On Sunday, Oct. 14, Corde Cantanti will be performing at the Chapel of Rest, located at 1964 Highway 268 in Lenoir. The concert begins at 4 p.m. Admission is $15 and there will be a reception after the concert.
Corde Cantanti (Singing Strings) combines the diverse talents of Corinne Cassini, Douglas James and Hazel Ketchum. Featuring the vocals of Hazel, the group focuses extensively but not exclusively on Baroque music, and performs on a variety of historical and modern instruments including lute, guitar, cello, theorbo and percussion.
Franco-American cellist Corinne Cassini was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and began playing the cello where she grew up in Loire Valley, France. After graduating with a Bachelors in Music with Paul Katz from Rice University she moved to Freiburg, Germany for graduate studies in cello with Adriana Contino and viola da gamba with Ekkehart Weber. Once there, her passion for Early Music on period instruments could no longer be contained, leading her to relocate to the Netherlands where she continued her studies. There she continued learning from top experts in the field such as Viola de Hoog, Anner Bylsma, Marc Destrubé, Lucy van Dael, Barthold and Sigiswald Kuijken, Stanley Hogeland and Richard Egar. During her 10 years in Holland, she co-founded several small chamber ensembles (baroque and early classical) which were performed around Europe. She was also invited to play with Arte dei Suonatori with Gerard Lesne, Il Seminario at the Festival de Royaumont and under Christophe Rousset at the Festival d’Ambronay.
Corinne Cassini is equally passionate about the mind-body-soul connection, and thus trained in the Alexander Technique both in Amsterdam and Boston between 2006 and 2012. The spring of 2010 was marked by a move to the East Coast and a return to her American roots. In 2012, she was appointed to teach the Alexander Technique at the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University. As a professional musician, Ms. Cassini loves to work with other fellow musicians and brings to her AT teaching the merger of her intimate and personal experience of playing an instrument, performance issues and the physical and mental challenges of the profession.
Douglas James has appeared as a classical guitarist throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Mexico. He has been a featured recitalist at such notable venues as Italy’s L’Estate Chitarristica sul Lago Maggiore, the Stetson International Guitar Workshop, Oberlin Conservatory and New York’s Carnegie and Merkin Halls. He has won top prize in the Arturo Toscanini Solo Guitar Competition (Italy), and has twice been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship. James often features 19th century instruments in his performances of the Classical and Romantic literature and plays regularly in a period guitar duo with the Italian guitarist Pasquale Rucco.
James has recorded three critically acclaimed CD’s for the Cala Vista label. The first, Italian Romantic Music of the Early 19th century, featuring solo guitar music, was followed by Early Romantic Music for Two Guitars and A Night at the Opera, which were duos with Pasquale Rucco. Gitarr och Luta (Sweden) said, “Douglas James’ playing on the record is for my taste totally splendid. His enthusiasm to explore the early guitar repertoire is obvious, and he has an ability to use the old instruments to their full capacity, with all of their timbral possibilities. He plays intensely and sensitively with flow, ease and elegance.” Classical Guitar (England) said, “Douglas James clearly has a great deal of sympathy for this repertoire and a carefully worked out approach to its interpretation…everything is animated by concern for the life of the music on its own terms and in its own time. This is a welcome addition to the choice of 19th century repertoire played on genuine instruments of the time.”
In addition to his work as a classical guitarist, James has, in recent years, expanded his musical horizons to include his earliest roots playing electric guitar in various contemporary styles and playing Baroque music on the theorbo. For him there’s a strong connection in the almost purely improvisational playing of contemporary electric guitar and the improvisation involved in realizing continuo in Baroque music. It’s all about style, timing and tone.
Douglas James holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona where he studied with Thomas Patterson. Dr. James is Professor of Guitar at Appalachian State University, a past member GuitarFest. You can view more about Douglas James at his personal websites of the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America and directs the annual Appalachian www.douglasjamesguitar.com and www.ruccojamesguitar.com.
Hazel Ketchum is a multi-talented artist, skilled as a singer, guitarist, lutenist and percussionist. Along with her solo performances, Ms. Ketchum has been a member of several chamber ensembles, most notably the early music ensemble Sonus, whose three CD’s on the Dorian label feature Hazel’s vocal and instrumental talents. As a member of Sonus, Hazel has performed throughout the United States and at the Tage Alte Musik Festival in Regensberg, Germany. She has also been featured on radio broadcasts both in the U.S. and in Europe.
Hazel Ketchum has performed countless times on Piccolo Spoleto over the past 22 years and for the following groups and in the following series: Sonus, Na Fidlieri, The Hungry Monks, Charleston Pro Musica, The Taylor Festival Choir, The Harrows, Donnybrook Legacy, Fretwork and Folk Series, Early Music Series, Blues Series, Festival of Churches and Contemporary Music Series. Hazel has given master classes and seminars at Oberlin Conservatory, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, University of Ohio, Akron, University of Southern California, Mississipi State University and Agnes Scott College, Atlanta. She has also presented seminars on music and movement and composition for the Music for Young Children conferences in Banff and Ottawa, Canada. Hazel with her Science Songs Rock partner Ian Sanchez are regular presenters for the Environmental Education Association of South Carolina.
Hazel is also a composer of songs. Writing her first songs as a teenager, Ms. Ketchum has continued writing and performing her own compositions as a soloist and for her group The Hungry Monks. The Hungry Monks have 3 CDs: Superior Crust, Organic Tangerines and All Through the Night. In addition to the Hungry Monks, Hazel plays drums for the blues/gospel trio the Harrows and guitar with the Irish duo banna de dhá. Hazel’s music is also the focus of two children’s CDs, “Big as the World” and “Say Darlin’ Say.” In 2012, Hazel premiered her first commissioned work, “Heloise and Abelard – a masque,” a 30 minute piece for Counter Tenor, Alto and instrumental ensemble.
Hazel is in demand as a music teacher and directs music studies for the Cooper School, Meeting Street Academy, Oak Grove Montessori and develops songwriting residencies for Engaging Creative Minds. In the summers, Hazel teaches with her husband John Holenko for the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Method Camps at Berkley School of Music in Boston and the Method Camp in Charleston, South Carolina. They can also be found teaching music at Green River Preserve in North Carolina where their musical performances and classes combine with outdoor experiences. Hazel is co-founder of Science Songs Rock which brings nature and music programs together for elementary school children and nature fans of all ages.
Hazel lives in Charleston with her family and together they run Hungry Monk Music, where students of all ages come to play music, dance and sing.