By: Charnele L. Box
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC The Loop)- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s music department is known for having great musical events. This year the music department is will present the Marian Anderson String Quartet to the Chattanooga community, February 20 – 22.
In the fall of 1989, members of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, then known as the Chaminade Quartet joined forces to accomplish more than they ever dreamed. The Marian Anderson String Quartet has won major classical competitions and performed at the White House during a Presidential Inauguration.
The Marian Anderson String Quartet Residency project was initiated by Dr. Jonathan B. McNair, Coordinator of Theory and Composition at UTC, as part of an effort to raise public awareness of the contributions to concert (classical) music by African American and other minority performing artists and composers.
“I became interested in bringing acclaimed African American classical music composers and performers to Chattanooga a few years ago. I had purchased a collection of music by Black composers, and liked some of the music very much,” said McNair.
The four women are passionate about their musical art. They will perform a concert for the public, work with local music students, of high school and collegiate levels, conduct a workshop for young composers from around the Southeast, and participate in a public panel discussion.
The MASQ will visit Orchard Knob Elementary school on Thursday Feb. 20 in the morning, and Center for Creative Arts high school Thursday afternoon Feb 20.
“I hope to bring other highly skilled minority artist to campus in coming years, such as the Ritz Chamber Players, and/or the Imani Winds, or fine solo artists who I’ve come across online. If this MASQ program is successful, which I believe it will be, then we have a foundation to build on for the future,” he continued.
Each member of the ensemble is trained at top conservatories and universities such as Julliard School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and Shepherd School of Music.The women of the string quarter have a strong commitment to music education, and established a community music school in their home base of Bryan, Texas, as well as string quartet music camps in the Southwest and the Virgin Islands.
Sources: UTC Music Department and Marian Anderson Quartet Sites