Although it hasn't been a mainstay in more than 200 years, the harpsichord remains a popular and versatile cherry on classical music's cake.

Today at 7 p.m., area residents will have a chance to enjoy fully the sounds that only a harpsichord can make when Concerts on Carter Creek presents Bach's Herd of Harpsichords IV. La Follia Austin Baroque will perform an evening of music by Johann Sebastian Bach, John Rutter and others.

The concert will be at First Presbyterian Church, 1100 Carter Creek Parkway in Bryan. In Austin last week, audiences had to pay up to $25 for the concert, but, as always, Concerts on Carter Creek is free to the public. It is a grand gift from the church and supporters.

The concert is the fourth in a series of programs by La Follia highlighting the harpsichord, which its members term the "quintessential baroque instrument." La Follia will begin the concert with Bach's Concerto in F minor, performed by JiMin Kim. Bach composed numerous concerti for harpsichord, including seven for single harpsichord (including the one presented tonight), three for two harpsichords, two for three harpsichords and one for four harpsichords.

Then, La Follia will turn its attention to harpsichord music from the 20th century, including Rutter's Suite Antique, featuring Marcus McGuff on flute; an art song by Jake Heggie; a fantasia by Edmund Rubbra; and a concertino for harpsichord and strings by Walter Leigh. In addition, La Follia will present Elizabethan Songs by Dominic Argento, sung by David Stevens in the chamber music version with harpsichord.

La Follia director Keith Womer will discuss the harpsichord during the concert.

La Follia Austin Baroque is in its 33rd year performing mostly music from the 16th to 18th centuries, the time of Monteverdi, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Mozart and Haydn. They uses instruments of the period and performance practices to present music as the composers heard it.

The Austin American Statesman said La Follia is "Baroque done right,"

This amazing concert will be a great start to the 2014 arts year in Bryan and College Station.

Concerto finalists

Three finalists have been chosen to perform in the finals of the 16th Annual Brazos Valley Youth Concerto Competition on Feb. 9.

The competition is sponsored by the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra and its support guild, the Friends Association of the Symphony Orchestra.

They are Aaron Forrester, a junior at Rudder High School; Thomas Gusewelle, also a junior at Bryan High School; and Elizabeth Palazzolo, an eighth grader at A&M Consolidated Middle School. They were chosen in blind auditions by Marcelo Bussiki, conductor and music director of the Brazos Valley Symphony.

Each fall, area students through 12th grade are invited to submit an entry on CD of their performance of any movement from any concerto for any instrument, with a maximum length of 12 minutes.

The finalists will perform their entries from memory at the finals in front of a panel of three judges and an audience.

Forrester, a student of Sarah Burke, will perform the fourth movement from Marimba Concerto, Opus 12 by Ney Rosauro. Gusewelle, a euphonium student of Chris Gongora, will perform Morceau Symphonique by Alexandre Guilmant. Palazzolo, a student of Werner Rose, will perform the third movement from Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major, KV 467 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Bussiki said the entries this year was particularly strong and it took several listenings to pick the three finalists.

The finals will be at 3 p.m. on Feb. 9 at Peace Lutheran Church in College Station. The public is invited.

The Friends Association will pay the entry fee the winner to the prestigious 2015 Juanita Miller Concerto Competition in Dallas next January.

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