The Brownville Concert Series is thrilled to present Harpeth Rising in “An Evening of Chamber Folk.” Three classically trained musicians (cello, violin, banjo) fuse folk, newgrass, rock, and classical into something organically unique, playing original music, intricately arranged, lyrically rooted, and wrapped in three-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of both Appalachia and Medieval Europe. They will perform in cabaret on Friday and Saturday, November 3 and 4, at 7:30 p.m. and in concert Sunday, November 5, at 2:00 p.m. Sponsors are Dr. David and Nicole Kaufman, Lowell Fey, and Melva Sage.
The three musicians of Harpeth Rising each hold classical performance degrees from some of the most venerated schools in the world: Indiana University, Oberlin, Eastman School of Music. But their classical background is only one dimension of this trio’s powerful musical voice. Hailing from vastly different parts of North America, each member brings different influences to the core sound.
Maria Di Meglio, cello, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She was drawn to the music of her first generation Italian and Balkan roots, and grew up learning Eastern European folk songs alongside classical repertoire. She attended many classical programs throughout NYC, including LaGuardia High School (the “Fame” school), and Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division.
Michelle Younger of Charlottesville, Virginia, comes by her modern spin on old-time infused banjo authentically; her family has been in the United States for generations, and she is a descendent of Cole Younger, a member of the James-Younger Gang and the namesake of his very own banjo tune.
Jordana Greenberg, violin, grew up listening to the sounds of Stan Rogers, Leonard Cohen and Natalie McMaster in her native Canada before moving to southern Indiana as a child. She studied classical violin by day through the pre-college program at Indiana University, and spent her nights learning the folk tunes and classic rocks songs that her family plays at the annual post-Passover jam session.
All three women began singing after they completed their instrumental studies, and found a passionate new musical avenue. They developed their voices and arrangements to bring life to the lyrical expressiveness of their original songs. Hallmarks of their music include expansive three-part harmonies, consummate musicianship and a deft, yet soulful, lyrical perspective.
“Against All Tides,” Harpeth Rising’s sophomore album as a trio, is proof that authenticity and complexity can live in harmony. It is an exploration of spirituality in place of fundamentalism, uncertainty as philosophy, and an unwavering declaration that human connection is the ultimate force for good in the universe. They present a picture of determined optimism: Things are not as they should be, but we will push back, against all tides.
Cabaret tickets are $25, concert tickets are $20 ($16 for students). To purchase tickets online go to www.brownvilleconcertseries.com or call 402-825-3331. Stay overnight at the River Inn Resort and get a 10% discount on tickets. Enjoy lunch or dinner at the Lyceum before the shows by calling 402-825-1222. The Nebraska Arts Council, a state agency, supports this program through a matching grant funded by the Nebraska Legislature, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.