EAC’s Concert Series continues Friday, August 13 at 7 pm, with a Plucked Strings Recital by Mo Nichols, harp, and Tim Pence, guitar.
Nichols grew up Down East, began harp study at age 8, graduated as valedictorian from Washington Academy in 2007, and from a home base in Machias, currently serves as principal harpist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra (BSO), and performs with the Portland Ballet, Opera Maine, the Southern Maine Symphony Orchestra, and various choral ensembles around the state.
Though much of Nichols’ training has followed an academic rather than a musical path, including degrees in psychology and speech-language pathology, with current study of American Sign Language interpreting, they’ve always ‘kept a hand in’ musically, and were featured in a 2018 BSO orchestra showcase, playing Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro.
“Soloists may be technically brilliant in their performances but play without passion or personality. Nichols exuded both in their solos on Schoenberg’s “Notturno” and Ravel’s “Introduction & Allegro,” wrote Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News. “Nichols enthralled concertgoers. The harpist radiated light in playing Ravel’s 1907 piece, one of the first written for the double-action harp. Nichols’ long arms seemed to embrace rather than pluck the instrument as if the harp were a lover.”
Nichols plans to play movement 1 (Allegro moderato) of Harp Concerto in E Minor, op. 182, by Carl Reinecke (1824-1910), accompanied by Gregory Biss, who will play a piano reduction of the orchestral score.
Pence is a classical guitarist and composer based in Downeast Maine, with performance credits in the U.S. and Canda from the formal Jordan Hall in Boston to the more casual stage of Campobello Fogfest. He has also enjoyed many other projects (including classical and electric guitar) from church music to progressive rock, doo-wop and musical theater.
As a composer he has written more than 50 works including a recent commission for the Galveston Symphony Orchestra which premiered to enthusiastic reception at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas. His first brass quintet “In the Monkey Brain… and other stories” was commissioned in the early 2000’s and performed numerous times by the Triton Brass Quintet including the premiere performance at the Lyon Opera House in France. Tim has also worked with the Chagall Performance Art Collaborative who commissioned a “sound painting palate” which became a signature aspect of their performances throughout Boston and New York. In 2017 his “Sleeping Guitar” was written for Aaron Larget-Caplan’s New Lullaby Project and has been performed more than 50 times across the U.S. and as far away as Moscow, Russia.
Pence studied classical guitar with David Leisner and composition with Lee Hyla at the New England Conservatory of Music (BM ‘99) and during this time won 1st prize in the 1996 New England Classical Guitar Society Competition. For his EAC appearance, he plans to play works by Gaspar Sanz and Augustin Barrios, as well as some originals.
Concert tickets, which will be available at the EAC box office prior to performances, are $15; attendees under age 18 will be admitted free of charge. CDC guidelines will be followed.