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Skidmore College

Mostly Modern Festival embraces collaboration, mixes old and new

June 14, 2019
by Hadia Bakkar ’20

The Mostly Modern Festival (MMF) is back at Skidmore College for its sophomore season, joining a multitude of music ensembles and festivals descending on the campus and Saratoga Springs this summer.

The three-week festival welcomes over 100 participants, including composers, students and faculty. Through June 28, Zankel Music Center will host 13 public concerts featuring a varied repertoire of vocals, piano, orchestral and brass music. Noteworthy performers include the Modern American Orchestra, Atlantic Brass Quintet and Euclid String Quartet.

With its accompanying institute’s focus on collaborative and experimental learning, the festival fits right in with the College’s mission. Participating students are encouraged to perform in up to three chamber music concerts and are motivated to explore opportunities beyond traditional career paths in orchestra.

Amid a crowded festival scene, MMF also stands out for its refreshing objective: to share modern classical music with young and senior audiences alike. Though its emphasis is mostly on newer music, the festival flirts at the intersection of classical and modern influences.

Victoria Paterson, a celebrated New York City violinist and co-founder of MMF, opened the festival on June 10 by thanking the local community and the College for their support of the young festival.

“We could not be more excited to be here at Skidmore,” she said.

Following Paterson’s introduction, soprano Rachel Schutz kicked off the three weeks of performances with powerful vocals and a demanding stage presence. She was joined by Grammy-nominated baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert and pianist Timothy Long in performing works by early- to mid-20th-century composers. The uniquely gripping musical experience felt intimate. The audience, which consisted of musicians and community members, was compelled by the impeccable talent and range of emotion.

Other music events in what promises to be yet another busy and lively summer at Skidmore College include Skidmore’s very own Jazz Institute and Decoda Chamber Music Ensemble.

All Mostly Modern Festival concerts take place at Zankel Music Center at 7:30 p.m., excluding Sunday performances, which begin at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the Zankel box office and are $20 for adults and $10 for students. For more information or tickets, visit the MMF website or Zankel Music Center website.

About the Author

Hadia Bakkar

Hadia Bakkar is a political science major with a media and film studies minor originally from Damascus, Syria. With a passion for storytelling, Bakkar is interested in the intersection of politics and media production. Currently serving as the opinion editor for the Skidmore News, Bakkar hopes to pursue a future career in journalism, be it print or radio broadcasting.

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