[Courtesy photo]

Thirteen students and three of their teachers in the BEACON Moab Strings Orchestra will perform at the Moab Music Festival’s Winterlude concert with internationally acclaimed violinists Hasse Borup and Kasia Sokol-Borup at Star Hall on Friday, March 4.

Moab Music Festival co-founder Michael Barrett – a protégé of Leonard Bernstein himself – will conduct the kids, BEACON Moab Strings Program Executive Director Nanci Flesher said.

After performing the first couple of pieces, the students will watch while the violinists are joined by Barrett on piano, and MMF co-founder Leslie Tomkins, playing viola. The University of Utah Michie Graduate String Quartet will also take the stage. Pieces performed will include Bela Bartok’s String Quartet #4 and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet, Op. 44.

Borup and Sokol-Borup will also perform as a duo at Gallery Moab on Tuesday, March 2, at 7 p.m. Gallery-goers are encouraged to check out the artwork, while enjoying a “multi-sensory experience” listening to the free concert, Moab Music Festival Coordinator Erin Groves said.

Additionally, the violinists will perform at KZMU Community Radio, where they will be broadcast live by music director Serah Mead on Thursday, March 3, at 11 a.m. You can listen live at kzmu.org, or on the radio at 90.1 and 106.7 FM.

Borup, originally from Denmark, has performed at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, as well as in Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City. He is an associate professor in violin and the head of string and chamber music studies at the University of Utah’s School of Music. He also performs chamber music with various groups, including Washington Musica Viva and the Grand Teton Music Festival.

Sokol-Borup, a native of Poland, performs solo and chamber music around the United States and Europe. She is the creator and music director of the Durango Chamber Music Festival in Colorado, and is a member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. She has been on the faculty of the Music in the Mountains Conservatory in Durango since 2008.

Flesher began the BEACON Moab Strings Program four years ago with 15 kids. The program now has about 44 children studying music, with 13 kids, from fourth to 11th grades, in the string orchestra. The retired music teacher from Colorado Springs said she started the strings program in response to a lack of funding for arts and music in public schools.

“I wanted participation of these kids with some professional musicians,” Flesher said she told Barrett when he asked her what she wanted to see MMF do for Moab.

“I wanted something for all the kids (in the program), and some professional development for three of the teachers,” she said.

While the Friday concert is free, a suggested donation of $10 will help offset the costs of sending the music instructors to a two-week strings orchestra education masters class.

From Monday through Thursday, preceding the Star Hall concert, the professional musicians will rehearse with the BEACON Moab Strings Orchestra for two hours each day. On Thursday, there will also be a one-hour open rehearsal for all kids in the after-school strings program.

“All the kids in the program will be impacted by this experience,” Flesher said. “It’s a first; and a really big deal.”

Moab Music Festival’s Winterlude performance benefits BEACON strings program

For more information, go to www.moabmusicfest.org, or call 435-259-7003.

What: Moab Music Festival presents “Winterlude”

When: Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m.

Where: Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

Cost: Free, with a recommended donation of $10 per person

Information: www.moabmusicfest.org

All the kids in the program will be impacted by this experience … It’s a first; and a really big deal.