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Poetry inspires compositions on March 15 program featuring Brandon Ridenour and Useful Chamber


Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

Contact: Elizabeth Start, Executive Director MFSM



Brandon Ridenour March 15www.mfsm.us

Contact: Brandon Ridneour


The Michigan Festival of Sacred Music presents Kalamazoo native Brandon Ridenour in concert with his New York-based ensemble Useful Chamber at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15 at First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Poetry inspires compositions on March 15 program featuring Brandon Ridenour and Useful Chamber

KALAMAZOO — Original and familiar music both have a place on an upcoming program featuring acclaimed trumpeter Brandon Ridenour, the commissioned composer for the 2015 Michigan Festival of Sacred Music.

The program—at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 15 at First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave.—will feature the premiere of a piece commissioned by the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music written by Ridenour called “Sacred Space”, a collection of songs inspired by the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe.

Poetry is also the inspiration of a second original piece on the program, composed by Michigan Festival of Sacred Music Executive Director Elizabeth Start inspired by a text by Conrad Hilberry, and written at Ridenour’s request.

“There will be quite a bit of original, yet accessible music that was written for this group,” Ridenour says. “We pace the program though, with many arrangements of repertoire from classical to pop.”

Ridenour describes Useful Chamber, a group he put together, as a collective of singer-songwriters and composers collaborating with classical musicians.  “We do originals and arrangements all played on real, resonating, acoustic instruments you would find in an orchestra,” Ridenour says. “I formed this group as both a creative outlet for myself and also for my musician friends who were looking for a new direction to take their music.”

This concert will feature two singer-songwriters who are part of the group, Ridenour as a composer/arranger, and a stellar chamber group of NYC-based musicians.

The March 15 concert will be the third time Ridenour returns to Kalamazoo in the past year and he is looking forward to it.

“It’s always comforting to perform for the home crowd,” Ridenour says. “It’s like having home-field advantage. They’re rooting for you!” 

Ridenour began playing piano at the age of 5 under the tutelage of his father, Rich Ridenour, with whom he still performs on a regular basis.

Brandon Ridenour has appeared frequently at Carnegie Hall and has been invited to perform with some of the world’s leading ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, International Contemporary Ensemble, and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Europe.  He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and an alumnus of The Academy, a two year fellowship program with Carnegie Hall, Juilliard and the Weill Music Institute.  In 2006, at the age of 20, Brandon joined the iconic Canadian Brass, a position he held for seven years. Brandon currently resides in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Tickets $20;  $15 for seniors, and $5 for students. Tickets are now on sale here and will be available at the door. For information, call 269-382-2910  or visit www.mfsm.us.

Details on the full 2015 festival, Nov. 5-15, coming soon.

About the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music

The recognition that an appreciation for the sacred music of one’s own culture and that of others’ can bring people together inspired the first Michigan Festival of Sacred Music organized by Kalamazoo civic and religious leaders in 2001. The organization has been bringing the best of sacred music from around the world to Kalamazoo since then. The Michigan Festival of Music is a nonprofit corporation supported by individual donations and numerous grants.

Link to ticket sales: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1233616

Link to Useful Chamber performance-USEFUL CHAMBER – Romanian ‘Funk’ Dances – Bartok/Ridenour

Link to Useful Chamber performance-USEFUL CHAMBER – All the Lonely People – McCartney/Ridenour

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