Students welcome to audition: Christopher Vuk to perform at Gallagher Bluedorn
By Robin Harms

Christopher Vuk graduated from Denver High School in 2001. Today, he is the founder of the School of Groove and the Boston String Quartet in Boston, Massachusetts.

Vuk will be returning to this area the end of February to perform with his quartet at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in Cedar Falls.
Students are welcome to audition to be a member of the symphony or choir that will accompany the quartet on the night of the concert.

The Boston String Quartet has been described as “exploring different ways of sparking musical interest” (Boston Globe). Their recent album Xibus has been touted as “a genre-stretching tour-de-force” (PARMA) and “brimming with mature depth and musical prowess” (Tower Records).

They will bring that energy to their performance on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 PM at the Gallagher Bluedorn.

More than 100 local high school musicians will be selected to perform in an eclectic program called the Ethno-Urban Orchestra. The orchestra will feature world and rock fusion, movie soundtracks and video games, Disney, and original works by the quartet — all in one performance.

“We created the Ethno-Urban Orchestra as a unique opportunity for high school students to apply their skills in a contemporary orchestra setting alongside a professional music group,” said Vuk. “Our mission is to open their minds to the myriad possibilities that exist in classical music performance. Our kid-tested, kid-approved workshops combine rehearsal and improvisation for string, band and choral students at all levels.”

Following Vuk’s graduation from Denver, he attended the University of Northern Iowa for a year. During that year, he auditioned for, and was accepted to, the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He continued his education at Longy and graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2006.

“I liked Boston, so I decided to stay,” Vuk said. His parents, Carl and Cheryl Vuk, still live in Denver.

Vuk is the director of School of Groove, with three locations in the Boston area. He is also the founder/music director of the Boston String Quartet.

In existence since 2004, the Boston String Quartet has collaborated with such notables as John Mayer, Turtle Island String Quartet, the Boston Ballet, Fionnuala Gill, Giorgia Fumanti, Jennifer Holliday, Lisa Fisher, Tim Janis, and Dave Fiucznyski. They have performed to sold-out crowds at Symphony Hall, the Los Angeles Music Awards, PBS, Yankee Homecoming Festival, and for former President George H.W. Bush. To date they have released four albums.

The quartet consists of Vuk, first violinist, second violinist Angel Valchiov, violist Chen Lin and cellist Christina Stripling.

For this performance, the quartet will also be joined by the rock band, Scarlet Fade.

Students who are chosen for the orchestra and choir will receive the repertoire two weeks prior to the performance. They will have four rehearsals and two improv sessions between Friday and Saturday afternoon, Feb. 24-25, then join the Boston String Quartet onstage on Saturday night.

Students can apply through the website, or by mail to Boston String Quartet, c/o Chen Lin, 883 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA 02141-1430. The application fee is $40.

Students must write about themselves and provide references. Once the application has been reviewed, the students will be notified of their acceptance or if they have been place on a waiting list. The deadline for application submission is Feb. 23, 2012. For more information, call 617-875-7851.

Among the pieces which will be performed at the Gallagher Bluedorn will be Mario Brothers Suite (T. Sullivan), and the followed arranged by Vuk: Beat It (Michael Jackson), Oye Como Va (Santana), Devil Went Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels), and Kashmir (Led Zeppelin), as well as original composition, rock, fusion and video game music.

Tickets for the Feb. 25th performance at Gallagher Bluedorn are $26 and $36, and may be purchased by calling UNItix at 877-549-SHOW (7469).

“This will be a unique concert,” Vuk said, “combining students with professional musicians, and a rock band. I encourage everyone to attend!”
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