Keowee Chamber Music is a delight and a regional treasure.
–Classical Voice of NC, June 2009
1999 Flutist Kate Steinbeck visualized bringing friends together for a couple of weeks each summer to play exquisite chamber works in remarkable settings of the Carolinas.
2000 Steinbeck invited cellist Elizabeth Austin and violist Andrew Levin to form an ensemble.
2001 As Bartram’s Trio, Steinbeck, Austin and Levin presented 4 concerts — two each in North and South Carolina — and inaugurated a music festival. They named the burgeoning festival Keowee to honor the original inhabitants of this Carolina region. Keowee or Kuwâhiyi, the correct form in Tsalagi, the Cherokee language, was one of the largest and most important settlements of the Cherokee nation and the main village of the lower Cherokee. In the 1960’s this land was flooded to create Lake Keowee; the settlement site now lies under water.
2002 The festival expanded to two different programs over two weeks – 6 concerts in all – and pianist Dewitt Tipton joined the roster. A Sunday afternoon concert was established in Pretty Place Chapel near Cedar Mountain, NC, offering an inspiring chamber music experience in an incredibly beautiful natural setting.
2003 Kate Steinbeck and Elizabeth Austin began co-directing the festival and presented the first guest artists, members of The Countryside Trio of Virginia.
2004 The ensemble presented its first children’s concert, KEOWEE for KIDS!
Keowee Chamber Music Festival was granted 501(c)3 nonprofit status on Dec 8.
2005 Festival presented critically acclaimed performances and the NC/SC premiere of Andrea Clearfield’s Three Songs after Poems by Pablo Neruda with guest artist Fred Bretschger, bassist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
2006 The company was invited to be ensemble-in-residence at the Reuter Center, NC Center for Creative Retirement, where it presented its first public open rehearsal, a free event to welcome the public into the realm of chamber music. Festival programming included Acoustic Dessert, a late evening gallery concert pairing the visual arts with live performance.
KCM was awarded funding from the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation and the SC Arts Commission to support children’s programming and community outreach efforts. The season was extended with concerts in September and October: A Slice of Music and Art at the Wedge Gallery in Asheville and Recollections in the Cathedral of All Souls, Biltmore Village, Asheville.
In November, KCM created its first residency at Evergreen Community Charter School, sponsored by the Asheville Chamber Music Series. Musicians presented workshops, which culminated in performances of music of South America with 43 sixth-graders playing alongside the artists.
2007 KCM and Mallarmé Chamber Players commissioned Paul Schoenfield to compose Three Bagatelles for flute, cello and piano and gave world premier during Festival 2007.
In May, KCM created a residency for second-graders at Bell Elementary, sponsored by the Lake Eden Arts Festival in Schools & Streets (LEAF SS). The children performed with the musicians at the LEAF.
In September and October, KCM created a residency for under-served youth, seniors and homeless adults in downtown Asheville. This three-week project was supported by a Grassroots grant from the Asheville Area Area Council. Keowee musicians also created a six-week residency at Evergreen Community Charter School, sponsored by the Asheville Chamber Music Series.
The company began receiving grant support from the North Carolina Arts Council: Arts and Audience and New Realities.
2008-2010 KCM was one of nine companies—and the first chamber music group–invited to join NC Arts Council’s prestigious cARTwheels program. Keowee musicians together with Cuerteto La Catrina and Charlotte Salsa created a fantastic touring program, Fandango, Tango, Huapango, and brought Latin music, dance and art to more than 10,000 school children statewide!
2008 In May, the company created a residency for kindergarteners and first-graders at Bell Elementary, sponsored by LEAF SS.
In November, Kate Steinbeck created ELEGY, a Holocaust remembrance series in Asheville, to honor the power of the human spirit to triumph over adversity through music. This project is made possible by the Deutsch Family.
2009 Kate Steinbeck became artistic director, after Liz Austin moved to New Mexico. Keowee Chamber Music celebrated its 9th annual festival.
2010 Keowee Chamber Music presented its 10th festival. June 13, 2010 was proclaimed “Keowee Chamber Music Day” by the city of Asheville!
GrooveNGuitars is launched in Rutherford County through an NC Arts Council Arts-in Education grant, Outreach for At-Risk Youth.
Keowee Chamber Music was awarded a grant for Artistic Excellence from the National Endowment from the Arts in November.
2011 Keowee Chamber Music began producing under a new name, Pan Harmonia.
2012 Pan Harmonia launches 2nd Sunday @ 5, a 10-concert monthly series in collaboration with the Altamont Theatre in downtown Asheville.
Artist Roster 2000-2013
Flute Kate Steinbeck • Elizabeth Baptista-Gaston
Oboe/English Horn Alicia Chapman • Cara Jenkins
Bassoon Eric Dircksen • Rosalind Buda
Violin Amy Lovinger • Daniel Vega-Albela and Blake Espy Cuerteto La Catrina • Dan Skidmore • Corine Brouwer • Ginger Kowal • Linda Plaut • Leslie Warlick
Viola John Ravnan • Jorge Martínez Cuerteto La Catrina • Simon Értz • Kara Poorbaugh • Andrew Levin • Lisa Zweben
Cello Franklin Keel • Alan Daowz Cuerteto La Catrina • Elizabeth Austin • Phillip von Maltzahn • Mary Beth Hussey • Jennifer Alexandra Johnston • Tim Holley
Viola de gamba Gail Ann Schroeder
Bass Ian Bracchitta • Fred Bretschger
Guitar Amy Brucksch
Harp Jacquelyn Bartlett
Horn Jennifer Merrell
Trumpet John Bryant • Larry Black & Casey Copenbarger Appalachian Brass Quintet
Trombone Greg Love Appalachian Brass Quintet
Tuba William Bryant Appalachian Brass Quintet
Harpsichord Barbara Weiss
Piano Fabio Parrini • Kimberly Cann • Vance Reese • Dewitt Tipton • Judy Bevans • Karen Sams • Dan Weiser
Organ Eric Wall
Percussion River Guerguerian • Byron Hedgepeth
Voice Tena Greene soprano • Bradley Howard tenor • Tito Amaya • Mara Simmons • Nancy Sokolove readers • Elizabeth Spragins speaker • Rick Chess poet