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December 11, 2016
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Change-up at Weekend of Chamber Music; Founder passes the baton

Flutist Judith Pearce brings out the piccolo during a rehearsal at the Eddie Adams Barn in Jeffersonville in 2010.
Contributed photo by Dana Duke

Waggoner said most of the traditions of WCM will not change under the watch of the new artistic directors. He said, “It’s a very special thing starting a chamber music festival and it usually grows out of a very specific relationship with a place, and that’s the sort of thing that can’t be forced, can’t be imposed; it really has to feel organic, which is why I think this has worked so well, because Judith’s relationship to this place is so profound.”

The couple does want to build on what has been created, however, and one new element that will be introduced this summer will be a composer-in-residence. According to a WCM press release, “Noted American composer John Harbison will be the first one to come, and Waggoner and Stinson have centered the festival programming on his music and Pearce’s stellar career, and the festival will celebrate her tenure as WCM’s director.”

Further, the couple will take steps to expand the WCM’s audience base. One way they are going to do this is by hosting a series of get-togethers with some of the major supporters and fans in the region. Stinson said, “We will connect with big fans in the area, and have them host a tea, and introduce us to their friends and acquaintances, and we’ll improvise and play one piece.” She said the couple would like to do several of those gatherings.

From a WCM press release: “Stinson and Waggoner are known for their innovative work with improvisation, contemporary music and school music residencies. They are co-founders of Open End, a new music and improvisation ensemble, and as husband and wife, they are no strangers to working together as a team. Stinson, a cellist, performs internationally with the acclaimed Lark Quartet, and Waggoner is an award-winning composer-in-residence on the faculty of Setnor Music School at Syracuse University. He has enjoyed commissions and performances from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Academy of St. Martin’s in the Fields, and the Cassatt, Corigliano, Miró and Degas Quartets, and many others.”