Classic with a twist

Merz Trio coming to Temple’s CAC Jan. 21


Get ready classical music fans: Two big concerts featuring small but talented ensembles are coming to the Cultural Activities Center this month. 

The Merz Trio — featuring a violinist, a pianist and a cellist — will bring their big sound to the CAC on Saturday, Jan. 21, for a 7:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are $25.

WindSync, a five-member woodwinds and brass ensemble, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27. Tickets are $20.

Tickets for both shows are available at cacarts.org.

Our Town Temple spoke with Brigid Coleridge, violinist for Merz Trio, earlier today via Zoom. Brigid woke up early for the conversation — she lives in Boston but was in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia, visiting family.

According to Brigid, Merz Trio was formed during a harsh snowstorm in December 2016 in New York City.

“I knew Lee Dionne, our pianist, from performing at SummerFestival in Melbourne, and Lee knew Julia Yang (cellist),” Brigid said. “Lee’s the one that put us all three together.”

“We were all in New York, and we got together to read some music,” she said. “It was snowing, but the storm turned really bad and we were stuck. We all became friends and decided to form an ensemble.”

“Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time together traveling — it’s all worked out. We are three people playing instruments, it’s hard to get away from that, but we are constantly exploring and using our imaginations. We really like to break the mold of typical classical music.”

“Our music has kind of a mix-tape feel,” she said. “We’ve spent many, many hours riding in cars listening to each other’s playlists. We all like different things, and our concerts reflect that.”

“In Temple, we’re going to start with a dramatic opener. I’m the violinist, but I’m going to stand up and play some really wild fiddle music. I’ll start violin, then go fiddle.”

Brigid said the Temple audience will be treated to original arrangements of classics, plus some jazz and early music from the 16th century.

“My mother is Irish, and I grew up with Irish fiddle music and dance,” Brigid said. “I’ve always loved fiddle music. It’s not so much Texas country fiddle, but more Irish and Romanian sounds. We definitely like to put our own twist on the classics.”

Brigid said that although the trio’s members are the best of friends, they frequently agree on two topics.

“We all know how to pronounce the word ‘Merz’ in a faux German accent, and we all agree that shopping for concert clothes should be classified as a form of torture. We travel together, and we argue over music and whether Australian English is better than American English — important things like that.”

“Together, we have walked onto the stages of the world and are humbled to have been recognized as winners of the Naumburg, Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff and Chesapeake competitions.”

Our Town Temple will be speaking to Kara LaMoure, a bassoonist from Plano, later this week about WindSync’s upcoming Temple concert. 

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