Thank you for your entry in the Oberon contest. We held the recital Tuesday February 26, 2013 and the competition winner was Paul Gelsing from the Netherlands with his piece, "To the New World". The order of finish for the first 3 were:
1. Paul Gelsing
2. Rafael Gutierrez Gandia
3. Brian DeLaney
“To the New World” by the Dutch composer Paul Gelsing won in balloting of the musicians and audience in the finals concert of the Oberon Quartet Composition Competition. Gelsing’s piece is a succession of fragmented tunes and figures that frequently give way to silences, giving the impression of accompaniment of and pauses in an unheard tune.
Second place went to “Autumn Dreams,” a miniature nature tonescape by the Spanish composer Rafael Gutierrez Gandia. In third place was a Gavotte by the Texas composer Brian DeLaney, who attended the concert. DeLaney’s little dance movement was the finalist work that most resembled Franklin’s quartet in its dance-derived “antique” style.
Other finalists were “Franklin’s Whistle,” a piece with narration of a Franklin letter counseling thrift and with two penny whistles joining the strings in climactic moments, by Alisher Latif-Zade, a composer from Tajikistan now based in New York; and “Dancing Icicles,” an abstracted nature evocation by the Bulgarian composer Emelina Gorcheva. - Clark Bustard
Videos will be posted soon.
“The Oberon Quartet, a professional quartet in Residence at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's School in Richmond, VA, is sponsoring a competition to create an original composition no longer than 5 minutes that uses the same scordatura tuning and instrumentation of Benjamin Franklin's string quartet. The piece should use only open strings and/or harmonics. Only natural harmonics will be allowed. No artificial harmonics, please. Harmonics must be notated with diamond-head note shapes which indicate where that note is to be played. (as opposed to writing the sounding pitch.)
Franklin uses 3 violins and cello, and the scordatura tuning is indicated at the beginning of the score.
A prize of $500 will be awarded to the first prize winner.
|Performances this year:|
- Sept 24 - US Chapel
- Sept 24 - LS Chapel
- Sept 25 - MS Chapel
- Oct 1 - US St. Chris Chapel
- Oct 4 - LS St. Chris Chapel
- Oct 17 - LS St. Chris Chapel
- Oct 22 - MS St. Chris Chapel
- Oct 23 - Fall Concert at St. Christophers Luck Leadership Center
- Nov 8 - Lecture Recital Westminster Canterbury
- Feb. 26 - Spring Concert and Competition at St. Catherines Bannard Chapel
A little bit about the Oberon Quartet:
After its formation in 1995 as part of the VCU Music Department, the Oberona Quartet began its residency at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's Schools in 1996, by the kind invitation of Gussie Bannard. Designed to be a quartet in residence, the quartet has become a valuable asset for education, culture and community enrichment. The quartet provides educational concerts and classroom observation to all the divisions of both schools, along with two full length recitals at each school. The members of the quartet teach private lessons to many students in the Saints community, as well as coachings and support to the string program at both schools.
All of the current members are also part of the Richmond Symphony, influencing the greater Richmond area with exciting musical experiences. The quartet seeks to be innovative in its programming by performing music both old and new. The past three years each concert has featured a work by a living composer, including some newly commissioned works. This season promises to engage audiences in new and exciting ways.
|Alana Pritchard Carithers|
Alana Pritchard Carithers, violin, graduated in 1999 from Northwestern University with a double Master of Music degree in violin performance and pedagogy.
She received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Bob Jones University in 1997. During her time at Northwestern, she served as Assistant Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Principal Second Violin of the Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. She also received her Suzuki Certification with the renowned Betty Haag of Chicago.
She was one of the founding members of the MusiCorp program in Chicago, a grant funded chamber music program to take music into the inner city schools and churches of the Chicago area.
In 2005, she began Vivace!, a great summer camp for students in the Richmond/ and Chesapeake areas.
She began her orchestral career as the Associate Principal Second Violin of the Colorado Springs Symphony in 2000 and held that post until 2003. She played as a member of both the DaVinci String Quartet and the Hausmusik String Quartet, in addition to having a private teaching studio. She has appeared as a guest soloist with the Bob Jones University Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Masterworks Festival Orchestra and on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. She has participated in residencies at SIAS International University in Henan Province, CHINA and The University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii.
She plays several solo and chamber recitals each year throughout Virginia. She is currently violinist with the Oberon Quartet in Residence at St. Catherines School, teaches in the Richmond area and has played as part of the Richmond Symphony since September 2003.
Molly Sharp, violist of the Oberon String Quartet, is the Principal Violist of the Richmond Symphony and teaches viola at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Molly is the coordinator and coach for the Chamber Music Program of the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra Program, and teaches at the Richmond Symphony/VCU summer music camp.
Molly received a Bachelor’s Degree from Vanderbilt University/Blair School of Music, studying with Kathryn Plummer. She received her Master’s Degree in 1992 from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and apprenticed with the Cavanni Quartet. Molly has also been a member of the Nashville Symphony and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra. Molly has played chamber music with many different groups and festivals, including the Chamber Music Festival of Central Virginia, Richmond Chamber Players, and the Fulbright Summer Chamber Music Series. Most recently Molly performed on a recital at the International Double Reed Convention, and was a soloist in 2012 with the Richmond Philharmonic, performing Berlioz’s Harold in Italy.
In addition to playing the viola, Molly plays fiddle and sings with the Trevillian Ramblers.
Susy Yim joined the Richmond Symphony in 2001 after completing her Master of Music degree at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
Ms. Yim earned her undergraduate degree from Boston Conservatory, where she received the Arthur B.Whitney award for highest scholastic achievement and was the winner of the Boston Conservatory Concerto competition. She has studied with Raphael Fliegel, Kenneth Goldsmith, Tatiana Dimitriades and David Kim. A native of Hong Kong, Ms. Yim started playing the violin at the age of four and attended the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts when she was nine. Competitions and summer festivals have brought her to countries including France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Scotland, and Japan. Ms. Yim is also an active chamber musician and teacher, she is on the adjunct faculty at the University of Richmond and is currently a member of both the Richmond Chamber Players and the Oberon String Quartet which is in residence at St. Catherine's and St. Christopher's Schools.
|William J. Comita|
WILLIAM J. COMITA, cellist, is a Director of the Strings program at St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s Schools. He also is a section cellist in the Richmond Symphony.
In 1979 Mr. Comita was appointed Assistant Principal Cellist in the Symphony, holding that full-time position for 19 years. He has been a member of numerous chamber music ensembles in the Richmond area, and is currently in the Oberon String Quartet, quartet-in residence at St. Catherine’s/St. Christopher’s Schools.
He has made classical recordings with the Roxbury Chamber Players, classical banjoist John Bullard, rock artist Bruce Hornsby on his album Harbor Lights, as well as with a country-rock band, The Marna Bales Band. Mr. Comita appeared as a cellist/movie extra in CBS’s Sally Hemmings: An American Scandal (2000) and HBO’s Iron Jawed Angels (2004).
In February 2006, he was a guest conductor of the Central Regional Orchestra at L.C. Bird High School in Chester, Virginia.
Mr. Comita has been an instructor of cello at the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University. He currently teaches cello and is the Director of the Strings program at St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s Schools.
He received his Bachelor of Music at Lawrence University (Wisconsin) and his Masters of Music at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he studied with Stephen Geber, principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.