The Fairmont State University Community Arts Program will host the BETA Quartet as they present a concert to honor individuals working in healthcare professions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The concert will take place on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wallman Hall Theatre, with all proceeds benefitting the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
BETA Quartet is an award-winning ensemble comprised of flutists Eftihia Arkoudis, Tatiana Cassetta, Alyssa Schwartz and Meg Brennan. Members Cassetta and Schwartz both also serve as professors at Fairmont State University.
“Having the opportunity to support a worthy cause through music is extremely important to our ensemble,” said Alyssa Schwartz, Director of Bands at Fairmont State. “We are committed to collaborating with living artists to expand the current body of modern flute literature, while promoting relevant messages that are meaningful in the modern world.”
BETA Quartet hosted a call for scores of new works for flute quartet in the summer of 2021 in honor of the dedication and sacrifice of intensive care unit workers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Judged on originality and musical depth, two winning compositions by Greek composer, Evgenios Anastasiadis, and Thai composer, Vorapon Mathawaphan, were selected to receive their world premieres and debut recordings by BETA. The first and second place winners received a cash prize thanks to generous BETA sponsor, Jon Cummings, who was also the primary adjudicator for the competition, and 18 additional pieces were selected to receive their world premieres.
BETA will premier these 20 new pieces for flute quartet during the benefit concert, which aims to support the critical care medicine community. This project fulfills the ensemble’s vision of championing new music for flute quartet, while using music as a vehicle for creating positive change.
“This concert is a fitting tribute to the dedicated critical care professionals everywhere who have been on the frontline throughout this devastating pandemic. SCCM is grateful to the BETA Quartet for selecting the Society to receive the donations raised from their concert. With the gifts received, SCCM will support the health and safety of the critical care community worldwide,” said Society of Critical Care Medicine President, Sandra L. Kane-Gill, PharmD, MSc, FCCP, FCCM.
Described as “chamber music at its finest” by Kenneth Tse and “unique and virtuosic” by Barbara Siesel, BETA is dedicated to exploring and promoting the cutting edge of modern flute music by premiering and performing works by living composers from around the world. The ensemble is actively engaged through concerts, masterclasses and educational outreach across the country and abroad.
“We hope that this concert can give these folks a few moments of the pure joy that music brings after they've given us all so much over the past few years,” said Fairmont State University College of Liberal Arts Dean, Chris Kast.
BETA has won first prize in several competitions including the France Music Competition 2° (2020), West Virginia Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition (2016) and the Flute Society of Kentucky Quartet Competition (2017). In addition, BETA advanced to the semi-finals of the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (2017). The group has performed and presented workshops at the National Flute Association Convention, Florida Flute Association Convention, the Mid-Atlantic Flute Convention, the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia and the WVU International Flute Symposium.
“We hope that we can uplift the spirits and show our gratitude towards ICU workers for their compassion and dedication through our music,” said Cassetta, an adjunct Professor of Music of Fairmont State.
The benefit concert is open to the public and will also be livestreamed through the Fairmont State University Academy for the Arts Facebook page and BETA Quartet’s YouTube Page. The suggested donation for concert entry is $15.
“ICU workers deserve all the praise we can offer,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “They have been on the frontlines since the first days of this pandemic, and these breathtaking compositions are presented in honor of those healthcare professionals who have sacrificed so much for us. This concert also demonstrates the kind of extraordinary teacher-mentors you’ll find at Fairmont State, and showcases their immense talent, passion and heart.”
To learn more, visit www.betaquartet.com.