Middlebury

Avant-garde and eclectic Meridian Arts Ensemble to perform Jan. 13

December 22, 2006

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ? On Saturday, Jan. 13, the Meridian Arts Ensemble will perform in the Middlebury College Center for the Arts Concert Hall at 8 p.m. The concert is part of the ensemble's residency with the Middlebury College Department of Music and will feature selections from their wide-ranging repertoire, which includes Renaissance music, reggae-inspired ska, and works by Frank Zappa and Middlebury College Professor of Music Su Lian Tan.

The five brass players and one percussionist in the New York City-based Meridian Arts Ensemble have earned their reputations as musical iconoclasts. Members include John Ferrari on drums, Daniel Grabois on horn, Benjamin Herrington on trombone, Brian McWhorter and Jon Nelson on trumpet, and Raymond Stewart on the tuba.

"They juxtapose idioms and negotiate complex ideas with dashing nonchalance," wrote one reviewer at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Fanfare has crowned them "Superb virtuosos," and, according to Billboard Magazine, "They become more exciting all the time."

The Meridian Arts Ensemble has performed in 49 states, as well as in Germany, Holland, Belgium, Japan and Taiwan. They have produced eight critically acclaimed recordings on the Channel Classics label and often feature an innovative repertoire that includes J.S. Bach, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, Renaissance and Baroque music, Afro-Cuban dance and South American folk music.

The group received first prize at the 1990 Concert Artists Guild New York Competition, and have been frequent winners of the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Adventurous Programming Award. They performed at New York's Alice Tully Hall for the 25th Anniversary of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

The Meridian Arts Ensemble's performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Department of Music and the Contemporary Music Fund of the Argosy Foundation. The Middlebury College Center for the Arts Concert Hall is on South Main Street (Route 30). Tickets are $5 for general admission and $3 for seniors. For tickets, call the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433. Online tickets and information are available at www.middlebury.edu/arts.