The Origins Concert Series Saturday night at the Church of the Ascension in Silver Spring has new found meaning. Composer of the concert’s centerpiece, Elliott Carter passed away Nov. 5 at the age of 103.
“It’s very poignant,” says Carrie Rose, a flutist and the founder of the concert series. “The more we sink into the piece, the more we respect how beautifully crafted [it is] ... It’s also sad that we’ll never get to talk to him about this piece.”
Rose, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., who moved to Takoma Park in 2000, started the Origins Concert Series three years ago, supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Commission of Montgomery County. In addition to this weekend’s show, two more concerts are scheduled; one in February and another in April.
“When people say, ‘If you had a million dollars, what would you do?’ For me, it was always start a concert series,” says Rose. “I also felt I wanted to do something in my hometown, for my neighbors and my own community.”
On Saturday, the concert series will present Rose, Wes Nichols on the oboe, Cheryl Hill on the clarinet and Maude Fish on the bassoon. All musicians participating in the concert series are professionals with extensive training. Many play in regional orchestras and all are musicians Rose met playing as a freelancer in the area.
Each concert features one of Rose’s pieces as well as a world premiere. And each concert aims to expose audiences to what Rose calls “new” music.
Rose explains “new” music as something that extends the boundaries of the classical music genre and “music that people might not be exposed to in their everyday life.”
She adds that “new music” has a dissonance, or a lack of harmony among musical notes, that sparks a reaction in most people.
“At first when you hear it, you pull away,” says Rose. “But then you get curious and get a little closer and go, ‘Wow, cool!’”
Like the “new music” genre Carter’s work, including his “Eight Etudes,” which Rose and her colleagues will play Saturday night, is not easily classified or understood by most people.
“His music, people didn’t always flock to it,” says Rose. But Rose says she and the other musicians were intrigued by the “Eight Etudes” because it was “incredibly challenging.”
On Saturday, in addition to “Eight Etudes,” “new” music, and a world premiere piece by Rose called “Inside Out,” audiences at the Origins Concert Series will also hear music from a variety of other time periods including “Trio Sonata in F Opus Nr. 4” by 18th century composer George Frideric Handel and “Trois Pieces pour une Musique de Nuit” by 20th century French composer, Eugene Bozza.
Despite the complex or unfamiliar nature of the music, Rose, who also teaches music out of her home and works part-time as a music instructor at the Oneness-Family School in Bethesda, says she feels the Silver Spring and Takoma Park area are ideal for an innovative concert series.
“I find that people are very open-minded and curious and ready for an adventure,” she says. “[They’re] very receptive to new ideas.”