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Con Spirito musicians win prestigious award in advance of this fall’s performance


Con Spirito musicians win prestigious award in advance of this fall’s performance

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Thiel College, a leading liberal arts college in northwest Pennsylvania, will host the Milton String Quartet—winners of the 2017 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition—as part of its Con Spirito Chamber Music Series on Friday, Oct. 13.

The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association sponsors the nation’s largest chamber music competition and is America’s premier educational chamber music competition.

The performance is free and open to the public and will be held in the David Johnson Memorial Chapel. The concert is a part of the schedule for Homecoming 2017, which will be held Oct. 13-15.

The Milton String Quartet was formed in 2015 at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music. The group comprises Roman Fraser and Maïthéna Girault on violins, Evan Robinson on viola, and Joshua Morris on cello. In addition to performing at university events, the quartet has enjoyed a wide variety of musical engagements in Montreal including their debuts at the Lakeshore Chamber Music Society and at the Atwater Library Lunchtime Concert Series. In May 2016, the quartet was invited to perform at the Opera America Conference.

Since their formation, the group has played in masterclasses for Vladimir Balshin, Valentin Erben, Stefan Fehlandt, Sergei Lomovsky, Igor Naidin, Daniel Philips, Günter Pichler, Gerhard Schulz and the Escher Quartet. The quartet also attended the McGill International String Quartet Academy 2016.

The Milton String Quartet was a semifinalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the winner of the McGill Chamber Music Competition last year, earning an exchange with the Mozarteum Universität in Salzburg, Austria, in May 2017. This year, the quartet was announced as the grand prize and “Senior String Division Gold Medal” winners of the 44th annual Fischoff competition at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. The group will embark on a winner’s tour of the midwest United States, including their concert at Thiel.

The Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the nation and its longest consecutively running competition. Each year, an average of 125 ensembles, representing 22 nationalities, enter in either the wind or string categories. Since its founding, more than 6,800 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.

The Con Spirito Chamber Music Concert Series began in the fall of 2007 and is made possible through the generosity of LaVonne H’16 and the late Glen R. Johnson H’88 in honor of their late daughter. Glen, who was chairman emeritus of the Thiel College Board of Trustees, and LaVonne were honored in 2012 with the William A. Passavant Distinguished Service Award, which is given to those who provide “meaningful, longtime service to the Lutheran Church and Lutheran Education, including continuity of leadership, exemplary character and impact on shaping the Lutheran tradition.” Con Spirito concerts are performed in the David Johnson Memorial Chapel, dedicated in 2006 and named in honor of the Johnsons’ late son.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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