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Music In The American Wild

SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, Va. — This summer, an ensemble of classical musicians is performing from sea to shining sea, bringing newly composed works to majestic locations during the National Park Service’s centennial year celebrations.

At Shenandoah National Park, listen to specially commissioned musical works on Saturday, June 18, at 1:30 p.m. at the Byrd Visitor Center.

“In this increasingly digital age, it’s easy to forget that for most of its history music has been inspired by the natural world, whether that meant the imitation of birdsong or exploring man’s relationship with his surroundings,” said flutist Emlyn Johnson, who initiated and directs the Music in the American Wild project. “We are excited to celebrate and reconnect with the creative spark offered by our own backyard wilderness, and we hope to inspire audiences and other artists to connect with our national parks through creative acts.”

Eleven composers and eight performers, all affiliated with the Eastman School of Music, have come together to fill iconic American locations with a new opus of inherently American music.

Composers: Chris Chandler, Kevin Ernste, Ted Goldman, Tonia Ko, Aristea Mellos, David Clay Mettens, Jeff Myers, Robert Morris, Daniel Pesca, Adam Roberts, and Aaron Travers.

Performers: Emlyn Johnson, flute/director; Ellen Breakfield-Glick, clarinet; Lauren Becker, horn; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Jeremy Potts, violin; Emily Cantrell, viola; Daniel Ketter, cello/assistant director; and Colleen Bernstein, percussion.

Music in the American Wild will enhance visitors’ experiences in 12 national parks and historic sites: Mammoth Cave National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, Shenandoah National Park, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, San Juan Island National Historical Park, Chapel Performance Space in Seattle, North Cascades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Olympic National Park along with Locust Grove and the George Eastman Museum, a National Historic Landmark in Rochester, N.Y.

Field recordings and short videos made along the Music in the American Wild tour will be streamed and archived online.