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Silverwood Quartet

During the past decade the Silverwood Quartet has brought their fresh and innovative approach to chamber music to enthusiastic audiences throughout the United States and Japan. Although their standard instrumentation is flute, violin, viola, and cello, a typical performance by this versatile ensemble will include a kaliedescope of instrumental colors. A variety of flutes, whistles and recorders, Celtic Harp, mandolin, Irish bouzouki, guitar, Coral sitar, and an array of percussion instruments could be featured in one of Silverwood’s unique arrangements. Add to that an eclectic mix of musical styles from around the world and across the centuries played with artistry and passion and you have an unforgettable concert experience that will move and delight one and all!

Andra Bohnet (flute) and Tom Morley (violin) are founding members of the quartet, which began in 1996, and Jonathan Clark (viola) was added in 2000. The addition of Barbara Gabriel (cello) in 2003 has stimulated the group into an unsurpassed level of artistry and creativity. In addition to their concert appearances, the ensemble has recorded five CDs (so far!) which have been featured on public radio stations throughout the U.S. and have been downloaded throughout the world.

The newest project of the group is The Classic Rock Album, which was released in April 2005. No elevator music here! The quartet has captured the "essence" of what makes tunes by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, Moody Blues, Yes, and other rock groups of the 60s and 70s tick in their original versions. If you know the original, you can sing along! Regarding this album, rock icon Ian Anderson, flutist and leader of Jethro Tull said, "Many thanks for the CD. I enjoyed it very much and especially the variety of musical styles it incorporated. Keep up the good work and help bring the worlds of pop/rock and the Classical traditions together."

In November 2004, the quartet released To Drive the Cold Winter Away, a stunning collection of works that reflect an older, earthier and simpler view of Christmas, winter, and the holiday season. The repertoire ranges from classical (Andra's virtuosic rendition of Vivaldi's Winter Concerto) to Celtic (Loreena McKennitt's The Mummer's Dance, their best seller on iTunes) to early music influences (Brian Joyce's Hear Ye News Today, where the quartet members double as percussionists). "The Silverwood Quartet is an extraordinary chamber ensemble presenting a most exquisite instrumental treatment of classical holiday fare." The interactions of flute, harp and cello, violin and viola are pure magic. The intense beauty of songs like Taladh Chriosda (Christ Child Lullaby), The Wexford Carol, and so many others can bring tears to your eyes. Then the percussive explosions on Masters In This Hall bring you to your feet." (Christmasreviews.com)

Because there is not much existing literature for flute, violin, viola and cello, the quartet has actively created and commissioned a wealth of unique repertoire and is constantly working on new projects. Flutist Andra Bohnet is the group's primary arranger, but the ensemble frequently collaborates in the creative process collectively as well. Silverwood has also commissioned new works from composers Kris Wilkinson, Gary Schocker, David Ott and Brian Joyce. The ensemble was also the centerpiece for a unique commission honoring the Tricentennial of the City of Mobile from the American Composers Forum, Museum Loan Network, Mobile Symphony Orchestra and Mobile Museum of Art. The resuting final work, Structures by composer William Banfield, showcased the Silverwood Quartet as soloists in a quadruple concerto with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in October 2003.

BIOS

ANDRA BOHNET (flute) is a peformer who embraces a rich variety of musical styles and performs on flutes of all shapes and sizes; classical, traditional Irish, baroque and a variety of ethnic instruments, as well as Celtic harp. She holds the post of Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama in Mobile where she teaches flute, music literature, and chamber music and is the principal flutist with Mobile Symphony and the Gulf Coast Symphony in Biloxi. Andra is a founding member of the Silverwood Quartet and also their primary arranger; her works appear on all of their CDs. Along with Tom Morley, she also founded and performs with the popular Celtic band Mithril, for whom she has also created the symphonic orchestrations. When not involved in music making, Andra is an active martial artist, having earned a third degree black belt in the style of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. In the alternate universes of her mind she is alternately a Jedi Knight (her hero is Yoda!) and a hobbit!

TOM MORLEY (violin) has performed professionally in almost every style of music, from country and Celtic, to jazz, pop, and symphonic. Before moving to the Gulf Coast area in 1993, he worked for many years as a studio musician and performer in Nashville, where he earned a gold album. As a jazz violinist, he performs with his own group, Classic Jazz (formerly 78RPM), was part of two European tours with the New Orleans Jazz All-Stars, and has had two CDs in national release. Along with Andra Bohnet, he is a founding member of Silverwood and the Celtic music group Mithril. He is Assistant Principal Second with Mobile Symphony and has been a featured soloist with the orchestra on four separate occasions. He maintains an active teaching studio with many of the area's top young violinists, and is in demand as an Elderhostel instructor and string workshop clinician.

JONATHAN CLARK (viola) began studying violin with Anna Tringas at the age of five and, by age thirteen, was one of the youngest violinists to ever join the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of The University of West Florida, he is a versatile performer on violin, viola and bass with a variety of ensembles including Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola Children's Chorus, the contemporary Christian group "Journeysong" and his family's band "Clark & Company." Jon teaches strings at seven elementary schools and also has a private studio. In addition, he owns and operates Wolfehollow Studios where the two most recent Silverwood CDs were recorded, multitasking as recording engineer (while playing the viola and doing the Mummer’s Dance) and doing post-production mixing and mastering.

BARBARA GABRIEL (cello) is currently principal cellist of both the Pensacola Symphony and the Mobile Symphony. She has played with the Santa Fe Opera and toured with the New York City Opera National Company. Her chamber music experience includes the Concertante de Chicago and the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia. She has performed in the Masterclass of Janos Starker and played in the Chicago Civic Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti. Barbara studied music at Michigan State University, California State University at Northridge, and Wichita State University. In addition to her musical interests, she is the mother of three adorable and energetic children ages 8, 10 and 12, who must constantly be driven to basketball practice, track, Brownies, Irish dance lessons, movies, sleepovers, and of course, more birthday parties than she can ever remember attending as a child!

Source: Silverwood Quartet website (URL no longer available)

 

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