HMQuartet launches in 2017!
by Matthew Coley
What's the next step for HMF?
I ponder this question all the time. I want HMF to be able to substantially support artists and to change the current landscape of the art form by making the classical marimba a regularly talked about and witnessed instrument in public settings, more than academic ones. In order to do that in any field, you constantly have to look forward and up, adapt all the time, and continually forge ahead. Last spring, as we were entering the 2016 summer season for HMF, I began thinking about this question more specifically in terms of our artistic output beyond 2016. Compared to 2015, we were about to embark on a bigger annual summer tour with the awesome HMCollective (formerly the HMF Touring/Artist Ensemble...I'm so glad Andrew Veit came up with a new name) going to 7 cities and out-of-state to Utah for our Academy; a total of 14 concerts! I felt it was time to establish a regular group of consummate artists that would be enthusiastic about spreading the HMF mission year-round through their solo work as well as their commitment to chamber music - marimba quartet music.
The Heartland Marimba Quartet is the only professional quartet (at least) in North America solely committed to marimba repertoire. We are touring once each spring and fall semester with memorized programs of American music! HMQ will be the main artist teachers/mentors of the Heartland Marimba Festival Academy each summer. HMQ is Matthew Coley, Michael J. Jones, Joe Millea, and Andrew Veit, and our first call substitute is Abby Fisher. Abby will be performing and teaching with HMQ at the HMF Academy this summer in Stevens Point, WI!
Every new HMF initiative has the energy and excitement behind it from all the positivity and success that has come from past initiatives and the amazing growth we've seen since 2014. HMQ is certainly an example of this. All the members are very excited about this endeavor, and proud of what it supports. This group will be the grandstanders for the HMF mission year-round; supporting the classical marimba for its artists, its students, its composers, and its communities!
HMQ is dedicated to high-quality, refined, and expressive performances of American music, and to providing dynamic, creative, and holistic mentoring and instruction to aspiring performers and music educators.