Open Your Ears - Preconcert Performance
Tuesday, April 30th at 6:45pm | Dixon Hall, Room 118
ODE TO NOLA: A MUSICAL COLLAGE
Benjamin Hart, Violin I
Kate Withrow, Violin II
Amelia Clingman, Viola
Philip von Maltzahn, Cello
Homer A. Plessy Honor Quartet:
Drucilla Dumas, Violin I
Alana Johnson, Violin II
Lucy Spencer, Viola
Silas McLeish, Cello
About the Program:
Inspired by Friends of Music’s mission to support the cultural vitality of the local community and provide greater
access to chamber music opportunities, Open Your Ears pairs local professional musicians with New Orleans
school music programs. The goals of the program are to increase the presence of chamber music in the
community, to develop the musical proficiency of student musicians, and to increase the music education acumen
of residency musicians and school music directors.
Friends of Music has selected the Polymnia Quartet, as its Open Your Ears residency ensemble. The New Orleans-
based string quartet, which formed in 2015, will lead a series of five workshops for student musicians at Homer
A. Plessy Community School, an arts-integrated charter school in the French Quarter, over the course of the
spring academic semester.
During the Open Your Ears residency, the Polymnia Quartet will work with a group of Plessy student musicians in
middle school to help build their confidence and musical proficiency through personal and ensemble rehearsal as
well as through an authentic performance experience.
At the conclusion of this spring’s Open Your Ears residency, student musicians, alongside the Polymnia Quartet,
will offer a public performance of local composer Tucker Fuller’s “Ode to New Orleans: A Musical Collage,” a
composition written in collaboration with Plessy students in 2018. The performance will be presented free of
charge at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30 in Room 118 of Dixon Hall, before the Friends of Music presents its
Ébène String Quartet concert.
Polymnia Quartet Bio:
The Polymnia Quartet (Benjamin Hart and Kate Withrow, violins; Amelia Clingman, viola; Philip Von Maltzahn, cello) was founded in 2015 in New Orleans with a focus on presenting classical standards and contemporary compositions in atypical venues, offering audiences fresh ways to experience chamber music. The Quartet performs regularly at the Marigny Opera House and for the Marigny Opera Ballet. Locally, they have performed at Southern Rep Theatre, Nola Brewing Company, Tulane University, and at the Audubon Park “Music Under the Oaks” series. In 2018, the Quartet commissioned and premiered a new collaborative work at the Music Box Village.
The Polymnia Quartet has performed for New Orleans Opera Association’s productions of Maria de Buenos Aires andAs One, which they also performed with the Des Moines Metro Opera. Educational collaborations have included masterclasses for the Birdfoot Festival in New Orleans and a side-by-side with the Magnolia Concert Society Chamber Orchestra in Gulfport, MS. They currently serve as Ensemble-in-Residence for the New Orleans Friends of Music’sOpen Your Ears educational initiative.
The name “Polymnia” refers to the Greek Muse of hymns and poetry and is a nod to both New Orleans’ Polymnia Street and the celebrated Mardi Gras Krewe of Muses. You can learn more about the Polymnia Quartet at www.polymniaquartet.com
Homer A Plessy Honor Quartet Bio:
The Homer A. Plessy Community School is an arts integrated, open enrollment, public elementary charter school serving grades PreK4 through 8th grade in New Orleans' historic French Quarter. The mission of the school is to foster projects based learning through the arts in a joyful and diverse environment. Students at Plessy have the opportunity to begin instruction on string instruments as early as 1st grade and continue to perform in the Middle School String Orchestra. The Honor Quartet was formed in 2018 of student musicians that have displayed exceptional talent and dedication over their years of study in the program. They were recently awarded Second Prize in the Junior Division of the 2019 New Orleans Chamber Music Festival Competition.
This educational program supported in part by: City of New Orleans; New Orleans City Council/Harrah’s New Orleans Casino Community Support Grant; Keller Family Foundation; The TEGNA Foundation; New Orleans Theatre Association.