The annual Bodil Wennberg Music Festival returns to the Mondavi Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 17, showcasing orchestra musicians from the Davis public schools.
Selections on the program include arrangements of the “Russian Sailors Dance” by Reinhold Gliêre, a movement from the Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) by Ludwig van Beethoven, and the Concerto Grosso No. 3 by G.F. Handel.
Performing will be the students from the All-District Elementary Strings orchestra (primarily sixth-graders, conducted by Kim Cole and Sherie Wall), the Combined Intermediate Junior High Orchestra (seventh-graders), the Combined Advanced Junior High Orchestra (eighth- and ninth-graders, conducted by Greg Brucker) and three ensembles from the high school level: the Davis High Baroque Ensemble, the Davis High Chamber Orchestra and the Davis High Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Angelo Moreno).
Few school districts have a string program that is robust enough to support multiple ensembles at the junior high and high school level. The mission of the Wennberg Music Festival is to continue the community’s support of music programs in the Davis schools, and foster the integration of music training resources in the community, as well as support community efforts which enrich the cultural soul of Davis.
Serving as master of ceremonies will be Bob Dunning, Davis Enterprise columnist and radio personality.
The festival honors the memory of Bodil Wennberg, who was a Davis music teacher and UC Davis symphony member, who died in 1994. She bequeathed her cello to support the music programs in the Davis schools.
The featured soloist at this year will be Margaux Filet — the first flutist to win Davis High School’s annual concerto competition.
Filet is a junior at Davis High School, where she plays the flute and piccolo in the Symphony Band under teacher Fred Lange. She’s also been a member of the Sacramento Youth Symphony for six years. Last year, she played in the California All State High School Honor Wind Symphony, and in 2008, she was one of two flutists in the California All State High School Honor Music Educators Orchestra.
Filet also is a finalist in the upcoming Classical JAMMIES concert and will perform as part of that event at the Mondavi Center on May 7. This summer, she will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Music Educator’s National Conference All-National Honor Ensemble, and also to Boston to take part in the Tanglewood Music Institute, where she will play in the Wind Ensemble.
Filet started playing the flute at age 8.
“I was always drawn to the tone — it has a piercing quality that I fell in love with almost immediately,” she said.
Filet began her studies with local flute teacher Francie Lawyer. Filet attended Birch Lane Elementary (where she studied under music teacher Ken Bower, now retired), Harper Junior High, and presently at Davis High. She now studies flute with Patricia Farrell of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Alice Lenaghan of the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, and Timothy Day of the San Francisco Symphony.
Playing the flute, she added, “requires a ton of air, so I keep myself physically in shape as part of my practice routine. On Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays, I go to a local health club and do kickboxing with an instructor. It’s a great workout, punching a bag and learning defense techniques.”
For her performance at the Wennberg concert, Filet has selected the Fantasie by French composer Georges Hüe (1858-1948). Hüe, who won the Prix de Rome as a young man in 1879, wrote the eight-minute Fantasie in 1913, as an “exam piece” to test the versatility of flute students at the Paris Conservatoire. In the piece, Hüe uses the flute’s flexibility to make grand gestures in the form of runs and jumps in pitch to show the instrument’s range.
“It’s a very dramatic piece,” Filet said. “It shows of the flute’s melodic side, and demonstrates just how expressive, agile and fluid the flute can be.”
“I’m so excited to be the concerto competition winner, and to be playing at the Mondavi Center,” she added. “It’s an incredible honor to be on the stage where so many world-renowned musicians have performed.”
Tickets for the concert are $14-$17 general, $9 students and children, $10-$13 seniors, available through the Mondavi Center box office, www.mondaviarts.org or (530) 754-2787.
— Reach Jeff Hudson at email@example.com or (530) 747-8055.