Amici Strings Concerts – Summer 2019

Concert #1 – Monday, June 3, 2019; Private concert for residents at Shannondell at Valley Forge retirement community.

Concert #2 – Sunday, July 7, 2019, 7:00PM; Part of the “Concert Sundaes” series at Souderton Community Park, Wile Ave & Reliance Rd , Souderton, PA 18964. Soloists will be Jason DePue, violin, and Dave Cullen, guitar. Music by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Nicholas Buc, Elgar, DePue, Debussy, Piazzolla, and Leroy Anderson.

Concert #3 – Friday, July 19, 2019, 7:30PM. Wayne United Methodist Church, 210 South Wayne Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087. Soloist will be Noelle Casella Grand, cello. Music by Tchaikovsky, Bach, Nicola Porpora, Mozart, and Piazzolla.

Thanks for your support at our recent concert! Find highlights from our summer 2019 concert here.

Noelle Casella Grand, an American born cellist, has been praised for her “wonderful, rich tone” and her “particularly expressive and finely nuanced playing”. Noelle is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London where she received a Master of Arts and the accompanying LRAM Teaching Diploma with distinction. Prior to her years at the Academy,
Noelle studied in New York at Sarah Lawrence College and at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Equally at home on the concert platform as in the classroom, Noelle enjoys an
active career encompassing both

performance and teaching throughout Europe and the United States. As an internationally active pedagogue, Noelle is currently a Director of the Grand School of Music (New Hope, PA), conductor of the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County’s Ripieno String Ensemble (Newtown, PA) and a member of the string faculty at the George School (Newtown, PA). Noelle has also most recently been invited to participate in the ECSOC (Elizabeth College Summer Orchestral Course) in Guernsey, U.K. as part of the cello faculty.

Recent performances include Vivaldi’s Concerto for Cello and Violin (as directed from the cello) with the Youth Orchestra of Bucks County, the original version of Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Old York Road Symphony, Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with the Bach Festival Orchestra, and the Korngold Cello Concerto with the Guernsey Sinfonietta with praise such as “she really understands what she is playing in Korngold” (Bennett Lerner, pianist). Noelle was also recently featured as solo cellist for a Nakashima Foundation for Peace event, upon personal invitation by Mira Nakashima-Yarnall. Other performances and collaborations include the UK premiere of solo cello work Intimation by Australian composer David Holyoake at the Royal Academy of Music as well as having worked with New York based photographer Don Freeman on the soundtrack for a documentary to accompany his acclaimed book, Artists Handmade Houses. Noelle has performed with such ensembles as the Philadelphia International Music Festival (PIMF) Piano Trio, Bach Festival Orchestra (Principal/Soloist), Riverside Symphonia, Pennsylvania Philharmonic, baroque ensemble La Fiocco (soloist), Pennsylvania Sinfonia (Asst. Principal), L’Offerta Musicale Venezia, New York Consort of Viols, the Royal Academy of Music’s Symphony, Concert and Opera Orchestras, Guernsey Sinfonietta (Principal), Rehearsal Orchestra, Conservatorium van Amsterdam Symfonieorkest (Asst. Principal), Guernsey Choral and Orchestral Society (Soloist and Principal), London Arts Orchestra (Co-
Principal), CUNY New Music Ensemble in New York City (Principal), and the New York Youth Symphony. Having lived in the Unites States, Holland and the UK, Noelle has performed in many venues from Carnegie Hall, Baryshnikov Arts Center, The Duke’s Hall, Bernard Haitinkzaal, St James’s Piccadilly, The Union League of Philadelphia and Bryant Park, NYC. Upcoming engagements for the 2018-2020 seasons include several concerti with Philadelphia based string ensemble, Amici Strings (

Alongside her regular performance and teaching schedule, Noelle enjoys organizing and performing for charitable events and causes. Noelle has recently organized a string orchestra to perform in the Baker Street Pedestrian Underpass in London to raise awareness for homelessness in the UK as well as being honored during a solo performance for the American Heart Association.

Noelle plays on both a Joseph Hill cello, c. 1770 London and a Luis & Clark carbon fibre cello.

