University of Oregon music professors, grad student quartet perform in free concert

Hal Grossman and Fritz Gearhart, front left and right, respectively, will perfrom in Newport on Feb. 15, along with their graduate student quartet, pictured in back. (Courtesy photo)

University of Oregon (UO) Music Professors Hal Grossman and Fritz Gearhart, along with their graduate student Jacquot String Quartet, will be in a classical music performance Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in the second of three free Winter Concerts sponsored by the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival. Special guest performers will be the Sprague High School (SHS) String Quartet, of Salem.

The UO music department professors, violinists Grossman and Gearhart, will perform “Sonata in E minor for 2 violins, Op. 3 #5” by Jean-Marie Leclair. Gearhart has performed for audiences from coast to coast. He has appeared in major halls around the country including the Kennedy Center. Grossman has been enthusiastically acclaimed by critics and audiences, alike, for his “vibrant tone” and “superb technique.” Both Gearhart and Grossman are on the faculty of the UO’s School of Music as well as the annual Redfish Chamber Music Festival, held in Port Orford in late July.

The Jacquot String Quartet will perform Beethoven’s “String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 74.” The quartet is made up of UO graduate music students Nathan Lowman, Caleb Haymes, Adam Fishburn and Titus Young.

Opening the program on Saturday will be the SHS String Quartet under the direction of Lisa Hanson Rael. These talented teenagers from Salem will perform “String Quartet No. 2 in D Major” by Borodin. Violinists are Thomas Dart and Leo McClean with Ainsley Martin on viola and Amanda Hayes on cello. The SHS Orchestra has been among the top five best orchestras in the state of Oregon and includes programs in chamber music as well as full orchestra. These special winter concerts provide an opportunity for small ensembles of talented high school students to perform in front of a live audience outside their hometown. The final Winter Series Concert will be held on Saturday, March 7, featuring Hammers and Bows with Casey Bozell, violin; John Hubbard, cello; and Chris Engbretson, piano. The Reynolds High School Quartet, of Troutdale, will open the program.

Admission to this concert, which begins at 7 p.m., is free with donations accepted at the door. First Presbyterian Church is located at 227 NE 12th Street, Newport. Donations will support the Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival. The concert is made possible in part by grants from the Three Rivers Foundation, the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Lincoln County Cultural Coalition.

The Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival is held in Newport on April 23-26. The Festival is a unique, annual four-day event for high school orchestras. Professional conductors are the instructors. The Newport Symphony’s Conductor and Music Director Adam Flatt is the lead clinician. High school orchestras participating in the 2020 Festival includes Astoria, Pendleton, Rex Putnam, North Salem, Mountain View and Ashland, as well as members of the Newport Youth Symphony of the Oregon Coast. The Oregon State University Strings Ensemble will perform at the Festival on Friday, April 24.

More information about the Festival can be found at the Festival’s website at or by contacting Jim Myers at [email protected]