Press Releases

Event Announcement: Blue Mountain: Forecast Performs Free Concert

Release date: October 11, 2017

Event Announcement: Blue Mountain: Forecast Performs Free Concert image

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro presents Blue Mountain: Forecast, a concert of colorful depictions and visual references through sound. Experience moods and environments that have inspired composers and visual artists for centuries: calm, playful, angry, passionate and political. A special pre-concert tour of Louise Fishman's abstract expressionistic paintings from the 1970s to today sets the stage for a fun evening of art and music.

Free and open to the public. Location: Weatherspoon Atrium. This free concert is made possible with generous support from Lincoln Financial Foundation.

Blue Mountain: Forecast is an adventurous, flexible ensemble based in North Carolina. As members of orchestras and university faculties across the state, BMF collectively presents new and innovative music in relaxed, alternative performance spaces while mixing aesthetic styles and trends. Tonight’s program features musicians John Beck, percussion; Michael Burns, bassoon; Jacqui Carrasco, violin; Carla Copeland-Burns, flute; Jim Douglass, piano; Susan Fancher, saxophone; Clara O’brien, mezzo-soprano; and narrator and composer Eric Schwartz.

John R. Beck is Professor of Percussion at University of North Carolina School of the Arts and serves on the music faculty at Wake Forest University. He is a member of the Winston-Salem and Greensboro Symphony Orchestras, Brass Band of Battle Creek, Blue Mountain Ensemble, and the Philidor Percussion Group. Beck is a former soloist with the United States Marine Band and is a Past President of the Percussive Arts Society. He presents clinics endorsing Yamaha percussion instruments, Zildjian cymbals, and Innovative mallets, and is a Remo HealthRHYTHMS facilitator involved in hospital research using group drumming with adult cancer patients.

Michael Burns has an active career as a teacher, composer and performer. He is Professor of Bassoon at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Yamaha Performing Artist. He has recorded extensively and his solo CD, Primavera: Music for Bassoon and Piano by Bassoonists, was released on the Mark Masters label to critical acclaim. He currently performs as a soloist, in chamber groups, and orchestrally with numerous recent performances at International Double Reed Society conventions, recitals and masterclasses throughout North America, Germany, China and the South Pacific. He serves as principal bassoon with the Asheville Symphony and the North Carolina Opera and as bassoonist in the EastWind and Blue Mountain Ensembles. He also performs regularly with the North Carolina, and Greensboro Symphonies and as a guest with the Ciompi Quartet and Mallarme Chamber Players. 

Violinist Jacqui Carrasco has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Mexico and Russia, including solo appearances at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall and at the Library of Congress. She has recorded contemporary chamber music for the Nonesuch, Koch, Albany, Mode, CRI and Braxton House record labels, and has also been active in the worlds of Argentine tango and jazz in performances with groups such as the New York-Buenos Aires Connection and with musicians such as Anthony Braxton and pianist Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus. In North Carolina, Ms. Carrasco has been featured in solo and chamber music performances at Duke University; the UNC campuses in Chapel Hill, Greensboro, and Wilmington; Chamber Music at St. Peter’s and the Bechtler’s Music and Museum Series in Charlotte; the North Carolina Museum of Art’s “Sights and Sounds” series; the American Dance Festival; and with the Mallarmé Chamber Players, the Tallis Chamber Orchestra and the Salisbury Symphony. From 2008-2017, she was the co-director of the Music Carolina SummerFest in Winston-Salem. A Professor of Music at Wake Forest University, she currently performs with Blue Mountain/Forecast Music and the Lorena Guillén Tango Ensemble.

Flutist Carla Copeland-Burns enjoys an active teaching and performing career based in North Carolina. Noted as a flexible and versatile player, Carla currently performs with the Greensboro, North Carolina, and Salisbury Symphonies as well as the North Carolina Opera, Carolina Ballet, Blue Mountain Ensemble/Forecast, and the Mallarmé Chamber Players. She has been a guest artist-teacher at universities nationally and internationally, and a featured performer at National Flute Association Conventions and International Double Reed Society Conferences in the US, Canada, and Australia. In summers she is on the faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy and Germany. Carla's students have successfully auditioned into festivals, competitions, and music schools throughout the US and abroad with many currently working as music educators, music therapists, arts administrators, and performers. Carla currently teaches at Duke University and is a Yamaha Performing Artist.

James Douglass received his first degrees in piano performance from the University of Alabama and subsequently earned a DMA in Keyboard Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California. He has served on the faculties of Mississippi College, Occidental College (Los Angeles), the University of Southern California, and Middle Tennessee State University (where he was director of the collaborative piano degree program) and, since 2004, has been teaching in the AIMS in Graz summer music program in Graz, Austria as a coach in the Lieder Studio and the instructor and coordinator of the Collaborative Piano Program. Currently he is the Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano and Director of the Collaborative Piano degree program at UNCG. As a collaborative pianist he has performed across the United States, China, and Europe, and has been heard on public radio and television broadcasts in Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nashville, Mississippi, and Alabama, as well as the Welsh National Television network in Great Britain. He is also an active clinician, adjudicator, and recording artist. 

