The next great string musician to come through Oxford may be playing at the Oxford Community Arts Center at 3 p.m. Jan. 25.
Since being introduced this past spring, Miami University’s department of music has put on a show each semester through the musical ensemble Morpheus-a conductor-less group that invites high school students to contribute their musical talents.
The group derives its name from the renowned Orpheus Chamber based out of New York City, which is also conductor-less. The “M” before Orpheus stands for “Miami.”
“With the conductor-less orchestra everyone has to know everyone’s part-it’s more of a challenge,” said Mary Harris, associate professor music. “You all have to work together.”
Harris said that about 12 to 13 high school students from around the country are going to be playing with the group, which is matched with approximately the same number of Miami students. After the show, the high school students will stay overnight to get more of a feel for Miami.
Harris said many high school students in Morpheus eventually go on to enroll at Miami.
Morpheus was initially formed to provide Miami’s orchestra students with an opportunity to play in a challenging conductor-less ensemble. Along with Harris, two other associate professors of music, Harvey Thurmer and Pansy Chang, developed the idea for the group.
Although the concert does involve high school students, Harris said Morpheus maintains a professional atmosphere.
“We want to try to make everyone responsible for their part,” she said.
After giving the musicians music, Harris said the players are expected to have their parts down by the week of the concert, when the ensemble has four to five “very intense” rehearsals.
Senior violin player Tom McDonald has played at every Morpheus show since its inception last spring. He will be one of 20 violin players.
“There’s more baroque style (to the music we play),” he said. “That’s what I enjoy.”
Morpheus funds itself through a grant from the Parent’s Council, a group affiliated with Miami University that awards grants to projects and groups who exemplify commendable service.
The Oxford Community Arts Center is hosting the event without admission, but donations are welcome at the door.
The show is at 3 p.m. and the group will play Serenade for Strings Opus 20 by Edward Elgar, Divertimento in D Major, k. 136 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Violin Concerto in A Minor, bwv. 1041 by Johann Sebastian Bach and Concertino in C Major by Joseph Haydn. Featured soloists will include violinist Amy Kiradjieff and Barbara Green on the fortepiano, which is an early, softer-sounding form of the piano.