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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Classical music ‘February Fest’ returning to Egg Harbor

Critic At Large

Peninsula Music Festival

Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, location of “February Fest.” (Warren Gerds)

EGG HARBOR, Wis. (WFRV) – Peninsula Music Festival will again present three classical music concerts in its “February Fest” in Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion. Info: musicfestival.com.

The organization started the event a few years ago to keep its name active beyond its famed summer concert series.

According to a press release: The concerts start at 2 p.m. on three consecutive Sundays. A snapshot:

Feb. 6

Thomas Kluge, violin
Christi Zuniga, piano

Feb. 13

Terry Everson, trumpet
Peter Everson, trumpet
Colin Welford, piano

Feb. 10

Jonathan Bass, piano

Seating is limited to 100 per concert. Reservations: peninsulafestival.com.

NOTE: The festival will require proof of full vaccination for patrons, regardless of age, at all performances presented during its 70th anniversary season. In the absence of vaccination proof, a negative COVID test taken 72 hours or less to the scheduled performance time will be accepted. Additionally, all patrons will be required to wear a mask while inside the venue and for the duration of every performance. Should conditions and guidelines change allowing for protocols to be relaxed, patrons will be notified via email the week of the concert.

Kicking off the series Feb. 6 will be esteemed members of the Festival Orchestra – violist Thomas Kluge and principal keyboardist Christi Zuniga.

The program will feature works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and César Franck.

Thomas Kluge is the principal viola of the Omaha Symphony, an active chamber musician, recitalist and soloist. Prior to moving to Omaha, Kluge was a free-lance musician in New York City performing with the New York Philharmonic, numerous orchestras throughout Connecticut and many chamber orchestras. Outside of his work with the Omaha Symphony, Kluge performs regularly as a recitalist and chamber musician. He was a founding member of and served as artistic director of the Omaha Chamber Music Society, with whom he maintains a close relationship. Kluge was educated in New York at the Manhattan School of Music. Before earning his Master of Music degree in viola performance, Kluge studied in Stuttgart, Germany, and Bern, Switzerland, where he earned a diploma in violin pedagogy and viola performance and pedagogy from the Bern Conservatory of Music and Theater. Kluge is active as an educator. He maintains a small private studio, teaching violin and viola. He has been on the faculties of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Creighton University, Brevard Music Center in Brevard, North Carolina and the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Kluge plays a viola made for him by the eminent American luthiers Carl F. Becker and daughter Jennifer.

Christi Zuniga is a native of Atlanta and has held the position of principal keyboardist with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra since 2000. She earned her bachelor of music in piano performance from Clayton State College. She received a master of music degree in chamber music and accompanying from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Zuniga previously performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Charleston Symphony and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, which served as the resident orchestra of the Evian International Music Festival in France in 1990 under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich. Before moving to Omaha, Zuniga was the staff accompanist and class piano instructor at Clayton State College, south of Atlanta. In addition to regular engagements with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she also performed with fellow orchestra members and accompanied Atlanta Symphony Chorus rehearsals. As an accompanist, she has worked with performers in master classes taught by Jean-Pierre Rampal, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Lynn Harrell, Elly Ameling, David Gordon, Peter Lloyd, Bonita Boyd and Paula Robison. She has collaborated with many visiting artists, including Joseph Alessi, Thomas Bacon, Patrick Sheridan, Cindy Ellis and Peter Verhoyen. In addition to her full-time position with the Omaha Symphony, Zuniga has held the position of principal keyboardist of Peninsula Music Festival’s Festival Orchestra for the past five seasons. She accompanies musicians around the greater Omaha area for various concerts and competitions, and resides in Ralston, Nebraska, with her husband and their Chihuahuas.

The Feb. 13 concert welcomes back Festival Orchestra principal trumpet Terry Everson alongside his son and fellow trumpetist Peter Everson, who has played with the orchestra on a few occasions and studied with his father at Boston University’s School of Music.

The two will collaborate with pianist Colin Welford in works by Antonio Vivaldi, Holloway, Ketting, Hansen, Johnson, Hubeau, Stephenson and Everson.

