Weekend concerts mark end of GC Music Festival

This weekend, the Grand Canyon Music Festival's 22nd season concludes with Friday and Saturday performances by the string band Ethel.

Concert performances begin at 7:30 p.m. both nights at the Shrine of the Ages. Starting at 6 p.m. will be pre-concert recitals of Native American Composer Apprentice Project student works.

Hailed by The New York Times as "extraordinarily skilled, passionate musicians," this 21st-century incarnation of the classical string quartet model brings to its music an exciting, beautiful and rare combination of tastes and talents that has developed from each member's unique experiences in the music world.

Ethel are Ralph Farris, viola; Dorothy Lawson, cello; and Todd Reynolds and Mary Rowell, violins.

Through performance and collaboration with composers in all genres of contemporary music ­ new music, pop/rock, jazz ­ Ethel has moved away from the traditional chamber music approach, immersing its audiences in the rich, multi-faceted contemporary music world, capturing the excitement of juxtaposing these genres. With irreverence and panache, Ethel envelops listeners with the sounds of amplified strings, taking them on a ride of arena-rock proportions with music by some of today's most exciting composers, including John King, Evan Ziporyn, Joe Jackson, Steve Coleman, Mel Graves, Benny Wallace, Phil Kline and their own Ralph Farris and Todd Reynolds.

Ethel has graced the stages of such venerable institutions as Lincoln Center, the Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, La Biennale di Venezia, The Kennedy Center and Joe's Pub and has performed and collaborated with some of today's most prominent and exciting artists, including pop musicians Joe Jackson, Todd Rundgren and Rickie Lee Jones.

Ethel creates their programs on the spot, inspired by their environment, drawing from their rich repertoire, and enhanced by their own improvisational skills.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $8 for children. For more information, call 800-997-8285 or 638-9215, or visit www.grandcanyonmusicfest.org.

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