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Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 7:00 PM 
Pre-concert talk begins at 6:30 PM 
First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge
1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike


What do Brahms and jazz have in common? Come find out when Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Karen Kartal gathers friends to perform Brahms and a Brahms-inspired jazz piece composed by Knoxville-based saxophonist and composer Marcel Holman. Sure to be one of the most unique concerts you've heard in a long time! Come ready to jam!


Piano Quintet in F minor Op. 34 by Johannes Brahms
Emi Kagawa, piano
Karen Kartal, violin
Sara Lee Cho, violin 
Josh Ulrich, viola
Dan Allcott, cello  


“Love of My Life” by Santana/ Dave Matthews/Marcel Holman

“A Day in Paris” by Marcel Holman

“Sista Blue” by Marcel Holman

“How Long” by Jeanine Fuller

“All I Have to Give” by Marcel Holman

“Never Going to Let it Go” by Marcel Holman

“I Wish” by Stevie Wonder/Marcel Holman
Marcel Holman, sax and composer
Karen Kartal, violin
Jeanine Fuller, vocals
Sam Adams, keyboard
Joe Jordan, trumpet
David Slack, bass
Kevin Krapf, drums

Major funding for the Chamber Music Series is generously provided by the Feldman Family, the Tom & Effie Carlson Estate, Korsmeyer Endowment & Consulting, Spectra Tech, Inc., and Bill Schwenterly. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oak Ridge is the lodging sponsor for the Series. Thank you.


About the Artists

Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Karen Kartal has performed throughout the United States from Lincoln Center to Oregon and in Italy, Taiwan, and Japan. Karen attended lllinois  State University  and Western Illinois University followed by graduate studies at Louisiana State University where she won first prize in the concerto competitions at all three schools. Her teachers include Almita Vamos, Camilla Wicks, Sally O’Reilly, Jorja Fleezanis, Glenn Dicterow, Janos Starker, and Martin Lovett. Karen’s extensive solo and orchestral experience includes concerto performances with the Oak Ridge Symphony, the Lake Charles Symphony, and the South Arkansas Symphony, full time positions with the Knoxville and Shreveport Symphonies, and concertmaster of the Lake Charles Symphony and Baton Rouge Opera. She has spent summers performing in Spoleto Italy, Round Top International, Chautauqua Institute, Britt Festival and Oregon Coast Music Festival. In 1991, her piano trio won first prize in the MTNA National Chamber Music Competition. A trained Suzuki teacher, Karen also has a busy teaching schedule.  Before moving to Knoxville in 1998, Karen taught at McNeese State University in Louisiana. She is currently on the faculty at Pellissippi State College. Karen has been concertmaster of the Oak Ridge Symphony since 2004.

Marcel Holman, in military uniform, plays a saxophone.Marcel Holman was a featured artist in the Boundless: Artists in the Archives Series sponsored by the John C. Hodges Library Society of the University of Tennessee Libraries and the UT Veterans Resource Center. The event showcased the debut performance of his original compositions that were commissioned by the UT Libraries for the Series. Although Holman is an accomplished saxophonist and flutist, he thinks of himself as primarily a composer and arranger. Nonetheless, as evidence of his talents as a performer, one only has to name a few of the dozens of legendary artists with whom he has performed and recorded since the 1970s:  B. J. Thomas, Peaches and Herb, Ben E. King, The Bar-Kays, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Platters, Martha and the Vandellas, Chuck Berry, Lou Rawls, and Nancy Wilson. Holman is a Vietnam Veteran, and is retired from a 30-year career with the U.S. Postal Service. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in cellular and molecular nutrition at UT. 

Headshot of Jeanine Fuller smiling.Jeanine Fuller is a seasoned, versatile vocalist, songwriter and performer who delivers engaging & soulful performances.  She is a Brooklyn, New Yorker turned Knoxville, Tennessean, with eclectic vocal blends of soul, funk, blues, jazz, and rock.  She has toured around the U.S. and internationally, performing in cover bands, off Broadway, in NY, NJ & NC theater-based productions, classical choral groups, jazz & gospel ensembles, her own cabaret acts in NY, and studio session work. Jeanine has shared the stage with 5x Grammy winning jazz artist, Dianne Reeves, Chaka Khan, and Son Little & Brian Blade. Recent credits include performances with The Wes Bailey Trio (2022) and Grammy award-winning jazz drummer/artist, Brian Blade at the 2022 Big Ears Festival. Fuller performed in the 2019 Women in Jazz Jam Festival, the 2019 Secret City Festival, the Louie Bluie Festival, and the 2018 Knox Pride Fest.