The Everson duo got its start in 2008, when Terry composed “Hyfrydol Aspects” for Peter, accompanying him at the piano at the National Trumpet Competition in Fairfax, Va. Since then, they have appeared together onstage more and more frequently, including the 2018 Ohio International Trumpet Guild Chapter Conference, the 2019 National Trumpet Competition and Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the 2021 Virtual International Trumpet Guild Conference. Since 2019, they have performed as associate artists with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass in Wisconsin, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Arizona and Missouri, with upcoming 2022 dates in Florida, Missouri, Arkansas, Maine, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Terry Everson currently sits as the Alice and Martin Krebs Principal Trumpet of the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. He has served on the faculty of the Boston University College of Fine Arts and Tanglewood Institute since 1999, and as a master pedagogue, his work at Boston University was recognized with the University’s 2014 Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching. His masterclasses have met with great acclaim at the prestigious institutions of Northwestern University, Rice University, Yale University, University of North Texas, University of Michigan, Florida State University, New England Conservatory, London’s Royal College of Music, the Costa Rica National Symphony Conservatory and the Conservatories of Xi’an and Shenyang in China. Terry first rose to acclaim in 1988 when he won the inaugural Ellsworth Smith Solo Competition sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild, and one year later was First Prize Laureate in the 1990 Louise D. McMahon International Music Competition. He has performed at 15 International Trumpet Guild Conferences since 1980, has released three complete recordings of notable modern works for trumpet and piano and has recorded as soloist with the New England Brass Band, Lexington Brass Band, Eastern Wind Symphony, and is featured in more than 60 CD releases as principal trumpet of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Terry’s annual Fourth of July performances as principal trumpet of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra are viewed worldwide by millions every year via broadcast, and additionally he has appeared as featured soloist with the orchestra on multiple tours. Terry has performed as soloist with the Costa Rica National Symphony Brass and Percussion, U.S. Army Band (“Pershing’s Own”), Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Peninsula Music Festival, Lexington Philharmonic, Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass, Tanglewood Young Artists Wind Ensemble, Brass Band of Columbus, New England Brass Band and numerous college and high school wind ensembles. Since the pandemic, Everson turned his creativity toward online outlets, self-producing videos by the Boston University Trumpet Ensemble, the Everson Family and a full-length recital for the 2021 Virtual International Trumpet Guild Conference. Last September, Everson added conducting to his repertoire as the newly appointed music director of the New England Brass Band, leading its comeback from an 18-month COVID hiatus.

Peter Everson is a freelance musician in the Boston area and frequently tours across the country with the Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass. Peter graduated from Boston University in spring 2020 with a degree in trumpet performance, studying with his father, Terry Everson. He has performed at Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall and Mechanics Hall. During summers, Peter has played with the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra and the Masterworks Festival in Spartanburg, SC, and worked trumpet assistant at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Peter was featured in his father’s solo recital as part of the 2021 Virtual International Trumpet Guild Conference. He is currently employed at the S.E. Shires Company, a brass instrument manufacturer based in Holliston, Mass., working in order management, administration and sales. In addition, Peter is involved extensively with the music ministry at Metro Church in Marlboro, Mass., singing, playing bass guitar and writing worship music.

Colin Welford was an organ scholar at Oxford University and an orchestral conducting scholar at The Royal College of Music in London. He received graduate degrees from the University of Miami in orchestral conducting and Columbia College of Chicago in film music composition. As a conductor, guest conductor and assistant conductor, Welford has appeared at English National Ballet, The Royal Ballet, Opera North, English National Opera (assistant), New World Symphony (guest) and Florida Grand Opera, and as orchestra director for three years at the New World School of the Arts. As music supervisor and music director, Welford has been at the helm of “The Lion King” (music supervisor, 13 productions worldwide); “The Who’s Tommy” (music supervisor, 13 productions worldwide); “Billy Elliot” (music supervisor, five productions worldwide); “Wicked” (four years as music director in Chicago sit-down company); “Hamilton” (three years as music director in Chicago sit-down company); and The MUNY in St Louis (music director, “Billy Elliott,” “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Annie”). As a pianist, Welford was the official accompanist of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition and the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition. He has accompanied recitals for trumpeters Gil Johnson (The Philadelphia Orchestra) and Kevin Hartman (Milwaukee Symphony) and other prestigious violin and vocal recitals at The Barbican, The Purcell Room and stateside at The White House.

The final concert Feb. 20 will feature Jonathan Bass, a Washington Island native, virtuoso and recipient of the Peninsula Music Festival’s 2019 George Verheyden Memorial College Scholarship.

The program will feature the works of Price, Schuman, Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Debussy.

Jonathan Bass is currently a junior at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., where he was recently named a winner of the concerto competition. A recipient of the Margaret Gary Daniels Keyboard Performance Award, Bass holds a Lawrence University Accompanying Fellowship and is active as a soloist and collaborative pianist. Bass also is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy. A winner of the Wisconsin MTNA competition, Bass is an alumnus of numerous summer music programs, including Birch Creek, Rocky Ridge and the Decoda Chamber Music Festival, for which he was awarded a full-tuition fellowship. Bass made his orchestral debut in 2019, performing the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto with the Birch Creek Symphony Orchestra. Bass started his musical education on Washington Island at age 3.

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