Sounds of Spring Concert by the Dancing Heart Ensemble

Sounds of Spring Concert by the Dancing Heart Ensemble
Karen Johnson- flute, Carlos Rodriguez -piano, John Kilkenny- Percussion

Classical and Contemporary Combined by Musicians Who Have Performed with Placido Domingo & Stevie Wonder

Castleton Virginia (April 21) – On Sunday, April 26, the Dancing Heart Ensemble (flute, piano and percussion) will perform an eclectic program of classical and contemporary works at the Castleton Festival at 4:00 pm in the Theatre House. Their concert, ‘Sounds of Spring” includes a Sonata by Australian composer Carl Vine; a Duke Ellington love song on Vibes and an uplifting collection of Appalachian Folk Songs for flute and piano, adorned with bells, glockenspiel, vibes, whistles and other percussion. The groups members have performed with Stevie Wonder (Karen Johnson- flute), Plácido Domingo (Carlos César Rodríguez- piano) and the National Symphony Orchestra (John Kilkenny-percussion). Widely respected classical pianist Brian Ganz said, “Dancing Heart isn’t just the name of this wonderful group, it’s the effect they have on their listeners! Their exciting, innovative programs fill audiences’ senses and leave hearts nourished and inspired.” The Castleton Festival Theater House is at 664 Castleton View Road, Castleton Virginia. Tickets are $20. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to www.castletonfestival.org or call 866.974.0767.

The Sounds of Spring concert will include; “Fables” by Scott Wheeler, Yesterday by the Beatles, Sonata for flute and piano by Carl Vine, Prelude to a Kiss by Duke Ellington, Elegy for flute, piano and vibes by Israeli composer Gilad Rabinovitch and Mountain Songs by Robert Beaser. More information on the Dancing Heart Ensemble can be found at www. karenflute.com.

The Dancing Heart Ensemble’s mission is to transform audiences as well as themselves. To that end, they create programs that are both beautiful and evocative by juxtaposing classical works with more popular ones. Ganz said of them, “They are not a ‘cross-over’ group, but rather, they select pieces that compliment each other, regardless of their genre. The results are unique, magical programs.” The group has earned numerous rave reviews. “Dancing Heart rocked the Hylton Performing Arts Center … with an amazingly innovative and appealing program. Not only are they superb musicians, they are also highly entertaining and informative” (Hylton Performing Arts Center.)

Karen Johnson is known as a colorful and virtuosic stylist of both solo and chamber music repertoire. She has served as principal flutist of the Washington Bach Consort and is the Co-Principal of the Chesapeake Orchestra. The Washington Post has described her playing as “exquisite” and “mesmerizing” and in another recent review the Post said “ … flutist Karen Johnson wrought unforgettable magic.” Her diverse musical repertoire ranges from the sacred to the popular, and her many collaborations include appearances with pop star Stevie Wonder, the Takacs String Quartet and the Bach Aria Group.

Acclaimed by the Washington Post as “a virtuoso pianist”, Carlos César Rodríguez is a musician of great brilliance and versatility. At age 21 he made his Carnegie Hall debut. Mr. Rodríguez has also won acclaim as music director of operas and zarzuelas and has been active as composer, arranger, and improviser of ballets, Spanish dance scores, and Latin-Jazz/Pop compositions. Mr. Rodríguez made his recital debut in his native Venezuela at age 5 and made his orchestral debut as soloist at age 11.. Mr. Rodríguez has also performed in major venues such as the John F. Kennedy Center; the White House, the Corcoran Gallery and at the Steinway Series of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and Carnegie Hall.

John Kilkenny (BM, the Juilliard School, MM Temple University) is currently Director of Percussion Studies for the School of Music at George Mason University.
John enjoys a multi-faceted career that includes orchestral performances with the Washington National Opera and Ballet, National Symphony, Washington Concert Opera, Cathedral Choral Society, Washington Chorus and the Choral Arts Society. From 2005-2007 John was program coordinator for the University of Maryland Summer Percussion Workshop. He served in a similar from from 2008-2010 for the Indiana University Percussion Academy. Sought after as a clinician and guest conductor, he has appeared at the Juilliard Summer Percussion Academy and The Virginia Music Educators Conference.


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