Master musicians to perform at Freeport Arts Center

FREEPORT—The Freeport Arts Center will present a Galena Festival of Performing Arts concert on Wednesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. Shawn Somerville, viola, and Jeffrey Arnold, piano, will present a classical program in the Rawleigh Gallery at the Center, 121 N. Harlem Ave. A reception is planned following the performance. The event is free and open to the public; however donations are accepted.

“It is an honor to present these exceptionally talented musicians,” said Mary Schoonover, director of the Freeport Arts Center. “Each is enjoying a significant career, and their Festival concert in Freeport provides an exciting opportunity for students and classical music fans in our community.” For more information, call the Freeport Arts Center at 815-235-9755.

Somerville holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the University of North Texas, where he studied composition and viola. He won the 1995 SAI composition competition with a work for solo viola, and in 1998 won the UNT Women’s Chorus composition with a setting of William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Cloak, the Boat, and the Shoes,” scored for women’s chorus and strings.

In 1998, Somerville was awarded a full scholarship to study viola with Atar Arad at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, where he received his Master of Music degree. A resident of Austin, Texas, since 2000, Somerville performs with the Austin Symphony and the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra. He is principal violist of the Victoria (Texas) Symphony, and has served as principal violist for the Lubbock and Sherman (Texas) orchestras, in addition to orchestras in Johnstown, Pa., and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Somerville maintains a private studio on Austin, Texas, and travels each summer to Isla Mujeres to teach underprivileged native children.

Arnold began his studies in 1967 with Orpa Maya. The Morris Federation presented him in his first public recital the same year, when, at age 8, he replaced another scheduled artist who canceled due to illness. Arnold continued his studies at the University of North Texas and at Baylor University. He has appeared in recitals at Carnegie Hall, in Canada, and Europe, and has given performances over BBC Radio in the United Kingdom.

Established in 1975, the Freeport Arts Center shares the visual and performing arts with the people of northwest Illinois. FAC’s mission is to exhibit art from the collection and contemporary artists, present performing arts, develop arts education programming for all ages, and to fund cultural activities in northwestern Illinois. Currently FAC’s collection contains more than 3,000 artifacts from all continents and all time periods, including ethnographic objects from Egypt, Southeast Asia, and Papua New Guinea; pre-Columbian and Native American baskets and pottery; excellent 15th to 19th century European painting, prints and sculpture; and a significant collection of contemporary American prints, paintings, and sculpture. The Freeport Arts Center is partially supported by the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The Freeport Arts Center is located at 121 N. Harlem Ave., and is open Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tours may be scheduled by calling 815-235-9755.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!