Narrative interview podcast that investigates how culture and diversity impact the world of chamber music. The Whole Note: Voices of Chamber podcast wishes to explore more about chamber groups’ stories, unique experiences, heritages, struggles, and their accomplishments, all of which connect to the importance of education and community.
Episode 07: Brian Mummert, ChamberQUEER
Being a talented baritone and a strong advocate of social issues, Brian Mummert’s passion for and dedication to classical music is evident and seen in his performances and work with ChamberQUEER. As one of the founders of the organization, Brian shares with us the message and goals of ChamberQUEER, including the dedication that goes into each concert. We are so honored to be able to share his stories and experiences with you, and to have been able to chat with him.
ChamberQUEER defines itself as having the goal of “allowing LGBTQ+ voices in classical music to be highlighted, creating intersectionally inclusive spaces, and applying a queer lens to the experience of classical music in the 21st century.” The organization’s programming is full of pieces that challenge the traditional canon of chamber music, break musical precedent, and allow for queer voices to be heard.
Brian shares with us an excerpt of ChamberQUEER’s mashup of Thomas Tallis’s and Caroline Shaw’s “In manus tuas” from their first festival in June 2019. Brian speaks to us about the process and inspiration behind creating such a piece, including discussing the importance of breaking such musical precedent and rules as mentioned.
Episode 06: Carrie Bean Stute
Talented, with a true love for her craft, cellist Carrie Bean Stute’s passion for chamber music and her connection with her audience is highly reflected in the work she does with the Chiarina Chamber Players. As the co-founder and co-artistic director of the organization, Carrie shares with us Chiarina’s ethos and the passion that is poured into each concert. We are so honored to share her stories and experiences with you and to have been able to chat with her.
The Chiarina Chamber Players organization defines itself as a “hybrid,” between a self-presenting concert series and a performers’ collective. Chiarina’s programming holds a mix of traditionally considered classical chamber repertoire (e.g. Brahms), alongside new music and some lesser-known composers. One of their goals is to feature composers of color and composers of varied backgrounds (including, but not limited to immigrants and women).
One exciting recent project is a commission and premiere by Carlos Simon—whose music is additionally featured in this episode—the current composer-in-residence at the Kennedy Center: a project which was funded by Chamber Music America. For 2022-23 Chiarina Chamber Players is slated to start some educational outreach in neighborhood schools and over at THEARC, which extends their community outreach to a younger set.
Episode 05: Raul Aranas
Raul Aranas is a guitarist, composer, and actor. He has appeared in theatrical productions including Miss Saigon, The King and I, and Flower Drum Song, as well as TV productions including Law & Order and The Blacklist.
Born in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, Raul shares with us the culture, music, artists, and experiences that shaped his childhood and his musicianship and musicality. He expresses his great love and passion for jazz music, and provides valuable insights into the songwriting and production process of his original album Cool Blue.
Check out Raul's original eclectic album Cool Blue on Spotify and Apple Music.
To learn more about Raul's theater and acting experiences, please visit his personal pages on Playbill and IMDb!
To learn more about Concerts in Motion, the nonprofit organization Raul performs with, check out their website at Concerts in Motion!
Your feedback is important to us. Check out our website at thewholenotepodcast.org to see more about Raul Aranas and other episodes.
Music in this episode:
- "Flamingo Nights" written by Raul Aranas.
- Podcast intro, segue and outro music was composed and produced by Amy Baskurt and Heather Wang.
Episode 04: The String Queens
The String Queens are a dynamic trio that bring a soulful sound to inspire musicians and audiences alike to move and to “love, hope, feel, and imagine.” Based in Washington DC, The Strings Queens are Dawn Johnson, viola; Élise Sharp, cello; and Kendall Isadore, violin.
Dawn, Élise, and Kendall share with us how culture, family, and education inspires them to be the musicians they are today. As musicians and also teachers, they value education and the importance to always keep learning.
The Strings Queens discuss their partnership and project with ESPN for "The Championships, Wimbledon 2021 promotional global campaign." Playing their arrangement of Harry Styles’ "Golden" is "symbolic of how well Wimbledon marries tradition and progress in a contemporary world."
To learn more about The String Queens, check out their website at The String Queens, Facebook, and/or Instagram.
Also, to learn more about the DC Youth Orchestra Program, a nonprofit organization, that The String Queens value, please check out their website at DC Youth Orchestra Program.
Your feedback is important to us. Check out our website at https://www.thewholenotepodcast.org to see more about The String Queens and other episodes.
Music in this Episode:
—“Golden” written by Harry Styles, Mitch Rowland, Tyler Johnson and Kid Harpoon; trio arrangement by The String Queens. Performed by The String Queens. Kendall Isadore, violin; Élise Sharp, cello; and Dawn Johnson, viola.
—Podcast intro and outro music was composed and produced by Amy Baskurt and Heather Wang. Segue property of Garageband.
Episode 03: Catalyst Quartet
The Grammy Award Winning Catalyst Quartet was founded by the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Organization in 2010. The ensemble includes Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello. We had the pleasure of speaking with Catalyst Quartet members Karla Perez and Paul Laraia.
Karla and Paul speak about how their Puerto Rican culture and education have pushed and inspired them to include diversity in their music. Also, how being a chamber musician can bring together connections and build friendships.
The Catalyst Quartet discuss their project UNCOVERED, with the mission to celebrate the music of historically-important black composers, including: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, William Grant Still, Joseph Boulogne Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Florence B. Price, Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, and George Walker. The music of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Volume 1 of UNCOVERED, is featured in this episode.
To check out and stay in touch with the Catalyst Quartet please visit their website https://catalystquartet.com, Facebook, and Instagram.
Music in this episode:
—-Prelude Fantasiestücke by Samuel Coleridge Taylor played by the Catalyst Quartet (Karla Donehew Perez, violin; Abi Fayette, violin; Paul Laraia, viola; and Karlos Rodriguez, cello).
Episode 02: Tereasa Payne
Tereasa Payne is a world flutist and woodwinds specialist in New York City. She is the creator of the "Flutes of the World" concert, a founding member of the Areté Woodwind Doubling Quartet, and has performed in countless Broadway shows as well as the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Tereasa's genuine love and passion for music from all around the globe has inspired her to learn more than 20 world flutes from 17 different countries. She speaks about the way in which she hopes to honor the respective native cultures of the flutes by showcasing them and their music to an audience. Her woodwind doubling quartet consists of extremely talented, knowledgeable, and kind musicians, and Tereasa speaks about why chamber music is so special and what sets it apart from solo and larger ensemble performance.
In this episode, we have the pleasure of featuring a musical excerpt of Tereasa performing folk music and improvisations on several different world flutes. More information about the flutes played can be found on the podcast website.
To keep up with Tereasa Payne, please visit her website www.TereasaPayne.com or her Facebook page. More information about her "Flutes of the World" concert can be found at www.WorldFlutesConcert.com. To check out Concerts in Motion, the nonprofit organization Tereasa works with, please visit www.ConcertsInMotion.org.
"And there's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait, just you wait!"
- "Alexander Hamilton" from the musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda