News & Events




Press Release



November 11, 2003

Turtle Island String Quartet to present Festival of Lights


Turtle Island String Quartet to present Festival of LightsThe Robert Brown Theatre stage at Cowley County Community College will come to life when the Turtle Island String Quartet performs its Festival of Lights, a joyous voyage through world holiday music, Dec. 1.


Turtle Island’s performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and $6 for students K-12 and Cowley students. They are on sale now in the Sid Regnier Bookstore, 207 W. Fifth Ave., from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by calling (620) 441-5277.


When it comes to string music, Turtle Island breaks the mold. The group defies definition and shakes it up whenever it can. Turtle Island isn’t easily described. How about irreverent, classy and smart? Or classically trained, rock ’n roll sensibility, improvisational freedom? Or what about Jimi Hendrix sandwiched between Brubeck and Kottke and Ellington and Monk?


You get the picture.


Turtle Island, comprised of David Balakrishnan on violin and baritone violin; Evan Price on violin; Mark Summer on cello; and Mads Tolling on viola, will take you on a joyous voyage through world holiday music that commemorates the members’ ancestral roots with a concert showcasing the music associated with what is referred to in both the Jewish and Hindu traditions as the Festival Of Lights. From the songs of Chanukah, to the music of India’s Diwali, to the old English carols and Scottish reels of the 16th century, Turtle Island explores the timeless music that has been an integral part of winter holiday celebrations for centuries. The program also features music that has touched Americans’ hearts for almost 40 years, pianist and composer Vince Guaraldi’s beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas.


The program will be announced from the stage throughout the concert, and will include selections from “Chanukah, Oh Chanukah” (traditional Jewish), “Christmas Day I”Da Mornin’ ” (traditional Scottish), and “Winter In Cairo,” based on the “Arab Dance” movement from Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”


Turtle Island also will perform four numbers with the Cowley Concert Choir. They are “Christmastime Is Here” (Vince Guaraldi), “Silent Night/All Blues” (traditional Austrian/Miles Davis), “O Tannenbaum” (traditional German), and “Bringing In The Sheaves” (a Horace Clarence Boyer gospel).


Its name derived from mythology found in Native American Folklore, the Turtle Island String Quartet, since its inception in 1985, has been a singular force in the creation of bold, new trends in chamber music for strings. Cellist nonpareil Yo Yo Ma has proclaimed TISQ to be “a unified voice that truly breaks new ground—authentic and passionate—a reflection of some of the most creative music-making today.”


Turtle Island fuses the classical quartet esthetic with 20th-century American popular styles, and by devising a performance practice that honors both, the state of the art has inevitably been redefined.