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Penn’s Woods Music Festival celebrates 10th anniversary

Penn’s Woods Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Penn’s Woods Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Photo provided

Penn’s Woods Music Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary in its current format.

The fully professional classical music festival, supported jointly by Penn State and the community, includes four concerts — two chamber music concerts (June 14 and 21) and two orchestra concerts (June 17 and 24).

The chamber music concerts are more “adventurous” in terms of programming, with music from all different periods, some unknown composers and different combinations of instruments, said music director Gerardo Edelstein.

In the orchestra concerts, Edelstein said, they try to combine the most familiar pieces with some lesser known pieces so the audience has the opportunity to discover new music.

The orchestra concert on June 17 will feature Orpheus Singers, conducted by Christopher Kiver, in a performance of Bach’s “Magnificat.”

The festival brings together Penn State School of Music faculty, community members, graduate students and some musicians from around the country, Edelstein said.

“It’s a great way of bringing the best of the best, and I always say it’s like driving a Ferrari,” he said. “When you have those luxury cars, everything is perfect and sounds perfect; although the big difference is that cars don’t have a soul and people do. So I’d rather do this than drive a Ferrari. It’s really very enjoyable. ... It’s a great opportunity for me to get to make great music together with great musicians.”

On Wednesday, audiences will have the opportunity to hear performances at The Arboretum at Penn State.

Smaller groups perform throughout the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens and then come together for a few final pieces, Edelstein said.

It’s an attempt to get people closer to the classical music experience in a relaxed, outdoor environment, he said.

We want to take our music to the people and to have them experience a little bit of what we do.

Gerardo Edelstein, music director

“We want to take our music to the people and to have them experience a little bit of what we do,” he said.

To celebrate the festival’s anniversary, additional community engagement events have been added to the schedule.

Among them are Penn’s Woods Music 4 Kids, said Debbie Trudeau, a member of the festival’s advisory council and musician. The idea is to take the musicians to where children are.

A lot of the thinking about growing the festival has revolved around future audiences and trying to reach out to kids and students, she said.

Other events include masterclasses, Coffee and Classical Conversation and Cocktails and Classical Conversation and Inside the Orchestra seminars.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz

IF YOU GO

  • What: Penn’s Woods Music Festival
  • When: Tuesday-June 24
  • Where: various locations
  • Info: mpw.psu.edu
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