College of Marin, Santa Rosa JC Symphonies Perform First Joint Concerts
Concerts to Benefit Charles Meacham String Scholarships
Kentfield, CA—March 2 , 2011—Musicians from College of Marin and Santa Rosa Junior College community orchestras are joining creative forces this spring to present works by Vivaldi, Haydn, Prokofiev and Beethoven in what may be the first collaborative venture of its kind for both campuses.
Meacham is the impetus for the concerts, said Tara Flandreau, violinist, violist, composer/improviser and conductor, and chair of the Performing Arts Department at College of Marin. Both Flandreau and Cynthia Weichel, adjunct faculty at Santa Rosa Junior College and conductor, are former private Meacham students who he encouraged to meet.
"He was one of the main music people in Marin for a very long time," Flandreau said. "I am hoping a lot of the Marin musical community who remember Charles will come out to support this event."
Each orchestra will perform one piece alone and join together for two other pieces. In honor of Meacham's legacy, the Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor and a string orchestra will feature solo performances by three of his former students: Flandreau, Weichel, Joanna Pinckney, the administrative assistant for the Performing Arts Department at College of Marin who will serve as a concert master, and Sebastian Shader, a Santa Rosa student who will also serve as a concert master.
"It was the Vivaldi piece that prompted the violins because that's the connection we have as students of Charles Meacham," Flandreau says, noting that several other orchestra members are former Meacham students. The concert will also feature the Haydn Symphony No. 104, the Egmont Overture by Beethoven the more contemporary Prokofiev Classical Symphony. Parts in the joint pieces will be shared as well as the conducting. "We wanted to find things that were well-loved pieces that would be fun for the orchestras to play."
As a college instructor, Meacham worked as the string coach. He choreographed the synchronized violin bowings with an eye for appropriate historical context of each piece and was known for his precision and attention to detail rather than a flashy or showy style.
"He was very measured in his approach to things," Flandreau said. "It was a more old-fashioned style of being. He recalled that gentile era and was known for the refinement that he would bring to the music. His style was about the musicality in a true way."
Meacham formed the College of Marin chamber music class and was part of a string quartet that played throughout Marin County," Flandreau said. "When he passed it was sort of an end of an era." The off-site concerts are also a way to share the music with a broader audience. Many of his students went on to become teachers themselves. "We're passing those ideas down."