Summer 2018 Concert

Amici Strings held a concert Friday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Wayne United Methodist Church with guest performances by Kendra Broom, Dave Cullen, and Jason DePue! A reception following the concert featured the artwork of Joe Klapper: Joe Klapper Fine Art.


J.S. Bach, Little Fugue in g minor,  BWV 578

H. Purcell, Dido’s Lament

     –Kendra Broom, mezzo soprano

G. F. Handel, Svegliatevi nel core

     –Kendra Broom, mezzo soprano

A. Vivaldi, Concerto in D Major for guitar and strings, RV 93

     –Dave Cullen, guitar

G.F. Handel, Ombra mai fu

     –Kendra Broom, mezzo soprano


E. Elgar, Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 20

N. Buc, Shadow Dances

Traditional, arr. J. DePue, Grumbling Old Man, Growling Old Woman

     –Jason DePue, fiddle

Traditional, arr. J. DePue, Shepherd’s Waltz

     –Jason DePue, fiddle

A. Bazzini, arr. W. DePue, La Ronde Des Lutins, Op. 25

     –Jason DePue, violin

2018 Winter Concert with Kendra Broom

Hear Kendra Broom and Amici Strings perform Henry Purcell’s “When I am laid in earth” (Dido’s Lament) from Dido and Aeneas and George Frideric Handel’s “Svegliatevi nel core” from Giulio Cesare.


We are also pleased to share our performance of a suite of Norwegian melodies by Edvard Grieg.


Finally, we invite you to enjoy Carlos Gardel’s Por una Cabeza.




Winter 2018 Concert

Our 2018 winter concert was held on Sunday, January 21 at 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 121 Church St. in Phoenixville, PA.

We were joined by Kendra Broom, mezzo-soprano at the Curtis Institute of Music.



Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto in D Minor, RV565

Jean Sibelius, Impromptu for String Orchestra

Henry Purcell, “When I am laid in earth” (Dido’s Lament) from Dido and Aeneas

George Frideric Handel, “Svegliatevi nel core” from Giulio Cesare

     ≈ Interval ≈

C. Hubert Parry, Minuet from An English Suite, for string orchestra

Edvard Grieg, Suite of Norwegian Melodies

Carlos Gardel, “Por una Cabeza,” arr. Grigg

Leroy Anderson, Jazz Legato and Jazz Pizzicato

About Kendra Broom

Kendra Broom, from Oakland, Calif., entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2015. All students at Curtis receive merit-based, full-tuition scholarships, and Ms. Broom is the Shaun F. O’Malley Fellow.

A mezzo-soprano, Ms. Broom has sung the roles of the Melisande (Impressions of Pelleas), L’enfant (L’enfant et les sortilèges), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro), Faith (Rene Orth’s Empty the House), and Javotte (Manon) for the Curtis Opera Theatre. Other roles include Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Suzy (La rondine), Macduff’s Son (Bloch’s Macbeth), Alcina (Orlando Paladino), Cupidon (Orphée aux Enfers), Mallika (Lakme), Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Jack (Smyth’s The Wreckers), and Adelma (Busoni’s Turandot). In addition to the Curtis Opera Theatre, she has appeared in productions at the Chautauqua Institution and the Bard Music Festival.

Ms. Broom performed the lead role in Sheila Silver’s A Thousand Splendid Suns as part of OPERA America’s New Works Forum. She has also appeared as a soloist in performances of Berio’s Sinfonia with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with the New York City Master Chorale, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Binghamton Philharmonic, and Menotti’s Missa O Pulchritudo with the Glen Ridge Choral Society. This season she will be singing Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, alto soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony, and Melisande in Pelléas et Mélisande with West Edge Opera.

Ms. Broom holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, where she was awarded the Ambrose Monell, Birgit Nilsson, and Emily W. Voorhis Scholarships. She was also the recipient of the Marc and Eva Stern Fellowship at SongFest in 2011, and the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation in 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, poetry, and arts outreach.


Summer 2017 Concert

Our summer concert was held on Friday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. at Wayne United Methodist Church, 210 S. Wayne Ave, Wayne, PA.


