A year ago, four musicians settled on the belief that women, of all ages and backgrounds, deserved a place in the arts. Out of this idea, the Women of Worcester Productions Company was born.
With three events already under their belts, the group now takes on a new production—this one at Mechanics Hall—and three WSU musicians are prepping to perform in it.
The production, titled Worcester Wonderland Gala, takes place on December 19. Featuring all female artists, it includes a piece by WSU’s own trio performing Beethoven Trio B-flat Major for clarinet, cello, and piano, Op. 11.
The WSU trio includes two current visual and performing arts majors, Ashley Emery and Renae Renihan. Both Emery, a clarinetist, and Renihan, a cellist, began playing music at a young age, honing their skills through years of lessons and performance. When they came to WSU, they signed up for applied music lessons through the Visual and Performing Arts Department.
Once performing with VPA, they worked under the tutelage of Professor of Visual and Performing Arts Christie Nigro, Ph.D.
On stage, Renihan and Emery demonstrated a maturity and poise that separated them from less experienced students. Nigro took notice and asked the students if they’d like to try something more challenging.
One of the benefits of having a smaller music program is the opportunity for students to explore their skills with VPA professors. This concert trio is an example of one of the many opportunities Worcester State students receive because of small class sizes.
Nigro found a piece to suit the duo’s talents, but it required a third person. So, she recruited past VPA major Anne Eggleston-Arsenault as the pianist.
Eggleston-Arsenault was the one who landed the trio’s gig at the Winter Wonderland Gala.
The three musicians rehearse with Nigro on Monday mornings in Sullivan Auditorium for their performance in front of up to 300 guests at Mechanics Hall.
The opportunity to delve into more challenging work is just one of the ways students improve their art in the VPA Department.
Performing at the gala connects the students with local professionals and shows the Worcester community what Worcester State has to offer.
Tickets to the Winter Wonderland Gala are $35 and are on sale at ticketfly.com .
Written by Julie O’Melia, a VPA public relations and marketing intern