By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
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This Saturday night, the classics will come alive in the woods — at the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center, to be specific — as cello player Priscilla Jones and the Hesperiana Quartet arrive.
Usually, the Concerts in the Woods series, held once or twice a month at this rural gathering place, is about folk and bluegrass.
But host Norm Johnson is up for something different, so he invited the Bainbridge Island-based Hesperianas over for a 7:30 p.m. concert at the center, 923 Hazel Point Road.
Admission is by donation. All ages are welcome.
Jones, along with violist Dorothy Foster and violinists Katherine Davies and Justine Jeanotte, will offer classics from Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 1, “Habanera” from Bizet's “Carmen,” Puccini's “O mio babbino caro” (“Oh my beloved father”) and other operatic arias from Delibes and Massenet.
All are arranged for string quartet — and found to be sweet by these four women.
The quartet's name Hesperiana came from Greek mythology, noted Jones, a music teacher.
“The Hesperides are nymphs who tend a blissful garden of golden apples,” she explained. When tasted, these apples bring immortality.
“The Hesperides live in a far western corner of the world — I think somewhere near Bainbridge Island,” Jones quipped.
“In addition to tending their gardens, these nymphs love music and song.”
The Hesperianas first got together for fun on Friday nights, playing string quartets together.
“After a long work week, we found it relaxing to sit down and play music with a glass of good wine and the conversation of good friends,” Jones said.
All four are classically trained musicians, “but we have mixed tastes,” while Jeanotte plays in two other bands, Paundy and Before Cars, and Jones performs with Bainbridge Island's all-cello ensemble, Cello Mania.
For directions to the Laurel B. Johnson Community Center and more information about the concert series there, visit www.coyleconcerts.com or phone Norm Johnson at 360-765-3449, and for more about this Saturday's featured musicians, visit www.hesperianaquartet.com.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.