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Local musician performs with Kronos Quartet

On Saturday, the Sonos Handbell Ensemble will join the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet in performing the major work “IAHWEH,” commissioned for handbells and strings, and Cheryl Baker of Grass Valley will be there. Among other activities, she is a professional handbell ringer with Sonos.

At least once per week, Baker commutes to Walnut Creek to rehearse with Sonos and practices on her own handbell set at home between rehearsals. “It’s a long drive, but what an opportunity! Sonos is innovative and continues to challenge musical boundaries with handbells, including moving them into realms no other handbell ensemble is exploring. Performing with the Kronos Quartet is outstanding.”

Sonos (www.sonos.org) was founded in 1990, and Baker joined the group in September 2003 for its two-week Christmas tour in Japan.



This time Sonos, along with Kronos, will tackle the work titled “IAHWEH,” created by Daniel David Feinsmith, which employs extended bell techniques Sonos has just introduced. Borrowing from the Buddhist tradition of singing bowls, Sonos has transferred the technique to handbells, much like playing crystal water glasses with your finger. Different densities and textures of wood and leather-covered sticks are needed to rub around the rims of different bell sizes.

In addition to her time with Sonos, Baker is also musically involved locally. She directs the Nevada County Concert Band (www.nccb.org), teaches music at Yuba River Charter School, substitute teaches general education throughout the county, and teaches private music students. She plays several instruments and can often be found performing with the Auburn Symphony, the Sierra College Symphony, or accompanying local theater productions.




The world premiere of “IAHWEH” is at 8 p.m. at Osher Marin Jewish Community Center in San Rafael.

For more information, check the Web at http://www.marinjcc.org/classical_music.html.


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