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Music Unwrapped returns to the Empress

GAZETTE CONTRIBUTORS – JIM DAY AND VICKI ARNDT
Record concert attendance last year prompted the return of Music Unwrapped Chamber Music Concert for families at the Empress Theatre.
This family-oriented concert at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 2 is designed to introduce parents, children, and others to the rich world and heritage of classical music.
The Music Unwrapped Concert is the conclusion to this year’s Project Muse, a two-week program of school visitations performed by experienced musicians.
“Project Muse and Music Unwrapped are a component of the Empress Theatre’s music and education programs,” Empress Theatre executive director Brent Hutchinson said. “As we see more school funding cutbacks, specifically to music programs, we strive to offer alternative routes for schools to access musical education in southern Alberta through the Empress.”
This year’s program includes pieces by French composer Claude Debussy, German baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann, American composer Randall Thompson, English composer Paul Reade, and Canadian composer Milton Barnes.
Project Muse, a musical outreach program organized by the Empress Theatre, brings four young, professional musicians together to perform, share and interact with school children and families of southwestern Alberta.
This year’s group includes returnees Sarah Gieck (flute) and Brooke Day (viola) along with new artists Erin Fung (clarinet) and Olivia Ritchie (harp). All are Alberta musicians. Day, originally from Lethbridge, is pursuing his musical career in London, England.
The program involves visits to 14 schools, a record number in 2012 for the Project Muse.
Schools in Pincher Creek, Stavely, Claresholm, Enchant, Lomond, Glenwood, Barnwell, Coaldale, and Lethbridge are hosting the musicians.
New to this year’s Project Muse and Music Unwrapped is the new Empress Theatre Blog for artists and staff of the Empress Theatre.
The blog at: empresstheatrefortmacleod.blogspot.ca titled “Behind the Empress Scenes” is a forum where visiting artists, actors and staff blog and share their knowledge, experiences, thoughts and more with the public.
Watch for blogs from the four Project Muse stars during school visits.
Project Muse will also be part of two events honouring the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
On Monday, May 21 the musicians will visit the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek.
On Sunday, May 27 the Galt Museum in Lethbridge will welcome the musicians as part of their celebrations.

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