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Chamber concerts a success

April 01, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

Sunday afternoon's concert at the Shepherdstown Chamber Music Series will feature the principal players from the Loudoun (Va.) Symphony Orchestra performing compositions by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Last month's concert featured jazz played by students from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

The monthly series, which began in September, was conceived by Brian and Sylvia Ellsworth of Shepherdstown.

A French horn player, Brian Ellsworth gives lessons and repairs musical instruments in a shop at 132 W. German St. Sylvia Ellsworth runs Ellsworth Catering in Shepherdstown and manages the Shepherdstown Train Station, a community center where the chamber concerts are held on the last Sunday of each month.

Brian Ellsworth, 46, said he got the idea for the series as a way to get back into playing music. He played professionally until 10 years ago.

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He has been around music and musical instruments all of his life.

"We felt that there was nowhere for families to get familiar with chamber music in the area and no place for musicians to play it," Sylvia Ellsworth said.

Brian Ellsworth has a degree in musical performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.

His mother, Nancy Ellsworth, a professional violinist, is a former concert master at the Kennedy Center. She was featured in a recent chamber music series concert at the train station.

A friend, Cam Miller, a local trombonist, wrote a piece for Ellsworth for a concert at a Rumsey Regatta two years ago and that got him back into playing again, he said.

The two would get musicians together to play in Ellsworth's living room during wine tasting parties put on by his wife.

"We decided that we wanted more players and a bigger audience," he said.

The Ellsworths applied for and received grants of more than $1,200 through the Arts and Humanities Alliance of Jefferson County and opened the series in the train station.

Early on only 30 or so patrons showed up, Sylvia Ellsworth said. An average audience today is 50 to 60 people, she said.

The concerts begin at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for college students. Children get in free. The price includes wine and light food.

For more information, call Brian Ellsworth at 1-304-876-1936.

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