Montclaire String Quartet

The Montclaire String Quartet will be celebrating its 23rd year as Quartet-in -Residence of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra with the 2012-2013 season. In addition to performing its own four-concert series in Charleston and recitals around the state, each of the Quartet members serve as the principal of the Symphony’s string sections. A large part of Montclaire’s mission is to bring classical music to children throughout West Virginia, and the Quartet plays approximately 70 uniquely innovative programs per year, reaching as many as 14,000 kids of all ages annually. A special educational concert was seen throughout the state on a one-hour West Virginia Public Broadcasting special for the Arts and Letters series at the Governor’s Mansion.

These various accomplishments have placed the Montclaire String Quartet in the heart of the Kanawha Valley community and they have been proud recipients of the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Organization given by the Fund for the Arts.

The Montclaire are previous prizewinners in The Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, Chamber Music Society of the Monterey Peninsula Competition, Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, Evian International String Quartet Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. They have previously held positions as Artists-in-Residence at the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. For many summers it was featured as Quartet-in-Residence at the New Hampshire Music Festival.

Montclaire String Quartet has always been committed to performing contemporary works for their audiences. As part of a consortium of four chamber ensembles, the Quartet was awarded a grant to commission a piece by composer Morton Subotnik that was premiered in the 1998-99 season. The Quartet was also invited to perform and subsequently record Katherine Hoover’s piano quintet, Da Pacem, which has been released on the Koch Classics label. This led to a successful recital on the Terrace Theater Series at Washington’s Kennedy Center.  The quartet recently gave the world premiere of West Virginia composer David Williams’s String Quartet No. 1, as well as a presentation of “Black Angels” by West Virginia composer George Crumb.

In the 2008-2009 season, the quartet in conjunction with the West Virginia Symphony, was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to present works by American composers. This led to a series of highly successful programs state- wide featuring the works of Darol Anger among others.

Current Montclaire members shown above are Amelia Chan, violin; Anton Shelepov, violin; Bernard Di Gregorio, viola; Andrea Di Gregorio, cello.

Andrew and Amy Vaughan Student Symphonic Fellowship

Three Young Musicians Selected as Fellows

Jacob Bumgarner, Pete Nichols, and Jonathan Shin have been selected as the Student Symphonic Fellows in the Andrew and Amy Vaughan Fellowship Program through the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO).  These students were selected following interviews and auditions on Saturday, December 7, in Charleston, WV.

     Bumgarner, junior at South Charleston High School, studies piano and is active in competitions through the WVMTNA.  Bumgarner plays piano for his church and local community events. He is also a member of the Black Eagle soccer team.

     Nichols, junior and percussionist at Capital High School, plays in the Cougar marching, jazz and concert bands, and the percussion ensemble, as well as in the WV Youth Symphony.

    Shin, violinist from Capital High School, is a sophomore who is active on several Cougar sports teams. He plays principal viola in the West Virginia Youth Symphony, and participates in musical festivals and competitions throughout WV.

    Donald Forman and Haleigh Frail have been selected as a student interns in the program. Forman is a junior in the George Washington High School band where he plays clarinet. Additionally, he plays bassoon for the WV Youth Symphony.  Frail, sophomore at Capital High School, plays both clarinet and violin at school and in the WV Youth Symphony.

  As part of their Student Symphonic program activities, students sit on stage alongside WVSO musicians in different sections of the orchestra during rehearsals and meet renowned guest artists during the second half of the symphonic subscription series.  They conduct personal research about the music being performed by the WVSO.

   Sponsored by Dr. Andrew and Amy Vaughan for twelve consecutive years, this program continues to develop and encourage WV high school students in pursuing a career as professional musicians, educators, composers or conductors of the future. This monitored and time-intensive training program for serious music students remains a unique program among orchestras throughout North America.