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Ring in spring with some strings

John Benson • May 4, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Want to go?

WHAT: Spring Chamber Concert

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. May 5

WHERE: Hayes Memorial United Methodist Church, 1441 Fangboner Rd., Fremont

COST: Free

INFO: 419-334-2605

Coming together as a community is the idea behind the free Spring Chamber Concert featuring the Terra Chamber String Orchestra and the Harp Ensemble May 5 at Hayes Memorial United Methodist Church in Fremont.


“We’re doing Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, which the group is excited about, as well as The Marche Slav and a piece called Slavanic Dance No. 8,” said Terra Chamber String Director Barb Ziebold, a 1970 Ross Fremont graduate who taught for nearly 30 years in the Fremont City Schools. “That will be our portion of the program and the rest of the program with the Harp Ensemble, which is quite new to Terra. Considering the string program has only been going for four years, we have the two newbies going together and trying to spread the word or the culture to the people of Fremont that yes we have these offerings through Terra.”


For Ziebold, who not only is on the faculty at Heidelberg University but performs in two orchestras and is the Concert Master of the Perrysburg Symphony, the Terra Chamber String Orchestra is a passion project she helped start four years ago.


Today the ensemble features 12 members, including two Terra Community College students, two local high school students and eight community musicians.


“There is a definite need in this area for string players to have an outlet for their art,” Ziebold said. “We have quite a variety of ability levels in the Terra Chamber Strings. We have some people who have played for years and years, and some people who have just gotten started playing. So it’s nice for those people to have an outlet and kind of rub elbows with better players because it encourages their growth on their instrument.”


Ziebold feels what may seem somewhat unique, the notion of local residents making up a college musical outfit, is actually a blessing.


“I don’t see any downsides to it because it introduces strings to area people,” Ziebold said. “And the community members who have played in other groups, and are quite accomplished, are very willing to help out the new people who have just started playing. The overall attitude in the group is very positive about this kind of a thing.”


Fremont resident and violinist Kathie Sherck agrees with Ziebold.


“The community members and students who play in the Terra Chamber Orchestra have fun together,” said Sherck, who didn’t want to say her age but did add “older than dirt.” “We are serious about playing our best and learning how to improve the music we work on, but we also joke together. There is never a tense atmosphere or fear of being yelled at.”


Cellist, Terra student and Fremont resident Riley Wildman echoes Sherck’s sentiment.


“The best thing about working with a community ensemble is the intimacy,” said Wildman, 20. “I’ve played in larger groups before and sometimes you can get lost in the crowd, although you can make some fantastic music. With a group like the Terra String Ensemble, you get to know everybody on a social and musical level.”


Speaking of intimacy, audiences taking in the Hayes Memorial United Methodist Church date will have plenty.


“Hopefully, the community will take away a larger appreciation for the talent that we have in the area,” Ziebold said. “A lot of people don’t realize we have string players that are as accomplished as this group is.”


The free Spring Chamber Concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. May 5 at the Hayes Memorial United Methodist Church, 1441 Fangboner Rd., Fremont. For more information, call 419-334-2605.

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