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Press Releases

Monday, March 18, 2013

Allegheny Ensemble Continues Jackson Chamber Music Series Wednesday, April 17

Allegheny EnsembleSALISBURY, MD---The Peter and Judy Jackson Chamber Music Series at Salisbury University continues Wednesday, April 17, with the Allegheny Ensemble.

The trio—cellist Jeffrey Schoyen, violinist Sachiho Murasugi and pianist Ernest Barretta—performs with guest clarinetist Les Nichols. Each piece on the program incorporates the clarinet, which was a favorite instrument among Romantic composers due to its expressive qualities.

Selections include Air and Simple Gifts, written by John Williams and performed for President Obama’s 2009 inauguration. Also on the program is Brahms’ Clarinet Trio, Op. 114, considered one of the masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire. Written late in the composer’s life, the piece has an “autumnal” character brought out by Brahms’ exploitation of the mellow quality of the clarinet, coupled with the dark, rich sound of the cello. The concert also includes a Haydn trio and the popular Libertango by Astor Piazzolla.

Named for the Allegheny River which flows through the Pittsburgh area where the musicians originally played together, members of the Allegheny Ensemble reunited as a trio upon moving to the Eastern Shore.

Conductor and music director of the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and the Salisbury Youth Orchestra, Schoyen teaches cello and bass at SU.  He has given concerts throughout the United States, Germany, Mexico and Spain, and received a Frank Huntington Beebe Grant to study in London with William Pleeth. He is also a Tanglewood Gustav Golden Award recipient. Schoyen honed his cello skills at the New England Conservatory of Music and Carnegie Mellon University, before earning his D.M.A. at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Murasugi has performed extensively as a professional orchestral and chamber musician. She has been concertmaster of the Sorg Opera Orchestra in Ohio and the Filarmonic del Bajio in Mexico. She also has been a member of the West Virginia Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic and Springfield Symphony. She received the National Endowment for the Arts Rural Residency Grant in chamber music and performed a recital at Museo del Prado in Madrid that was broadcast on Radio Nacional de Espana. Holding a D.M.A. from Ohio State University, she is concertmaster for the SSO.

A successful soloist and chamber musician, Barretta has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada. A member of the piano faculty at Juilliard School of Music, he recently appeared at the Seoul Music Festival and Academy in South Korea. A collaborative artist, he has played with such internationally recognized musicians as baritone Christopher Robertson and trumpeter Terry Everson. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory and earned a D.M.A. from Peabody Conservatory.

Nichols has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and other national venues. He has served as principal clarinetist with New York’s Classic Chamber Orchestra, the West Virginia Symphony, the Dallas Chamber Orchestra and the New York Harlem Opera, among others. Internationally, he has played at festivals in Austria and Italy, and elsewhere in Europe. Dedicated to passing on his love of the clarinet, he currently teaches at Eastern Mennonite University. He holds performance degrees from the University of Texas and Northwestern University.

Sponsored by the Office of Cultural Affairs, admission is free and the public is invited.  For more information call 410-543-6271 or visit the SU Web site at

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