Hickory – The Concert Series at Lenoir-Rhyne welcomes Grammy-nominated quintet Imani Winds to campus on Sunday, January 15. The free performance will be held at 3 p.m. in Grace Chapel and is open to the public.
Imani Winds includes Brandon Patrick George on flute, Toyin Spellman-Diaz on oboe, Kevin Newton on French horn, Mark Dover on clarinet and Monica Ellis on bassoon. The group has recorded seven albums.
Their 2006 recording “The Classical Underground” and their 2021 recording “Bruits” were nominated for Grammy Awards for “Best Chamber Music or Small Ensemble Performance.”
Since forming in 1997, Imani Winds has built both a devoted fan base and an impeccable academic reputation based on dynamic performances and efforts to diversify representation among performers and composers in the world of classical music.
The ensemble performs both familiar classical compositions — often with innovative arrangements — and contemporary pieces, which the quintet frequently commissions to bring new voices to the fore and highlight historical and current events through music.
“String quartets are often considered more glamorous than wind quintets because they have a longer history. Yet, Imani Winds have been twice nominated for Grammy Awards, which speaks to their tremendous musicianship and talent,” said Christopher Nigrelli, DMA, professor of music and organizer of the concert series.
Lenoir-Rhyne joins a 25-year touring history that spans five continents, prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and multiple festival appearances. In 2010 they created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, an annual event offering performance, workshop and networking opportunities for young artists from across North America.
In 2021, the group became the first ever Faculty Wind Quintet at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and their academic affiliations have included residencies at Lincoln Center, Duke University, the University of Michigan and the University of Texas at Austin, among many others.
“In 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. added them to their permanent exhibit on music,” Nigrelli shared. “Imani Winds have the eyes of the world upon them, and I’m thrilled to bring them to LR so the community can experience their beautiful playing in person.”
About Lenoir-Rhyne University:
Founded in 1891, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a co-educational, private liberal arts institution with 55 undergraduate degree programs and nearly 20 graduate degree programs. LR enrolls more than 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students. LR’s main campus is in Hickory, North Carolina, where both undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered. The university also offers graduate degree programs on its campuses in Asheville, North Carolina, and Columbia, South Carolina. The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is also in Columbia. LR is affiliated with the North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The website is www.lr.edu.