Red Cedar Chamber Music is marking its 20th anniversary with a first-ever passing of the baton. The founders of this unique cultural resource, Jan Boland and John Dowdall, will retire - but only after they searched carefully for the right successors. They eventually settled on another husband/wife team, cellist Carey Bostian and violinist Meira Kim, and happily, the Iowa City couple accepted the offer. Bostian and Kim resigned from their positions as principals of Orchestra Iowa so they can devote attention to Red Cedar (although they are continuing with Iowa City Community String Orchestra, where Bostian conducts and Kim is concertmaster, since its community mission aligns perfectly with Red Cedar's).
The four musicians are performing together around Eastern Iowa this month, and the farewell concert for Boland and Dowdall will be on April 30th at Cedar Rapid's CSPS. On Monday, April 4th, they all came into IPR's studio in Cedar Falls to tell us about their plans and give us a preview of the program - three newly commissioned pieces by Michael Kimber (of Iowa City), Philip Wharton (a Decorah native), and Stephen Cohn. All relate to Red Cedar's long-standing "Brinton Silent Film Project," which pairs new music with the trove of visuals collected over a century ago by Frank Brinton of Washington, Iowa. Last year, Red Cedar shared an earlier phase of the project with IPR (you can hear that set at this link) but this new phase includes an additional element: the narration of popular poems of the era. If you're wondering what that sounds like, listen below! After we discuss Red Cedar's story, the music and poetry begins at 10:39: