink. A baryton is a bowed string instrument similar to the viol, but with an extra set of sympathetic, pluckable strings. It was in regular use in Europe until the end of the 18th century. According to their website at http://www.valenciabaryton.com/about, “At the heart of the ensemble is the traditional formation in trio - baryton, viola and violoncello - for which Haydn wrote 123 works of outstanding beauty during his time as the court composer for the Prince Esterhazy of Austria. With Matthew Baker, one of only a handful baryton performers in the world, the Valencia Baryton Project have delighted audiences in North, Central and South America as well as Europe with what is considered to have been the pinnacle of aristocratic instruments of the classical era.” School programs will be held early the same day as the concert*.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 at 4 p.m another exciting group new to Ridgecrest, Quarteto Nuevo (soprano saxophone/alto flute, acoustic guitar, cello and hand percussion) will provide an interesting and diverse program of Western classical, Eastern European folk, Latin and jazz music. School programs will be held on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024*.

On Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 4 p.m. RCMS patrons will be treated to a program by Frisson Ensemble (violin, viola, cello, oboe and flute) with selections from Beethoven, Mozart, Dohnányi and Piazzolla. The word frisson comes from French and means “a shiver or a thrill, a sudden feeling of excitement.” Check out http://www.frissonensemble.com/about for more information. School programs will be held on Monday, March 4, 2024.

On Friday, April 27, 2024 at 7 p.m. Felici Piano Trio (violin, cello and piano) will delight audiences with a stirringly diverse program of Haydn, Clarke and Brahms. Felici has performed in RCMS concerts since about 2009 and has collaborated with Cerro Coso Community College on chamber orchestra classes. The group will again provide adjudication for local music students. The beauty of their playing as well as their choice of selections is a real treat and the perfect ending to another wonderful concert year. (There will be no school programs for this performance.)

This year, as last while all concerts will be in person, RCMS continues to comply with all CDC guidelines as the health of our patrons (as well as the artists) is a priority. If social-distancing requirements require a change of venue, we will notify ticket holders in advance of the performance.

Please join us for this front row, exciting season. Big thanks to the many dedicated patrons who continue to support the mission of bringing beautiful and inspiring music to the Ridgecrest area.

* These enriching, shortened programs are provided at no cost to local school children.