Headshot of Emi Kagawa smiling.

Dr. Emi Kagawa, pianist, is well-known to audiences in Oak Ridge and the greater Knoxville area. She has also performed throughout Japan, the United States, Canada and Italy. She is a past winner of the Juilliard School of Music’s Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Dr. Kagawa is currently Principal Keyboard of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. She is on the piano faculties of St. Joseph’s University and Bryan College.  

Violinist Sara Lee-Cho and cellist Dan Allcott are also well-known to Oak Ridge and Knoxville audiences. Both are affiliated with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and have performed with Kartal on many occasions.  Lee-Cho is Principal 2nd Violin of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra. A concerto competition winner, she has been a member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and the ARCO Chamber Orchestra.  She has also performed with numerous chamber orchestras in Brazil, and is often heard performing as a violist.  Allcott is former Music Director of ORCMA, Music Director of the Bryan Symphony, Professor of Music at Tennessee Tech University, Summer Director of Eastport Strings in Maine, and a sought-after cello clinician throughout the country. Allcott has an extensive conducting repertoire that includes operatic, choral, ballet, and symphonic works, and he has led several premieres. Prior to moving to Tennessee, he was conductor of the Atlanta Ballet. Allcott serves on the Tennessee Tech University Board of Trustees. New to the greater Knoxville area is violist Joshua Ulrich who has already performed in the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra on two occasions. He was educated at the Juilliard School and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and has performed internationally as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has been awarded fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival and Bowdoin International Music Festival and is currently a violist in the Knoxville symphony Orchestra.

Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, pianist-composer Sam Adams moved back to his home city in 2015 to pursue a career in music. Since studying with Donald Brown and Eric Reed at the University of Tennessee, Sam has gone on to perform with a variety of groups and artists around the East Tennessee area. Some of his most recent projects include a debut EP release with NEZ, a pop/R&B band that he leads with his partner, Stina Nesbit, and collaborations with other young jazz musicians through the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra's NXT GEN series.

Joe Jordan is a regional educator, performer, and recording artist. He has played numerous festivals and concerts, and tours with the Husband-and-Wife Duo “The War and Treaty,” that was an opening act for Al Green’s most recent tour dates, and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Joe participates in several regional bands: The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, The Streamliners Big-Band, Soulfinger, Frog and Toad, Jaystorm project, Sensitive Warrior, and The Thrift Store Cowboys.  Joe has taught for several music programs: Thackston School, the Joy of Music School, Community School for the Arts, Knox County Schools, the Knoxville Youth Jazz Orchestra, and the Knoxville Jazz Workshop. He currently teaches Trumpet, Introduction to Music, World Music, and assists with ensembles at Pellissippi State Community College and the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. Joe has a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Master of Music from the University of Tennessee.  

Dave Slack is a bassist and composer who performs regularly with his jazz trio in Knoxville. He also enjoys playing other genres including rock, bluegrass, and R&B. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and teaches guitar and bass instruction at Pellissippi State Community College, Roane State Community College, and Lee University. Dave is currently working on an album of original music.

Kevin Krapf is a versatile drummer based in Knoxville. He can be seen locally playing with great jazz artists such as Greg Tardy, Taber Gable, and Sam Adams. Kevin is also the drummer for a local Steely Dan tribute band called The Fine Columbians, who recently played the Bijou Theatre. Kevin is the drum instructor for the Knoxville Jazz Workshop and also teaches drum set lessons out of his private studio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Maryville College as well as a Masters of Music in Jazz Percussion from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.  


Program Notes by Karen Kartal 
When Brahms began writing his Op 34 in 1862, he originally wrote it for a string quintet with two cellos, probably influenced by Schubert’s two cello quintet. The great violinist Joseph Joachim, who was a good friend of Brahms, told him that the string parts were too difficult, so Brahms rewrote it for two pianos. Clara Schumann, a virtuoso pianist and good friend of Brahms, had liked the original version of the quintet but was not happy with the piano duo version, which later was published as Op 34b.  She suggested that Brahms rewrite it as a piano quintet, which he did. The piano quintet version was premiered in 1866 and it has since then become one of the best loved piano quintets and the most frequently performed work of all of Brahms’s chamber music.

The opening of the quintet is all at once powerful, majestic and ambiguous, starting with the piano playing an arpeggiated theme in octaves with the cello and first violin which quickly slows down into a pause. The opening is followed by five different expressive and contrasting themes which range from mysterious to stormy, all brilliantly expanded and developed.  The quiet second theme features duple against triplet rhythms which Brahms is well known for being the master of. The coda returns to the opening theme and the movement ends with the same passion that it began with. 