Vivaldi: Concerto Grosso in D Minor, Op. 3, No. 11

Sibelius: Impromptu for String Orchestra

Parry: An English Suite (Prelude, Minuet, Sarabande, Frolic)

Ireland: Minuet from A Downland Suite

Grieg Suite
   Last Spring, Op. 34, No. 2
   Norwegian, Op. 53, No. 1
   Cow Call and Peasant Dance, Op. 63, No. 2a and 2b

Gardel: Por una Cabeza

Anderson: Jazz Legato and Jazz Pizzicato

Winter Concert

Our winter concert was held on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s (121 Church Street) in Phoenixville, PA. The concert was part of the Music @ St. Peter’s Series.


Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons

Gustav Holst: St. Paul’s Suite

Geroge Gershwin: Lullaby

Astor Piazzolla: Libertango


Our guest soloist for the Vivaldi and Holst was Paul Roby of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Click here to see Roby and Amici Strings performing the Vivaldi at our summer concert.

About Paul Roby

Paul Roby’s first lessons were from his parents, a violinist and an oboist. His early studies continued with Mary Crowder-Hess and Roman Totenberg, students of Ivan Galamian and Carl Flesch, respectively. At the age of 16 Mr. Roby was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied violin with Yumi Ninomiya Scott and Jascha Brodsky, members of the Curtis Quartet. Immediately after graduation from Curtis, Mr. Roby won a position with the Baltimore Symphony under David Zinman and soon after became a member of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1991 Mr. Roby became a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and in November 2000 was named associate principal second violin.

Mr. Roby made his solo debut at age 12 with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and has since won such prizes as the best Wieniawski Polonaise Prize at the Wieniawski-Lipinski Competition in Lublin, Poland, and the Davidoff Prize for Outstanding Artistry at the 1989 Schleswig-Holstein Festival. As a founding member of the Salzau Quartet, Mr. Roby played a command performance for German President Weizäcker at his official residence.

St Peters

St. Peter’s is located at 121 Church Street in Phoenixville. Its vision is to be an inclusive, vibrant Christian community honoring its Episcopal heritage by achieving excellence in worship, mission, education and fellowship. More information about St. Peter’s can be found here: St. Peter’s.

Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite”


Similarly to Vivaldi, Gustav Holst spent a large part of his career as a pioneering music educator at a girls’ school. From 1905 to his death in 1934 he was employed by the St. Paul’s School for Girls, located in Brook Green, Hammersmith, West London. Contained in that address are the titles of three of Holst’s compositions, but it is St. Paul’s Suite that has become a staple of string orchestra repertoire. Who can resist the dances? We have a lively opening jig, a quiet waltz one would hear in a dream, a waltz treatment of Greensleeves and another jig. Between two of the dances is the wonderful Intermezzo, in which the soulful solo violin and viola delicately wind their way through the pizzicato strings, only to have the orchestra suddenly run at full speed and just as suddenly stop to ponder the old soulful melody again. The Finale (The Dargason) was a bold stroke in a composition for students in 1913. The virtuosity of composition and orchestration we enjoy so much in Holst’s most famous piece, The Planets, still a few years in the future, is evident here. Among English composers, only Holst would dare to combine two familiar tunes having different rhythmic schemes and score that combination so masterfully that the two melodies seem destined to be together from birth.

Gershwin’s Lullaby

George Gershwin wrote the lullaby for string quartet when he was a young man of 21. By that time he had been penning songs on Tin Pan Alley for about three years. Although his fame had been secured when Al Jolson transformed a little song called “Swanee” into Gershwin’s first big hit, “Rhapsody in Blue” was still four years away. “Lullaby” had been performed just a few times in private settings before 1922, when George borrowed the opening measures to create a new song for his one- act jazz opera, “Blue Monday.” Forgotten for 40 years, Ira Gershwin showed the “Lullaby” manuscript to harmonica virtuoso Larry Adler, who arranged it for harmonica and string quartet and gave the piece its first public performance at the 1963 Edinburgh Festival. Four years later, the Juilliard Quartet performed it for the first time in its original string quartet form. Though Ira had “Lullaby” published the following year, it had remained shadowed by his brother’s many other more famous compositions until recently. Nearly a century after it was written, “Lullaby” seems to be emerging on its own merits–a simple, beautiful song without words and the composer’s only piece for strings.image


Poetry and Performance in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Each of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is based on a sonnet written by the composer himself. As you listen to the selected movements from each concerto, consider how  Vivaldi translates his words into music.

