Innovative new chamber group to debut in FHSU's Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center

HAYS, KS -- Musicians from Hays and Pittsburg, KS, and Los Angeles, CA, will join in a dynamic new musical ensemble at Fort Hays State University�s Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Feb. 10, at 8 p.m.

"Our repertoire is mainly music of the last hundred years," said clarinetist Maureen Hurd, a visiting assistant professor of music at FHSU. "And we also promote new music by collaborating with composers and commissioning new works," she said.

This will be the debut concert for Colloquy, a chamber music ensemble dedicated to imaginative, engaging performances of new classical music, bringing together Hurd, soprano Ursula Kleinecke, Los Angeles, and pianist Lynne Garrett from Pittsburg State University.

Thursday�s program will feature music by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Mark Carlson, Lee Hoiby and Dominick Argento. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and free for FHSU students with ID. "We will include works for solo piano, for soprano and piano, for clarinet and piano, and for soprano, clarinet and piano together," said Hurd. "We like variety in our performances," she said.

The three musicians of Colloquy got together via a Kansas connection. Garrett and Kleinecke began collaborating when they were both students at the
Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Garrett and Hurd later taught and performed together at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg.

Hurd has performed in the United States, Canada and Germany and has appeared as a chamber musician in performances at New York City�s Merkin Hall, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Banff Centre for the Arts and in Yale�s New Music New Haven series.

At the East-West International Music Festival in Altenburg, Germany, she performed on a concert of 20th-century American chamber music broadcast on German radio. She has a master of musical arts degree from the Yale School of Music and has completed the residence requirement for Yale�s doctor of musical arts degree.

Garrett�s passion for chamber music has led her into collaborations with instrumentalists and vocalists all over the United States and Canada. She was a successfu free-lance musician in New York and worked with members of the Buffalo Philharmonic on several series, including Friends of Vienna, Mozart�s Birthday Celebration, Canisius College Recital Series, St. Paul�s Cathedral Series and on live radio broadcasts for WBFO: Opus Classics Live. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music.

Kleinecke is well-known in Los Angeles for her performances of new music, including premiere performances of works by Los Angeles-based composers. After undergraduate studies in theory and composition, she continued her studies at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, as a recipient of the Finlandia Foundation scholarship. She received her master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she met Garrett. The link that finally connected three sets of dreams into a reality was forged in Pittsburg.

"Lynne and Ursula had been talking about forming a chamber group for years when I met Lynne at Pittsburg State," said Hurd. "And I, too, had always had a special interest in chamber music and had thought about something like this."

And from those dreams came, eventually, a business meeting last August. They had rounded up some money, said Hurd, and Colloquy was born. "It wasn�t a lot of money," she said, "but it was enough to finance two concerts, so we scheduled one here (in Hays) and one toward the end of April in Los Angeles."

But their plans do not stop at three players or two concerts. They plan to expand, she said, with more playing dates and more musicians. "We bring a lot of energy to our music," said Hurd. "We like to get creative with our presentations and we like to mix in some commentary about the music."

Note to editors: Digital photos of the members are available via e-mail. They are available by e-mail to

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