FLORENCE, S.C. – The Firenze String Quartet will perform in concert at Francis Marion University, Tuesday, March 14, in a First Tuesday Arts Event.
The performance will begin at 8 p.m. in the Hyman Fine Arts Center’s Kassab Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.
The Firenze String Quartet was formed in 1978 in response to requests from the community for a string quartet to play weddings, receptions, and church music. The musicians were all members of the Florence Symphony Orchestra and happened to have a connection to FMU since they were all wives of faculty members, and in the case of one of the musicians, a faculty member herself.
In addition to community service, the Firenze String Quartet has performed a recital of chamber music just about every year since 1978, usually at FMU, but also in Wilmington and Morganton, N.C. The group has played at many locations in the Pee Dee and in Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, and Charleston. Frequently, other musicians are asked to join the group so it can play quintets or sextets in addition to the standard quartet literature.
The original members of the quartet are Thelma Hawkins, violin; Doris West, violin; Sherry Woods, viola; and Julia Krebs, cello. Starr Ward frequently plays with the group as a member of a quintet or as one of the violinists in the quartet.
Hawkins serves as assistant concertmistress of the Florence Symphony Orchestra. As a retired public school teacher, she teaches privately and is the personnel manager for the FSO.
West has played in the FSO for more than 30 years in the first violin section and as principal second violin. She spent many years teaching strings in Florence and serving as the orchestra director at Moore Intermediate and West Florence High schools.
Woods is principal viola of the FSO and a member of the South Carolina Philharmonic. She has both a D.M.A. in musical composition and a D.M.A. in viola from the University of South Carolina. Several of her compositions have been premiered by the Firenze String Quartet, and others by the Florence Symphony Orchestra and the Masterworks Choir. She maintains a studio of private students in Florence.
Krebs was principal cellist of the FSO for 20 years. Krebs is well-known to FMU students as a professor and chair of the biology department and as one of the university's Distinguished Professors.
Ward is currently the concertmistress of the Florence Symphony Orchestra and has been a soloist with the group. She graduated from UNC-Greensboro with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in music education.
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