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Frisson Ensemble

[Feb 2]

Frisson Ensemble is the next generation of classical music, breathing new life into popular classical masterpieces. The ensemble of rising classical stars will be performing at Mendocino College Center Theatre on Saturday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is part of a special West Coast tour that six members of the New York City-based nine-member group are undertaking. The concert is presented by Ukiah Community Concert Association (UCCA) as part of their 2018-19 season, in tandem with Live On Stage, Inc.

Frisson Ensemble performs music with different combinations of string and wind instruments. The word "frisson" itself derives from the French and means "a shiver or thrill"; "a sudden burst of excitement." And indeed the members of Frisson Ensemble convey this, with their bold repertoire, youthful energy, and music that segues from percussive and energetic to sweet and winsome. The group is comprised of recent graduates of top music schools including Juilliard, Curtis and Yale. Led by director and oboist Thomas Gallant, the musicians were chosen through auditions in New York City. Individually, the musicians all have storied resumes and have performed in such places as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Programs include classical works by Beethoven and Mozart, a traditional Celtic music suite, and Ennio Morricone’s "Gabriel’s Oboe" from the film The Mission.

Oboist and Frisson Ensemble Director Thomas Gallant enjoys playing what some view to be the most difficult instrument in the world. Also called "the ill wind that no one blows good," the oboe is in fact an essential part of a full orchestra, in part because it possesses a timbre that enables its sound to carry clearly when played with other instruments. Despite his parents telling him to go back and get a normal instrument when he came home from band rehearsal with an oboe, Gallant persisted and is now considered one of the world's top players of this family of double-reed woodwind instruments. Described by The New Yorker magazine as “a player who unites technical mastery with intentness, charm and wit,” Gallant has toured extensively worldwide and garnered numerous awards.

Ukiah Community Concert Association has been presenting nationally acclaimed talent since 1947. This all-volunteer nonprofit’s mission is to build and maintain a permanent concert audience and cultivate an interest in fine music among the citizens of the community and surrounding area. It is also their goal to encourage music appreciation in the schools of the community.

Advance tickets are available at Mendocino Book Company in Ukiah, Mazahar in Willits, and online. Single tickets for this concert are $30 in advance and $35 at the door (adult) and $10 in advance and $15 at the door (youth under 18). Free tickets are available at the door to Mendocino College students with ID, space providing. For more information, please call 707-463-2738, or visit UCCA on Facebook and at 

UCCA thanks Schat’s Bakery, Black Oak Coffee, and Rivino Winery for donating treats to be served pre-concert and during intermission. Special thanks to the Mendocino College Foundation, the Mendocino Arts Club and Mendocino College Recording Arts & Technology as well as the Mendocino College Art Gallery for their ongoing support.

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