Juno Singles will feature work of four area composers this summer

BRATTLEBORO — The Juno Orchestra, Vermont's newest professional chamber orchestra, has announced a new, four-part project: Juno Singles.

Juno has engaged four local composers, commissioning each to craft a 10-to-15 minute work for string orchestra. Taking part are Derrik Jordan, of Putney, a world music specialist; Robert Merfeld, of Hinsdale, N.H., a pianist and chamber music coach; Dana Maiben, of Brattleboro, a violinist and Baroque music specialist: and Eugene Uman, of Brattleboro, director of the Vermont Jazz Center.

The orchestra will workshop each composition, one at a time in May, June, and July, with each commission presented in a mini-concert (a “Juno Single”) open to a limited audience. The first concert is scheduled for Friday, May 28, at 7 p.m. at the Brattleboro Music Center, featuring Jordan's Suite for an Imaginary Country.

Other presentations include Variations by Merfeld on Friday, June 11; Vermont Seasons by Maiben on Friday, June 25; and a new work to be announced by Uman on Friday, July 9. These three concerts all begin at 7 p.m.

“The pandemic cast a spell of sleep over many arts organizations, all around the world,” says Zon Eastes, Juno founder and music director, in a news release.

Each mini-concert will be recorded, paired with a composer interview, and distributed online.

Juno Singles also will include a collaboration with Serenity Smith Forchion and Nimble Arts. Within one month after each Juno recording date, a small team from Nimble Arts will create acrobatic, filmed response to each composition. Videos presenting both the acrobatic artists and Juno in performance will also be distributed online.

Finally, once conditions allow, a celebration will include composers, orchestra, acrobats, and audience.

“We all have missed the joy of sharing directly. Because one of the Juno Orchestra Project's structural tenets is to give opportunity for wonderful regional players to explore music with curious audiences, Juno has been waiting for the opportunity to reconvene with our enthusiastic audience,” Eastes says.

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