Great Falls Symphony Association introduces new principal violist

Alyssa Roggow joins the Cascade Quartet and Great Falls Symphony Orchestra

GREAT FALLS, Montana—The Great Falls Symphony Association is pleased to announce Alyssa Roggow, violist, will be joining the Great Falls community as the Symphony’s principal violist and the newest member of the Cascade Quartet.

Maria Ritzenthaler, who has held the position since 2015, resigned from her role to move to the Seattle-Tacoma area with her husband, composer Sam Krahn, as he was recently appointed to a teaching position at Green River College in Auburn, Washington. Viola auditions were held on Monday, June 11, and Alyssa was selected from among seven candidates who performed for the audition committee over the course of three playing rounds.

In regards to the her new appointment and move to Montana, Alyssa Roggow says, “I'm excited to join this group of wonderful musicians and get to know the Great Falls community through our performances and outreach!” A native of Iowa, Alyssa makes the move from Rochester, New York, where she most recently completed graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. Praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer as a violist with “sparkle and excellent balance”, Alyssa enjoys a diverse career as a chamber musician and educator. In 2012, she toured the Midwest with the Quasari String Quartet, and has since performed in ensembles throughout New England, Canada, and Austria. In 2016, she trained in Visual Thinking Strategies, an outreach tool developed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and is currently developing a series of concerts and workshops that bring chamber music and visual arts together with lively audience engagement.

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An avid proponent of contemporary music, Alyssa regularly appears with Slee Sinfonietta at the June in Buffalo Festival, and has also performed at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival with Switch~Ensemble, the Red Note New Music Festival with the Quasari Quartet, and the Breaking-the-Fourth-Wall Festival Marathon with the Craig Michael Davis Ensemble. Composers she has worked with include Beat Furrer, Chaya Czernowin, Hilda Paredes, and Rand Steiger.

 

Alyssa received performance degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Eastman School of Music, with further string quartet studies at Indiana University. Her primary mentor is Masumi Per Rostad. In her spare time Alyssa writes poetry, bakes, and enjoys the outdoors.

 

Alyssa’s first year with the Great Falls Symphony is also the organization’s 60th anniversary celebration. In addition to performing on the Symphony’s concert series at the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts, she will appear with the Cascade Quartet on the Chamber Music Series and in the ensemble’s concert and outreach tours throughout the region.

 

Cascade Quartet

With its depth of sound, insightful interpretations, and genre-bending performances, the Cascade Quartet has enriched communities across Montana and the Northwest for over three decades. They are praised for their cross-discipline collaborations and have worked closely with multi-media artists, dancers, choirs, world percussionists and jazz artists. Noted past collaborations include Yo Yo Ma, the Ying Quartet, and Grammy nominee Philip Aaberg.

 

The Cascade Quartet is the resident string quartet of the Great Falls Symphony and its personnel serve as principal players in the orchestra. Each quartet member is a strong advocate for music education and outreach.  They tour extensively throughout the year providing concerts, multi-day residencies and interactive school activities for communities large and small. The Cascade Quartet includes violinists Mary Papoulis and Megan Karls, violist Alyssa Roggow, and cellist Thaddeus Suits.

 

Great Falls Symphony

The Mission of the Great Falls Symphony is to infuse cultural vibrancy into the Great Falls community through transformative music events and education programs. The organization strives to be an essential cultural asset in North Central Montana that raises the quality of life for its citizens through outstanding performing arts programs.

 

The Great Falls Symphony includes a 75 member semi-professional Orchestra, a one hundred member Symphonic Choir and two professional resident ensembles (the Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds) made up of nine "Core" orchestral musicians, and a Youth Orchestra program (established in 1996) which supports two student orchestras and over 100 talented young musicians grades six through twelve from Great Falls and surrounding areas. These components offer a rich and diverse mix of activities that include orchestra, choral, chamber and educational concerts which reach up to 40,000 people annually. The Great Falls Symphony presents a six-concert series every year, and plays host to a variety of guest artists and resident composers. The Cascade Quartet and Chinook Winds present fourteen concerts on the Symphony’s Chamber Music Series in Great Falls in addition to traveling an average of 4,500 miles each year performing concerts and educational programs throughout the northwest United States. To fulfill a state and regional mission, the Great Falls Symphony places the highest priority upon programs that provide state-wide education and outreach. Two Youth Matinees are presented each season by the orchestra and have served well over 115,000 students from the public, private and home schools in a one hundred mile region of Central Montana.

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