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EMF moves to online programming for 2020 season

EMF moves to online programming for 2020 season


GREENSBORO — The Eastern Music Festival has created online programming to help compensate for the loss of its 2020 summer season to the coronavirus pandemic.

From June 29 to July 31, EMF will present online concerts and conversations, plus virtual learning for 100 young artists.

In April, EMF canceled its 59th in-person season of classical music to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, patrons, staff and the community.

"While we cannot gather together in person this summer, the 59th season at Eastern Music Festival continues from across the nation with online lessons, conversations and performances," EMF Executive Director Chris Williams said in a news release.

"We hope these musical moments offer solace, healing and hope for our community," Williams said. "Music inspires and brings us together."

EMF is a nonprofit organization supported by ticket sales, student tuition, grants and donations.

For five weeks each summer, more than 200 music students from around the globe come to Greensboro to study with EMF’s acclaimed faculty and guest artists.

For the public, that means daily concerts by chamber ensembles, two student orchestras and the faculty orchestra — more than 65 concerts and events in all.

Students and many faculty members stay in Guilford College’s housing and perform in the college’s venues.

Not this year.

This summer, EMF instead will launch five weeks of virtual concerts and lessons starting on June 29. The free summer programming will include:

• Home chamber music concerts: featuring EMF faculty artists performing in remote locations.

• EMF Conversations: live-streamed sessions on career development topics for young artists.

• Online conversations: "EMF Behind the Baton," with EMF Music Director Gerard Schwarz and EMF faculty artists offering insight behind the music and performance.

"Music is such a powerful way to create community," Schwarz said in the news release. "Although it will look a little bit different this summer, EMF is committed to teaching and sharing music experiences."

Here are EMF Virtual Summer 2020 Programming Highlights:

For students:

EMF has developed an online curriculum of private lessons, master classes and seminars to continue its mission of teaching the next generation of artists. More than 100 students have enrolled to study with EMF faculty.

For everyone:

EMF will host free online concerts and conversations from June 29 to July 31.

* Recorded chamber music by EMF faculty artists and friends will debut at 7 p.m. each Monday (June 29, July 6, 13, 20 and 27) on EMF's Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram pages.

June 29 faculty artists performers include The Mile-End Trio (Jeff Multer, violin; Julian Schwarz, cello; Marika Bournaki, piano); Jenny Grégoire (violin) and Demondrae Thurman (euphonium); Ioana Galu (violin) and Rebecca Zimmerman (cello); and William Wolfram (piano).

Additional artists performances to be announced each week.

* EMF Conversations will offer live-streamed sessions on career development topics for the young artist. Each installment features experts in areas of leadership, entrepreneurship and education. Join the live conversations at 4 p.m. each Wednesday (July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29) on EMF's Facebook page.

July 1: Entrepreneurial Musicians: Al Stephens (Moore Music, EMF Vice President) and Wally Wallace (Minerva Music Collective, UNCG School of Music)

July 8: Audition Anxiety: EMF Faculty Artists Karen Blundell (oboe) and Matthew Decker (percussion)

July 15: Representing Yourself Online and In Person:  Beth Boulton (President & Creative Director, Boulton Creative) and Kelly Swindell (EMF Media and Communications Director)

July 22: Career Development for the Young Professional: Lizzy Tahsuda (Director of Campus Greensboro) and Melanie Tuttle (Tuttle Law, EMF Board President)

July 29: What's the Right Graduate Program for Me? Dennis AsKew (Chair, UNCG School of Music & EMF Board Member) and Kelly Burke (UNCG School of Music, EMF Faculty Artist)

* "EMF Behind the Baton" conversations will be led by EMF Music Director Gerard Schwarz with EMF faculty artists offering insight behind the music and performance. A different conversation will debut at 1 p.m. each Friday (July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31) on EMF's Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram pages.

July 3: Jeff Multer, EMF concertmaster

July 10: Jenny Grégoire, EMF assistant principal second violin

July 17: Chauncey Patterson, EMF assistant principal viola

July 24: Randall Weiss, EMF principal second violin

July 31: Neal Cary, EMF principal cello.

For more information about EMF's virtual season of performances for 2020, visit or follow EMF on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or YouTube.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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