2020 WCFH Ensemble-in-Residence
The Craft Ensemble came together to play Schubert’s great C-major Cello Quintet in an Interpretations Masterclass with Ben Zander in early 2016. Since then, we have performed all over Massachusetts, as trio, string- and clarinet-quartet, piano- and cello-quintet, and string sextet.
The Craft Ensemble comprises a core string quartet of Colleen Brannen and Amy Sims on violin, violist Amelia Hollander Ames, and Velleda Miragias on cello. We are all busy freelancers in the Boston area, with engagements at A Far Cry, Boston Baroque, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Philharmonic, Handel & Haydn Society, Odyssey Opera, Orchestra of Indian Hill, the Portland Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic, as well as frequent “away” projects.
Our programs include music by Henry Purcell (which we played at the 350th Anniversary Celebration for Salem’s House of Seven Gables) and by young composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Paul Moravec, and Osnat Netzer. We relish discovering rarely performed gems, such as the quartet works of Imogen Holst and Elizabeth Maconchy. In 2017 we gave the US premier of Oscar-winning film composer Gabriel Yared’s luscious “Camille Claudel” String Sextets.
2020 WCFH Composer-in-Residence: Melika Fitzhugh
A native of Stafford, Virginia, Melika M. Fitzhugh (A.B. Harvard-Radcliffe: Music Theory and Composition, M.M. Longy School of Bard College: Composition) has studied conducting and composition with Thomas G. Everett, Beverly Taylor, James Yannatos, Julian Pellicano, Roger Marsh, Jeff Stadelman, and, most recently, Osnat Netzer and John Howell Morrison. Performed internationally, Mel’s compositions have been commissioned by John Tyson, Catherine E. Reuben, John and Maria Capello, Laura and Geoffrey Schamu, and the Quilisma Consort, and have been performed by those artists as well as the B3:Brouwer Trio, the PHACE Ensemble, the Quarteto L’Arianna with guitarist Daniel Murray and double bassist Pedro Gadelha, the Radcliffe Choral Society, Berit Strong, Patricia R. Abreu, Miyuki Tsurutani, Libor Dudas, and Aldo Abreu.
Mel was the 2014 winner of both the Longy orchestral and commencement processional/recessional composition competitions, and has performed with the Radcliffe Choral Society, Coro Allegro, the Harvard Wind Ensemble, the Village Circle Band, and WACSAC. The artist, who has composed music for film and stage, was a member of Just In Time Composers and Players and is currently a member of world/early music ensemble Urban Myth and the early music ensemble Quilisma Consort, in addition to playing bass guitar with acoustic rock singer/songwriter Emmy Cerra, the ambient rock band Rose Cabal, the symphonic metal band Illusion’s End, and the Balkan folk dance band Balkan Fields. Mel enjoys teaching and playing a variety of instruments for folk dance ensembles, including: violin/viola/violoncello/double bass; acoustic guitar/bass; recorders; flute; clarinet; saxophone; trumpet; hand percussion including dumbek/djembe/kahoun.