Susan Fancher is an internationally-recognized concert saxophonist known for her deep, poetic musical interpretations. Her career has featured hundreds of concerts internationally as a soloist and as the member of chamber music ensembles, including the Red Clay, Amherst, Vienna, and Rollin’ Phones saxophone quartets. She has performed in many of the world’s leading venues including Sala São Paulo, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Filharmonia Hall in Warsaw, and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana-Champaign, IL, just to name a few.  Tours have taken her to Albania, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, and throughout the US.  Susan Fancher an artist clinician for the Selmer and Vandoren companies, and teaches saxophone at Wake Forest and Duke Universities.

Clara O’Brien’s international career began when she was awarded the Sonderpreis des Badischen Staatstheaters, a prize created especially for her at the 1st International Coloratura Competition, Sylvia Geszty in Stuttgart, Germany. Noted for her technical and expressive virtuosity, she has appeared on the stages of many international cities including Chicago, Dallas, Berlin, Luxembourg, Strasbourg, Dresden, Leipzig and Frankfurt.  A celebrated recitalist, she was awarded the Grand Prix Paul Derenne, Concours International de chant de Paris for her interpretation of French art song.  Ms O’Brien was also awarded a Fulbright Scholar to Germany.  She studied opera at the Curtis Institute and holds a Master of Music degree with Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.  Her discography includes recordings on the Bella Musica and Albany Records labels and she has been broadcast on Southwest German Radio and Television and NPR radio in the U.S. She is Associate Professor of Voice at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and teaches master classes throughout the United States.

Eric Schwartz has studied composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, New York University, and both the Interlochen and Aspen Summer Music Festivals. Past teachers have included Margaret Brouwer, Donald Erb, George Tsontakis, and Randy Woolf. Formative influences include an amalgamation of the glam metal of the late 80’s and the baroque intellectualism of Arnold Schoenberg. His music has been performed on five continents, at venues ranging from Merkin Concert Hall in NYC and the BMW Edge Theatre in Melbourne, Australia to universities, coffee shops, gas stations, and bars of all shapes and sizes. He has received awards and grants from Meet the Composer, ASCAP, The Society for New Music, The Puffin Foundation, The Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and The Ohio Federation of College Music Clubs.

Schwartz has served on the faculties of New York University, Hunter College, the Lucy Moses Music School, and most recently the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and is composer-curator of the NC based experimental music group Blue Mountain/forecast.  He was formerly a Resident Composer for the Los Angeles based Tonoi contemporary music ensemble, the Minnesota based Renegade Ensemble, and NYC’s Vox Novus. His debut CD 24 Ways of Looking at a Piano, named one of the top classical CDs of 2005 by All Music Guide, is available from Centaur Records. His second solo album OYOU is available now from CD Baby. His music is also available on Signum Classics, Capstone Records, Trace Label, and a host of others, and is published by Murphy Music Press and Lovebird Music. Schwartz currently serves as Music Director for the School of Dance at the University of North Carolina School for the Arts. He, his wife, and his two daughters live in lovely Winston-Salem, NC.

Louise Fishman: A Retrospective is on view at the Weatherspoon Art Museum September 30-December 22, 2017.

Image: Blue Mountain: Forecast.

For a complete, updated list of WAM programs, visit:

About the Weatherspoon Art Museum

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro acquires, preserves, exhibits, and interprets modern and contemporary art for the benefit of its multiple audiences, including university, community, regional, and beyond. Through these activities, the museum recognizes its paramount role of public service, and enriches the lives of diverse individuals by fostering an informed appreciation and understanding of the visual arts and their relationship to the world in which we live.

The Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro was founded by Gregory Ivy in 1941 and is the earliest of any art facilities within the UNC system.  The museum was founded as a resource for the campus, community, and region and its early leadership developed an emphasis—maintained to this day—on presenting and acquiring modern and contemporary works of art. A 1950 bequest from the renowned collection of Claribel and Etta Cone, which included prints and bronzes by Henri Matisse and other works on paper by American and European modernists, helped to establish the Weatherspoon’s permanent collection.  Other prescient acquisitions during Ivy’s tenure included a 1951 suspended mobile by Alexander Calder, Woman by Willem de Kooning, a pivotal work in the artist’s career that was purchased in 1954, and the first drawings by Eva Hesse and Robert Smithson to enter a museum collection.
In 1989, the museum moved into its present location in The Anne and Benjamin Cone Building designed by the architectural firm Mitchell/Giurgola. The museum has six galleries and a sculpture courtyard with over 17,000 square feet of exhibition space.  The American Association of Museums accredited the Weatherspoon in 1995 and renewed its accreditation in 2005.

Collections + Exhibitions
The permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum is considered to be one of the foremost of its kind in the Southeast.  It represents all major art movements from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Of the nearly 6,000 works in the collection are pieces by such prominent figures as Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold, Cindy Sherman, Al Held, Alex Katz, Henry Tanner, Louise Nevelson, Mark di Suvero, Deborah Butterfield, and Robert Rauschenberg. The museum regularly lends to major exhibitions nationally and internationally.

The Weatherspoon also is known for its adventurous and innovative exhibition program. Through a dynamic annual calendar of fifteen to eighteen exhibitions and a multi-disciplinary educational program for audiences of all ages, the museum provides an opportunity for audiences to consider artistic, cultural, and social issues of our time and enriches the life of our university, community, and region.

Weatherspoon Art Museum
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Spring Garden and Tate Streets, PO Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, 336.334.5770,

For more information or press images, contact:
Loring Mortensen, 336-256-1451,

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