Amici Strings will perform the entire “Four Seasons” with readings of the poems and a performance by violin soloist Paul Roby at our free concert on July 29, 2016.


“Spring” awakens with evocative bird calls.



This movement 3 from the “Summer” Concerto evokes thunder and lightning: a summer storm rages…



The third movement of the “Autumn” Concerto depicts The Hunt. Wild beasts flee the hunters with their weapons and dogs, but ultimately, there are those who cannot escape.



The slow movement of Vivaldi’s “Winter” Concerto illustrates a winter rain; the plucked strings (pizzicato) of the orchestra are the raindrops which soak the passersby.


Summer 2016 Concert

Thank you to everyone who helped make our July 29, 2016 concert a success!



Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons

Gustav Holst: St. Paul’s Suite

Geroge Gershwin: Lullaby

Astor Piazzolla: Libertango


Our guest soloist for the Vivaldi and Holst was Paul Roby of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Paul Roby

paul roby 2


Hear the music of Sweden on Sunday, January 10th


Dag Wirén (1905-1986) was a composer not well known outside his native Sweden. However, his Serenade for Strings, Op. 11, from 1937, is performed by many string orchestras around the world. One reason is the infectious charm of the final “March” movement, with its melody that seems so familiar, even if you have never heard it. Read more about this composer here:én

Listen to the “March”:

Dag Wirén’s “March” performed by Cali Camerata

Come hear us perform his work on Sunday, January 10th at 4 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville, PA.

Press Release for January Concert


January Amici Strings concert celebrates the fabric of community

PHOENIXVILLE, PA, December 17, 2015—Phoenixville is known for its annual firebird festival, a blazing and eclectic celebration of rebirth. But the renewal of the town has been accompanied by a quieter reinvestment in music education and performance opportunities. A new orchestra with several Phoenixville members, Amici Strings will perform at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Phoenixville on Sunday, January 10 at 4 p.m. The free concert is part of the Music @ St. Peters concert series and will include the Concerto for Strings in c minor by Vivaldi, Elgar’s romantic Serenade, Dag Wiren’s sprightly March, the Capriol Suite by the elusive Peter Warlock and Carl Nielsen’s Little Suite for String Orchestra. Nielsen’s first orchestral suite was itself a birth of sorts—it is fabled that the program notes attributed the piece to “Mr. Nielsen, whom nobody knows.”

Music has played an important part in the revitalization of Phoenixville, a place that, until recently, it would seem nobody knew. In the decade she has lived here, violinist Liz Grimshaw has watched Phoenixville develop into a vibrant city, thanks in part to the quality of the First Friday performers. She joined Amici enthusiastically because “the musicians here possess a depth and richness of talent and experience”. Alice Pavri, who teaches violin, viola, and piano in Kimberton, founded the orchestra last summer to explore rich repertoire for string orchestra and spend time with her many talented friends. One of whom, cellist Pam Baxter, moved to Phoenixville in 1985. She credits the remarkable growth of the city to the Chamber of Commerce, the Colonial Theater, and the Art Center. For Baxter, Phoenixville is a livable city “full of art and music and creative energy.”

Phoenixville has a history of producing award-winning marching bands, but little exposure to string ensembles. In spite of having directed bands for much of his career, Amici conductor Stuard Young calls string groups his “greatest musical love.” Bassist Joe Klapper explains how string ensembles differ from traditional school bands: “Strings offer a more contemplative and delicate world in which to express our human diversity.” Klapper was hired to start the district’s string program in 2013, the same year St. Peter’s Music Series began. The church hopes to bring people together in the appreciation of music and experience of community. “We wanted to offer high quality music to people who might not otherwise attend a concert,” says Karen Martz, a choral singer who works with the church to organize the series. Children are welcome at all St. Peter’s musical events.

