What has a performance and outreach footprint that covers six counties and includes fifteen different communities? Why the 2017-18 and 22nd Red Cedar Chamber Music Season, of course. This is a travel blog, and if you live in central Eastern Iowa, Red Cedar is happy to travel to you.
If you are not familiar with Red Cedar, they are a premiere ensemble that has spent the last couple decades bringing world-class music to small-town Iowa. One fan commented-- "Red Cedar concert is like attending a Lincoln Center concert without leaving home." Most comments like that would be pure hyperbole. With Red Cedar, it rings true.
If you live in or near one of these eastern Iowa communities: Ainsworth, Cedar Rapids, Coralville, Central City, Fairfax, Hiawatha, Iowa City, Lisbon, Marion, Monticello, (rural) Solon, Springville, Tipton, Washington, or Williamsburg-- Red Cedar will be performing just down the block from you.
The season offers three programs: "CzechStrings," "A Little Klezmer among Friends," and "HarpStrings." You may get detailed information at the Red Cedar website. Young’ns, 30 and under, can buy tickets for $10-- 50% off.
"CzechStrings" runs from September 19 to October 15. I would catch one of the Main Stage concerts, October 14th at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City or October 15th at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library in Cedar Rapids. This concert can also be seen in Springville, Kirkwood Community College, Lisbon, Hiawatha, Washington, and Tipton. I would check out the Rural Outreach concert at the Ainsworth Opera House on October 7.
"A Little Klezmer among Friends" runs from January 23 to February 18. This concert will visit Marion (where you can enjoy it at the Lowe Park Center for the Environment and the Arts), Cedar Rapids, Fairfax, Central City, and Washington. Try to make it to a Main Stage concert February 17 at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids or February 18 at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. I would also hit up the Rural Outreach concert on February 14 at the United Church of Monticello in Monticello.
This concert features music by Red Cedar’s composer-in-residence Stephen Cohn, an Emmy Award-winner.
"HarpStrings" begins February 26 and ends April 22. You can catch the concert in Marion, Williamsburg, and Washington. Go for a Main Stage concert on April 21 at First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids or April 22 at Unitarian Universalist Society in Coralville. And why miss the Rural Outreach concert at Saints Peter and Paul Community Center, northeast of Solon?
This concert features a new harp commission by Jeremiah Siochi.
Red Cedar’s season is an intimate journey in music that cannot be beaten. If music is your destination, let Miera Kim and Carey Bostian bring you home.
Photograph: Patrick Muller -- Red Cedar performs in Oskalooska's bandshell, 2013