The second movement features an exquisitely lyrical and tender melody in the piano accompanied by the strings.  The second theme features the second violin and viola in unison. The tranquil first theme then returns, this time written in the gorgeous, lush sounds of the strings.

The opening of the scherzo features eerie syncopations and pizzicatos in the cello that almost sound like it could have been influenced by the jazz era. It is followed by swift mood changes featuring a dotted rhythm section which transforms into a triumphant march. The contrasting lyrical material of the trio is followed by a return to the main section. 

The final movement begins with a slow, highly chromatic fugue-like introduction reminiscent of Mozart’s “Dissonance” quartet. The main part of the movement features two main themes; one is a folk-like dance that is first heard in the cello, the other is a more sustained chromatic theme.  These alternate until they are finally united at the end to bring the quintet to an exciting fiery ending.


Program Notes by Marcel Holman 
Love of My Life by Santana/Dave Matthews/Marcel Holman 
When Carlos Santana’s father died in 1997, he vowed not to listen to music for two months. After the time had passed, he turned on the radio and the piece that was playing was the beautiful melody from the 3rd Symphony of Brahms. Santana’s father was a violinist so he immediately felt a connection and felt that his dad was directing him to the song.  He shared it with Dave Matthews and they came up with “Love of My Life”. 

Marcel Holman drew inspiration from this beautiful song to write a Prelude and Postlude featuring traditional Classical and contemporary Latin-American styles utilizing melodies from Brahms Symphony No. 3 as well as new thematic material. The Prelude is written as a two-part fugue. Brahms’ melodic triplet theme form the second movement of the symphony is the inspiration for the spirited postlude which ends the piece. 

“A Day in Paris” by Marcel Holman
This composition was written and adapted as a film cue. The piece illuminates the strings as a tribute to the great French Impressionist composers and artists. The quiet side of Paris is expressed in this short excerpt of colorful Parisian sites. Picture a walk along the Seine, skipping stones, a visit to the Louvre, or dining at a sidewalk cafe with friends. 

“Sista Blue” by Marcel Holman 
The blues call and response tradition dates back to work songs and gospel singing gatherings. This Rhythm and Blues composition features a musical conversation between Sista Blue (vocal) and the instrumentalists (violin and trumpet) who are listening to her song and answering back with their instruments, and weaves a tapestry as she tells of her travels. Sister Blue is rooted in the Blues/Gospel tradition.

“How Long” by Jeanine Fuller 
Notes by Jeanine Fuller - “This song is a jazzy Neo Soul type vibe. My inspiration for this song was solely for the need to free myself and begin my own steps to self-empowerment. There’s the old saying of ‘being sick and tired of being sick and tired’. There comes a time in most everyone’s life where we can’t be a part of a toxic situation, to the point that it tears down our very spirit and soul.  It was time to prove to myself and show my beautiful children, that I can do better. I can be a better individual and stand on my own two feet, if I have to. This song has become somewhat of an anthem of freedom.”

“All I Have to Give” by Marcel Holman 
Composed for the University of Tennessee Special Collections project called Boundless: Artist in the Archives
Marcel Holman was the featured artist at a lifestream event on November 19, 2020 which showcased the debut performance of two songs which were commissioned for the project. Holman, who is also a veteran of the Vietnam War, chose to delve into some of the soldiers’ memoirs and wartime correspondence preserved in the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives. 

There, he discovered a cache of letters written by a soldier deployed to Vietnam, Dannie Arthur Carr, to his high school sweetheart back in Sevierville, Tennessee.  Dannie Carr was writing his sweetheart a letter every three to four days.  July 2 was the last letter he wrote. It was a very touching letter where he was telling his sweetheart he was hoping they could spend time together and do all the things they wanted to do together. Sadly, on July 3, he lost his life in combat. In composing this beautiful melancholy song, Holman drew inspiration from those letters. 

“Never Going to Let it Go” by Marcel Holman 
Composed for the University of Tennessee Special Collections project called Boundless: Artist in the Archives
In writing the second song for the project, Holman wanted to write something that gave a ray of hope even though the situation was dire and you were in combat…. never let go of hope. So, the title of this song, “Never going to Let it Go” is talking about the hope of humanity. Even though things may be dark, look for the ray of sunshine or the sunrise or the hope to come.

“I Wish” by Stevie Wonder, Arr. Marcel Holman 
This composition, originally written by Stevie Wonder, was arranged by Marcel Holman for the Shelby State Community College Jazz Band. He has re-adapted his initial arrangement for this performance. 

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