Many of the orchestra’s members are hopeful about Phoenixville’s musical future. Indeed, with 304 students learning violin, viola, and cello in the city’s schools, Amici may soon have some serious competition! Joe Klapper hopes the ensemble can serve as a model for his young students: “I’d like my kids to embrace complex ideas of beauty. Classical music helps us do that.”

For more information about Amici Strings, visit our website: or find us on Facebook:

St. Peter’s is located at 121 Church Street in Phoenixville and is currently celebrating its 175th anniversary. Its vision is to be an inclusive, vibrant Christian community honoring its Episcopal heritage by achieving excellence in worship, mission, education and fellowship. More information about St. Peter’s can be found at

January 10, 2016

Amici Strings gave a concert at  St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on January 10, 2016 at 4 p.m. The performance was part of the Music @ St. Peter’s series.

St Peters

St. Peter’s is located at 121 Church Street in Phoenixville and is currently celebrating its 175th anniversary. Its vision is to be an inclusive, vibrant Christian community honoring its Episcopal heritage by achieving excellence in worship, mission, education and fellowship. More information about St. Peter’s can be found here: St. Peter’s.

August 7, 2015

Amici Strings held its inaugural concert on Friday, August 7, at 7:30 pm at Wayne United Methodist Church. The program included:

amici bass

  • Vivaldi, Concerto for Strings, c minor, RV 118
  • Elgar, Serenade for String Orchestra, op. 20
  • Wiren, March from Serenade for String Orchestra
  • Warlock, Capriol Suite
  • Nielsen, Little Suite for String Orchestra, op. 1


Admission was free and a reception followed the concert.

About Wayne United Methodist Church

Wayne United Methodist Church is located at 210 S. Wayne Ave, in the heart of downtown Wayne, and remains an active part of the community. The Church is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary with a year-long schedule of special events. Click here for more information about events and ministries: WayneUMC.


Explore the music and composers represented on our concert

The Carl Nielsen Society is based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The society’s official websiteamici 3 is accessible in English, and on it, you can find a detailed biography, photo gallery, a complete list of compositions and recordings, performances around the world, and links to related subject of interest: Carl Nielsen Society

The Elgar Society is Britain’s largest composer society. The current society President is Julian Lloyd-Webber, cellist, and brother of Andrew Lloyd-Webber, composer of “Phantom of the Opera” and other musicals. Membership is free. Elgar Society

Another website, with links to the Elgar Society, but organized in a possibly more useful layout for American audiences is here:

Antonio Vivaldi is a name so well recognized that he is now the namesake of a recently launched web browser. His “Four Seasons” seems to become more popular every year. The composer’s catalog would take a lifetime of listening or performing before reaching its end. The Saint Paul (MN) Chamber Orchestra has a free listening library on its website. Compositions by “The Red Priest” can be found here: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Listening Library

Warlock for Strings

Peter Warlock is the pseudonym Philip Heseltine used on his musical compositions. He was an English journalist, music critic and composer in the early part of the 20th century. Though his list of completed musical compositions is small, “Capriol” is one of the most often performed pieces in the string orchestra repertoire. It reflects the composer’s interest in Elizabethan music, as the suite is a selection of dance melodies from that period in 20th century clothing. Come hear “Capriol” on the August 7 program.

Performed by the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (2012).                       Conductor: Henning Kraggerud.

Carl Nielsen: A Great Dane

We celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Denmark’s greatest composer by closing our August 7th concert with his earliest published piece, the “Little Suite for Strings”. First performed in 1888, when the composer was only 22, the piece was a great success for the young composer. While it does not have the voice that was to develop into the great symphonist of the early 20th Century, the charming Intermezzo does show Nielsen’s early fondness for triple time, which was to become a signature characteristic of his later music.

Performed here by the Orquesta Ciudad de Orihuela (OCO) in 2012.       Conductor: Sixto M. Herrero Rodes.