By TRILBY BERESFORD | Reporter
Soaring musical programs have been a staple at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church since 1985—and the upcoming season of concerts is beginning under the new leadership of Dwayne S. Milburn.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Milburn studied his musical craft at UCLA and the Cleveland Institute of Music before joining the U.S. Army in 1993.
As a bandmaster on active duty, Milburn moved stations “every two to three years,” most recently serving as an army officer in Germany. “I’ve now retired to St. Matthew’s,” Milburn said on the phone with the Palisadian-Post, his excitement audible in the receiver.
“And I’m obsessed with Beethoven,” he confessed, referencing the season opener on Friday, Oct. 12: Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5,” otherwise known as the “Emperor” concerto, with “Symphony No. 4” and the “Coriolan Overture.”
Piano is the first instrument Milburn ever learned, and he is eager to present this particular concert to a new audience because “people don’t usually associate lush beauty with Beethoven.”
Triple Grammy-nominated South African pianist Petronel Malan, who has enjoyed an intercontinental career in classical music, will accompany the Chamber Orchestra.
This season opener has been a long time in the making, and Milburn expressed his gratitude at everyone’s patience. “I look forward to a wonderful program—come and bring a friend,” he said cheerfully.
Tickets for this Friday’s performance, which starts at 8 p.m. at the church, located at 1031 Bienveneda Ave., are $35.
Looking onward, St. Matthew’s will present a “Great War” 100th Anniversary Commemoration on Nov. 9, featuring Korngold’s “Violin Concerto,” Copland’s “Letter from Home” and Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin.” Violinist Annelle Kazumi Gregory will perform with the Chamber Orchestra.
Reining in the Christmas cheer, a special holiday-themed concert will take place on Dec. 7, featuring compositions from Vivaldi, Bach and Handel.
Visit musicguildonline.com for ticketing and information about future performances.