Monthly Archives: January 2018

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Wanda Sobieska Returns as New Music Guild, Inc. Winter-Concert’s Guest Artist

The New Music Guild’s Annual Winter Concerts will take place at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 26th, 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Holy Apostles Parish, 421 Covington Street in downtown Youngstown, and at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, January 27th, 2017 at the First Congregational Church of Jefferson, Ohio (an attractive small red brick church built in 1828). If you take Lincoln Ave. west from 5th Ave. on the YSU campus, it intersects Covington Street after about half a mile. The brown brick Art Nouveau church has a steeple and will be on your right. It is a beautiful acoustic space.

The free admission events will feature violinist/violist, Wanda Sobieska, assisted by
Dana pianist, Anthony Ruggiero, and violist, Jamie Thornburg. Both churches will sponsor special receptions with refreshments in honor of Sobieska and the other musicians.

Born in Warsaw, Poland, Sobieska belongs to the fifth generation of a family of musicians and musicologists. She has appeared as solo and chamber musician in the United States, Poland, and Canada. She regularly plays in many professional orchestras.

She began studying violin at the age of five, and attended the Grazyna Bacewicz School of Music in Warsaw, the Cleveland Music School Settlement, and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, where she earned her Bachelor’s in Violin Performance summa cum laude.

Sobieska is also a gifted arranger and has studied composition for many years. Recent arranging engagements include commissions by the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 she launched, a website dedicated to making much-needed sheet music available to working musicians. Featuring her own practical arrangements of commonly requested pieces available for free while adhering to standards of high quality, the site has a surprisingly large following worldwide.

Dana alumni Anthony Ruggiero is an exceptionally talented pianist, organist, and choir director who has worked at many churches in Northeast Ohio and Florida.
He is know for his accuracy and expressiveness as a performer.

Violist Jamie Thornburg plays regularly with the Ashland Symphony, the Chagrin Studio Orchestra, the Tuscarawas Symphony, and the Black River String Quartet. She has an active viola studio, and helps in local schools.

Sobieska and Thornburg will perform a realization of Der Spiegel Duet, a mirror cannon attributed to Mozart; YSU Emeritus Professor Robert Rollin’s Celtic Duo, with special rhythmic folksong treatments; and his Three English Duos. The latter are paraphrases of English folk songs set with original invertible counterpoint.

Violinist Gwyneth Rollin will begin the concert with the premiere of Rollin’s Margeritkelach Variations accompanied by the composer at the piano. The melody, known worldwide, is an old Jewish folk song definitively recorded in the sixties by singer Theodore Bikel. Gwyneth Rollin studied Violin and Music Theory at the University of Alberta, Calgary and Indiana University (PhD). She played in the National Youth Symphony of Canada, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Youngstown Symphony, and the Warren Philharmonic.

Wanda Sobieska will join Ruggiero for a reading of Adam’s and Aidan’s Reverie, a piece written for her which she premiered this past summer. Aidan is Rollin’s youngest grandchild and Adam, his son-in-law. Rollin wrote it while visiting his family in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Sobieska will also perform the world premiere of Rollin’s Rhapsody on Themes by Rachmaninoff accompanied by Ruggiero. The violin and piano piece is based on themes from Rachmaninoff’s piano concertos.