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Wintergreen Music Festival gets an earlier start with holiday festivities

This year’s Wintergreen Music Festival gets an early start this year — this weekend, in fact — by adding music to Wintergreen Resort’s busy July Fourth Jubilee schedule.

Festival musicians will be at the resort’s Blue Ridge Terrace at 11 a.m. Saturday to present a Family Concert and instrument petting zoo with stringed instruments.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, look for “A Salute to the Armed Forces with Brass Quintet,” also at Blue Ridge Terrace. Both performances are free.

Another Family Concert is scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, also at the Terrace.

“Vines & Violins at Veritas,” a special event for the festival, will present concerts at noon and 3 p.m. Sunday in the ballroom at Veritas Vineyards & Winery. Performers will include Jeannette Jang and Alison Hall on violin, Johanna Beaver on viola and David Bjella on cello.

The festival’s first week will get into full swing after the July 4 holiday, starting with the popular Coffee Talks series for early birds at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Wintergreen’s Mountain Inn. Topics planned include a season preview with Erin Freeman, Wintergreen Music’s artistic director, on Wednesday; a discussion of training the next generation of musicians with Corinne Horvath on Thursday; and a talk about big-band musical stylings with trumpeter Taylor Barnett on Friday.

The first concert in this year’s Festive Fridays series begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday with big-band music in the spotlight in Dunlop Pavilion, and the first Music Hike will be offered at 2 p.m. Saturday at the resort’s Nature Preserve.

Barnett will lead a program of jazz standards and plenty of swing for “Wintergreen Swings — Big Band Style” The hike will honor the Monacan Tribe, original residents of the Wintergreen area, with a performance of music on Native American flutes and modern flutes. Freeman said the event will help today’s music fans visualize “how the original inhabitants used nature as inspiration for art.”

The MountainTop Masterworks series gets started at 6 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in Dunlop Pavilion with violinist Elisabeth Adkins, concertmaster of Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, as soloist for Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto.” Freeman will conduct a program that also includes compositions by Emilie Meyer and the late Ukrainian composer Hanna Havrylets to honor women’s contributions to composing and performing dynamic music.

“I programmed the whole thing around Elisabeth,” Freeman said. “She was one of the first female concertmasters of note.”

Freeman will offer listening tips and stories in her pre-concert lectures, and the first one will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday in Dunlop Pavilion.

She said that performing in a variety of settings from wineries to nature trails gives the musicians a treasured opportunity to “make new friends whenever we go.”

“There’s this opportunity to hear music in a new way,” Freeman said. “When we think of classical music, we think of concert halls. It wasn’t always this way.”

In coming weeks, audience members will hear a variety of works that were suggested by Wintergreen Festival Orchestra members and other participants.

“When a musician is really excited about something, it brings a special spark,” she said. “They come here because they are part of the creation of it.”

Freeman shares the musicians’ excitement, and she savors the process of exploring connections and possibilities. The day before a phone conversation about the festival, she received a text from a musician about an enticing new work, and even while juggling a full festival plate, she couldn’t wait to learn all she could about it.

“I’ll have to figure out a way to program it — if not for this summer, then next summer,” Freeman said. “Sometimes, these ideas take me down a rabbit hole.”

Tickets are available online at, where you’ll find details about the upcoming events and artists.


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