A joint concert by Splinter Tongue and Catchfire Collective featuring selections by Marc Mellits
A vibrantly fresh take on the traditional clarinet quartet, Splinter Tongue strives to present thrilling and engaging performances and classes. With members representing an eclectic set of musical backgrounds and interests, Splinter Tongue passionately seeks to promote living and marginalized composers through exhilarating performance. Formed in 2018 and based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Splinter Tongue was named the winner of the 2018 North Carolina MTNA Wind Chamber Music competition. Since then, they have gone on to attract audiences throughout the state at university stage halls, art installations, coffee shops, and private concerts. Their concerts present audiences with new sounds, unique programming, and refined performances, reflecting all that today’s musical world has to offer. Splinter Tongue actively cultivates and contributes to clarinet quartet repertoire, emphasizing contributions from young, marginalized, and underrepresented composers. Commissioning new works lies at the heart of the ensemble’s mission; partnerships with composers including Shar Joyner, Brendan Sweeney, Anna Meadors, and Richard Crowder have produced new and exciting works of music. Similarly dedicated to education and outreach, Splinter Tongue regularly partners with local schools to present engaging and educating programs and workshops. Splinter Tongue’s name was the result of a tireless brainstorming effort to generate a catchy and colorful self-image that reflects their personality, revealing their innate curiosity to see just how far they can push those little bits of reed they use to create musical beauty.
Catchfire Collectivepresents innovative, powerful, and inspiring performances that reignite the chamber music experience. Based in Greensboro, North Carolina, Catchfire was founded by six graduates of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2019. Equally at home as a sextet, in smaller formations, and as soloists, Catchfire’s members represent a dynamic background of artistic approaches and experiences, united in their common goal of offering unique performances that capture the ethos of twenty-first century art music.
Since their formation, Catchfire has performed at a variety of venues for diverse audiences. Passionately dedicated to working with Greensboro’s local arts scene, Catchfire has performed throughout the city and region at local universities, churches, bars, high schools, bookstores, and art galleries. Catchfire has also been featured as a guest at Grand Valley State University, High Point University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where they were the featured ensemble for the 2nd Annual Darkwater Women in Music Festival. Previous concerts have featured music by composers including Charles Peck, Carl Schimmel, Fjóla Evans, Zhou Tian, and Catchfire’s own Robin McLaughlin. The 2019-2020 season also featured an immersive experience dedicated to the music of George Crumb, featuring performances of Crumb’s “Vox Balanae” and “Eleven Echoes of Autumn,” among other works.
Catchfire’s 2020-2021 season proves to be just as exciting, with the ensemble forging new paths in offering innovative, socially distanced experiences. Featuring premieres by Stephen Ryan Jackson and Grace Gollmar, the season opens with outdoor neighborhood concerts in Apex and Greensboro. A live-streamed and in-person program alongside fellow Greensboro ensemble Splinter Tongue featuring the music of Marc Mellits follows in October at Greensboro Project Space. December will see another Catchfire performance in Greensboro with a world premiere by Robin McLaughlin, plus music by Nico Muhly, Robert Honstein, and Jonathan Bailey Holland. Catchfire also hits the road this spring for performances in Maryland and Tennessee, performing works by its Call for Scores winners Luk-Wai Chun and inti figgis-vizueta.
There are more ways than ever to join Catchfire in its 2020-2021 season. Whether six feet apart or tuned in to Facebook live, we can’t wait to see you this year!