Classical String Group Corde Cantanti to Perform at the Ashe Arts Center Saturday, April 2

Published Thursday, March 31, 2016 at 4:15 pm

The Ashe County Arts Council is pleased to welcome to the Gallery of the Ashe Arts Center on Saturday, April 2, Corde Cantanti, or Singing Strings, a passionate blend of percussive accents and singing melodies, both ancient and modern.

The diverse talents of Corinne Cassini on cello, Douglas James on guitar and vocalist Hazel Ketchum come together to focus on many classical genres of music that include Baroque music and more. Performing on a variety of historical and modern instruments that include lute, guitar, cello, theorbo, percussion and more, their concerts feature music of all ages.

Franco-American cellist Corinne Cassini was born in Cincinnati, OH, and began playing the cello where she grew up in the Loire Valley, France. After graduating with a Bachelors degree 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. During her 10 years in Holland, she co-founded several small chamber ensembles (baroque and early classical) which performed around Europe.

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 twice has 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. 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 of the Board of Trustees of the Guitar Foundation of America, and directs the annual Appalachian GuitarFest.

Hazel Ketchum is an accomplished singer and instrumentalist of highly diverse talents. While completing degrees in Classical Guitar performance from the University of Southern California, Hazel also studied voice and Renaissance lute. Combining these disciplines, Hazel began accompanying herself on guitars and lutes, performing the solo and song repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day. Along with her solo performances, Hazel has been a member of several chamber ensembles, most notably the early music ensemble Sonus, whose three CD’s on the Dorian label feature her vocal and instrumental talents. Writing her first songs as a teenager, Hazel has continued writing and performing her own compositions as a soloist and for her group, The Hungry Monks. 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.

The concert starts at 7:30 and admission is $12 adults and $5 students and may be purchased in advance at the Ashe Arts Center or over the phone with a credit card at 336-846-2787.

*Press release from Ashe County Arts Council

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