Handel concert Sunday raising funds for asylum-seekers project

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WALPOLE, N.H. — Cameo Baroque will perform in a benefit concert for the Community Asylum Seekers Project on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Walpole Unitarian Church, at 15 Union St. in Walpole. Admission to the concert is by free-will offering.

With the title of "Beyond the Messiah: the Chamber Music of George Frederic Handel," the concert will explore the music of the German-born composer and keyboard virtuoso who spent the bulk of his prolific musical career in London.

Members of the quartet performing on period instruments are Beth Hilgartner, recorder and voice, Leslie Stroud, traverso (baroque flute), Ernie Drown, harpsichord, and Laurie Rabut, viola da gamba.

Cameo Baroque is known for performances of interesting transcriptions by Hilgartner of works originally written for voices of other instrumentation. As an example, the Caldara pieces to be performed in the concert are instrumental

transcriptions of arias from his opera "Apollo in Cielo."

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Hilgartner studied recorder with Eric Haas in Boston after an early start in piano and oboe. She works as a recorder maker at the Prescott Workshop in addition to her vocation as an Episcopal priest and her avocations of writer, gardener, equestrian and knitter.

Drown grew up in central Vermont and has been the music director at the Church of Christ at Dartmouth since 1999. He studied organ with Lenora McCroskey and John Ferris and harpsichord with John Gibbons. He teaches piano and organ privately and collects and repairs antique fountain pens when not at the piano bench.

Stroud is an orchestral and chamber musician who says she is "dedicated to bringing audiences music ranging from that of the 18th and 19th centuries played on historic period flutes to adventurous works by composers

of our own time on modern-day flutes."

Rabut, a recent newcomer, received her formal music training and degree from the Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts and did further study, including baroque violin and viol, at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin and at Cornell. She has performed with The Greenwood Consort, Parthenia, The Boston Camerata, Boston Baroque, Apollo Ensemble and The Arcadia Players and currently performs with a variety of ensembles in the New York and New England region. She teaches in the Five College Early Music Program in Western Massachusetts.

CASP is currently hosting 14 asylum seekers from Mexico, Cuba and Honduras who are awaiting their court dates. They are housed with Windham County, Vermont, families and supported by CASP, which provides basic needs and a supportive community. Information about CASP can be found at caspvt.org.


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