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Seventh Roadrunner Ensemble in concert Jan. 31 to benefit “Family Promise”

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Clarinet, viola and piano trio ‘Seventh Roadrunner Ensemble’ performs works of Max Bruch, Jean Françaix, Robert Schumann, Gordon Jacob and Joseph Horovitz on Friday January 31 at 7:30 PM at Scottsdale Congregational United Church of Christ, 4425 North Granite Reef Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Admission is free; donations will be accepted to benefit Family Promise. A reception follows the concert. The hour-long concert is suitable for children age 10 and up, and great for students needing concert attendance credit.

Seventh Roadrunner members Brian Viliunas, clarinet; Katherine Shields, viola and
Andrew O’Brien, piano will be playing selections from Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Op. 83 by Max Bruch; Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano by Joseph Horovitz and Marchenbilder, op. 113 for Viola and Piano by Robert Schumann. Also on the program is a movement from Trio, for clarinet, viola, and piano by the French neoclassical composer Jean Françaix and Miniature Suite for Clarinet in Bb and Viola by Gordon Jacob.

Seventh Roadrunner Ensemble was founded in 2010 by pianist Andrew O’Brien, violist/violinist Katherine Shields, and clarinetist Brian Viliunas. It is an ensemble member of Chamber Music America, has performed in Arizona and Colorado, and serves as Artistic Directors of the Silverton Fall Color Chamber Music Fest in Silverton, CO. In 2013 Seventh Roadrunner was privileged to premiere works of American composers Zachary Bramble and Bill Douglas. Seventh Roadrunner Ensemble is on the Teaching Artists Roster of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. In June 2014 they will be in residence at Chaparral MusicFest’s Chamber Music Workshop in Prescott.

Andrew O’Brien, piano, received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Solo Performance from Arizona State University where he studied with Robert Hamilton. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University and earned his Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, where he studied piano with Gabriel Chodos and chamber music with Benjamin Zander. Andrew is adjunct faculty in piano and music theory at Scottsdale Community College and maintains a teaching studio in Phoenix. He is a member of the College of Examiners of Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

Katherine Shields, viola, holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master’s from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). She is a member of the Arizona Opera Orchestra and the violist of Quartet Sabaku, a string quartet on the Teaching Artists Roster of the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Katherine serves as Music Director of the San Tan Orchestra, a community orchestra in Phoenix’s East Valley and is also Director of the Chaparral MusicFest Chamber Music Workshop (Prescott, AZ) as well as faculty for the Silverton Fall Color Chamber Music Fest in Silverton, CO.

Brian Viliunas, clarinet, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University, a Master of Music from Rice University (Houston, TX) and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Arizona State University. He currently teaches at Samford University and is Principal Clarinet of the Arizona Opera Orchestra. Brian is the founder and director of the Sustainable Symphony. He has played with orchestras in Houston, Racine, and Waukesha, and also the Bergen Philharmonic, while living in Norway as a Fulbright Scholar. He is a member of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, where he performed principal clarinet on their DVD recording of Verdi’s Requiem with conductor Placido Domingo. He has also performed with Lorin Maazel, Benjamin Zander, Carlos Miguel Prieto and Andrew Litton.

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