Local Music Festival to Feature World-Class Traditional, Classical Musicians

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Violin player and fiddler David Greenberg (left), flautist Chris Norman (center) and cellist Abby Newton (right) will headline the Boxwood Music Festival in Williamsburg this weekend.
Violin player and fiddler David Greenberg (left), flautist Chris Norman (center) and cellist Abby Newton (right) will headline the Boxwood Music Festival in Williamsburg this weekend.

The Boxwood Music Festival will start Thursday, bringing together world-class musicians and lovers of traditional and classical music for four days of concerts, classes and fun.

The festivities will be held at venues throughout the Williamsburg area, with flautist Chris Norman, violin and fiddle player David Greenberg and cellist Abby Newton.

The trio will stage concerts and teach classes in intimate settings including a private home, the Williamsburg Regional Library and The Corner Pocket.

“They’re not only really good musicians, they’re really good teachers,” said Margaret Carlson, a local affiliate of the festival. “There is so much going on with it right now in terms of offerings for so many different types of people.”

The fun starts Thursday when Norman will host a pennywhistle class from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Norman and Greenberg hosted the same class last year, teaching the pennywhistle — an instrument that looks like a smaller flute — to a group of people gathered in a circle around him.

“Anybody who wants to learn the pennywhistle will start from the very beginning, adults or kids, it doesn’t matter,” she said.

Later that night, Eddie and Cherry Robinson will host the trio of musicians at their home at 416 River’s Edge. They will play baroque music and will invite the audience to play along and pick up a few pointers along the way.

Carlson said the trio will merge traditional music — like Celtic sounds — with classical music, forming a unique sound.

“I come from the classical sound, and to me the element of traditional music that carries over into especially the baroque is really interesting,” she said. “I just like to see the way traditional music can influence the way you can play classical.”

On Friday night, the trio will host a concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Williamsburg Regional Library. Saturday will be filled with workshop classes held by the trio covering flutes, fiddles and cellos. From 7:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, there will be a jam session featuring Irish and Scottish music that is open to the public at the Corner Pocket.

Sunday features private lessons with the musicians.

Greenberg is a baroque violinist and a fiddler. He studied at Indiana University’s Early Music Institute before moving to Canada to join the baroque orchestra Tafelmusik. He has been featured on more than 40 recordings in North America, Europe and the Far East.

Newton plays American and Scottish traditional music. She has been at the forefront of trying to bring back the cello to traditional music, according to a news release about the festival.

Norman has appeared on more than 40 recordings and can be heard in the soundtrack to the films Titanic, Soldier and Stone of Destiny.

This year marks the fourth that the Boxwood Music Festival has come to Williamsburg. It is also held annually in Nova Scotia and New Zealand, with the mission of helping people achieve artistic potential and forge strong communities through music.

Find a complete schedule of events and how to buy tickets here.

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