Aiken enjoys Juilliard garden party inside

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It wasn't much of a garden party.

A cross-shaped window reveals American Brass Quintet artists performing at Aiken's First Presbyterian Church. 
  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
A cross-shaped window reveals American Brass Quintet artists performing at Aiken's First Presbyterian Church.

The American Brass Quintet concert, billed as a lawn concert and tea at Aiken's historic Joye Cottage, was designed to be one of the big draws at the Juilliard in Aiken music festival.

A stage was erected and catering arranged, but rain refused to stay away.

Instead of the wide lawns of Joye Cottage, concert-goers were treated to a world-class brass concert in the confines of the sanctuary of Aiken's First Presbyterian Church.

Sandra Field, the president of the Juilliard in Aiken Festival, said the church had always been reserved in case of inclement weather.

"We really did our best not to use it," she said. "We even set the stage up yesterday. We just refused to believe, after such a beautiful day, that it would rain."

Despite the weather, music fans showed up and were treated to a musical history lesson, written in brass.

Pieces ranged from a selection of 16th century ayers to atonal 20th century experimentation.

The concert wrapped with four songs arranged by the Salem Band while serving as the 26th N.C. Regimental Band during the Civil War.

New York residents Joe and Geri Lofgren were in town for the Aiken Triple Crown horse events and scouting a possible move.

Joe Lofgren said that his wife had read On a Street Called Easy, In a Cottage Called Joye , written about the restoration of the historic home, and was eager to see it.

"That was certainly an attraction," he said. "But this turned out to be wonderful, really great music."

Field admitted she was disappointed the garden part of the party turned out to be a washout, but still considered the concert and the festival as a whole successful.

"It's Juilliard," she said. "How bad could it be?"

Juilliard in Aiken events

TODAY

WHAT: Midday Music Concert featuring vocal quartet and piano trio

WHEN: Noon

WHERE: First Presbyterian Church; 224 Barnwell Ave. N.W.

COST: Free

WHAT: Dinner with the Artists at the Willcox, featuring the Juilliard Jazz Artist Diploma Ensemble, a vocal quartet

WHEN: 6 p.m.

WHERE: The Willcox Hotel; 100 Colleton Ave.

COST: $50

WHAT: Trustee's Featured Performer Series, featuring Anna Lee (violin) and Zimo Zhang (marimba)

WHEN: 8 p.m.

WHERE: Aiken County Historical Museum; 433 Newberry St. S.W.

COST: $65

FRIDAY

WHAT: Final showcase concert featuring piano trio, vocal quartet, the Juilliard Jazz Artists Diploma Ensemble, Anna Lee and Zimo Zhang

WHEN: 8 p.m.

WHERE: Etherredge Center; University of South Carolina Aiken; 471 University Parkway

COST: $20-$50; (803) 641-3305


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