The Odessa Record -

Benefit concert secures donations for Harrington's school band program

Series: Harrington News | Story 43

August 22, 2019

Karen Robertson

The guitar quartet of Mike Edmondson, Robert Vierschilling, Stella Stephanie Kosim and Anton Sinkov perform.

Opera House event

Linda Wagner greeted an audience of about 70 to the Harrington Opera House for the August 17 performance of Robert Vierschilling and Friends: An Evening of Classical Guitar. This event, sponsored by Opera House Society, was given as a fundraiser for the benefit of the Harrington School Music program. Wagner expressed the community's pleasure in having a music teacher back on staff, following a year's hiatus of the music program. Wagner also thanked the audience for its wonderful support of this event. Considering that harvest season is continuing, this was considered a good-sized audience. She also noted the support by the number of instruments that had been brought to the event for the new music teacher to take to school.

Robert Vierschilling rose and gave brief introductory remarks and without further ado, the performance began with Mike Edmondson playing "The Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond" (Scottish Folksong arranged for guitar by David Russell). The applause signaled the pleasure of the audience. "Ave Marie" by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was artfully played with a most delicate precision. The audience responded favorably to this number also. Edmondson holds degrees in classical guitar performance from Central Washington University and the University of Idaho. He has been a guest recitalist at Heritage University, Columbia Basin College and the Lake Chelan Bach Festival. Residing in Kennewick, he is a frequent performer throughout the mid-Columbia region. Also an avid teacher, he teaches guitar full-time at McLoughlin Middle School in Pasco and has previously been on staff at Heritage University and at the Tri-Cities Academy of Ballet and Music.

Vierschilling introduced his numbers as delights from South America. "Maria Luisa" by Julio Sagreras (1879-1942) and Prelude I by Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) were the two selections he performed as solos. His performance was met with rousing approval and speaks well of his resume. Robert Vierschilling has an extensive background in classical guitar performance and pedagogy. After earning Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in classical guitar at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, he expanded his range as an instructor with Suzuki guitar teacher training. His Suzuki guitar student ensembles have performed at numerous venues including retirement homes, cafes, the Suzuki Association of Washington State Festival in Ellensburg, the Japan/Seattle Suzuki Institute and at Seattle Classic Guitar Society events. Beginning this fall, he will teach music for the Harrington School District, after recently earning Washington state teaching certification through Eastern Washington University.

Vierschilling introduced Spokane-based classical guitarist Stella Stephanie Kosim. Her concert experience includes solo, duo and ensemble performances. She has performed in master classes presented by the Seattle Classic Guitar Society, Northwest Guitar Festival, New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes and the Guitar Foundation of America for artists such as David Russell, Rene Izquierdo, Sharon Isbin, Marcin Dylla, Berta Rojas, Xuefei Yang and the Amadeus Guitar Duo. A graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied classical guitar performance with Michael Partington, she currently teaches children and adults of all ages.

Kosim and Vierschilling played the following numbers as duets: "Variations on a Sarabande by Haendel" by Ferdinand Rebay (1880-1953); "Juliette" by Maria Linnemann (b. 1947); "Les Lilas", "L'indolente", and "Calypso Surprise" by Thierry Tisserand (b. 1954); "A la Lumiere d'Laube" by Jean-Marie Raymond (b. 1949) and "The Lass of Patie's Mill, an English Folksong arranged for guitar duo by Edward Flower. This husband and wife team truly make music together, and the Society was pleased to have them perform. Following this musical variety, a short Intermission was taken.

The lights flickered to let the audience know that intermission was nearly over, and before the musicians could appear on stage, the audience welcomed their return with more applause. The fourth member of the quartet, Anton Sinkov, joined them on stage and enchanted the audience with his expertise. He has been playing guitar since he was 6. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Washington, where he studied with Steven Novacek and Michael Partington. He has performed widely around Washington state in the past. He currently enjoys playing guitar as a reprieve from his day job as an electrical engineer at PNNL whenever he can get some practicing in.

"Sonata in E Major RV 66" by Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), arranged for guitar quartet by Bryan Johanson; "Oblivion" by Astor Piazzola (1921-1992) arranged for guitar quartet by John Mery; "Couleur Tango" by Thierry Tisserand (b. 1954); "Montmartre" and "New York 900" by Vito Nicolai Paradiso (b. 1964) and the two numbers by Jurg Kindle (b. 1960) "Guitar Lounge" and "Techno" completed the selection of music given by the quartet, Robert Vierschilling and Friends. Their music successfully transported the audience to the various cultures which their music symbolized. The audience as one, rose to their feet and offered a prolonged standing ovation showing their utmost appreciation for a truly classic performance.

Karen Robertson

A number of instruments were donated for Harrington's music program and left at the event for music teacher Robert Vierschilling to take to the school.

This musical group will be playing in a benefit concert for the Guitar Society of the Tri-Cities on August 25. Robert Vierschilling has plans for Harrington's school music department. "Students are excited (and so am I!) that Harrington School will offer band this year. It is an important part of the history of the school, and I plan to keep that tradition going. We will have beginning band for students in fifth and sixth grade, and a concert band for students in grades seven through twelve. Additionally, we're also going to offer a guitar class as an elective for students in grades eleven and twelve. Since classical guitar is my main instrument, I'm looking forward to sharing my years of experience in playing and teaching guitar with Harrington High School students. In addition to teaching students the basics of classical guitar, students can also learn chord strumming, improvisation and fundamentals of music in guitar class." For information about donation of monies or musical instruments, contact the school at 509-253-4331.


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