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July will be a boon for classical fans in western Montana.

A string quintet will have concerts in Hamilton, Missoula, Kalispell and Condon. Separately, a chamber music festival will bring performances to Missoula, St. Ignatius and Glacier.

"The Quintet of the Rockies" will tour Wednesday through Saturday, July 11-14. The group is an offshoot of the String Orchestra of the Rockies and comprises members and former artistic directors of the professional ensemble.

"A Night in Vienna" will "feature chamber music masterworks by composers who lived and had their careers in Vienna in the 19th century," said cellist Fern Glass Boyd, who retired from the post earlier this year.

The program boasts Mozart's String Quintet in C Major; Brahms' "Viola" Quintet; and Johann Strauss' "Blue Danube Waltzes" as a closing "confection," she said.

Boyd said the music has a transporting effect. All three composers "lived in Vienna when they wrote this music, so there's this unmistakable thread" of Viennese waltz, folk tunes and Hungarian rhythms.

The string quintet is more obscure than the quartet format, with "limited but fantastic" options.

Boyd is the only member who isn't logging some travel time for the reunion. Violinist Johan Jonsson is traveling from Italy. Violists Russell Guyver and Sarah Avery, a couple, are coming from Colorado. Violinist Lorraine Glass-Harris, Boyd's sister, is coming from Missouri.

Small ensembles like this typically played in private homes for social gatherings, and so they picked appropriately intimate venues.

Boyd said all of this quintet's performers began meeting together to play music more than 30 years ago. The get-togethers led to the formation of the SOR.

The final concert is in a private home, Abolt's Spirithome in Condon, as a fundraiser for the Alpine Artisans.

Here are the quintet dates:

Wednesday, July 11, in Hamilton: St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 600 S. Third St.

Thursday, July 12, in Missoula: University of Montana School of Music Recital Hall

Friday, July 13, in Kalispell: Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 603 S. Main St.

Saturday, July 14, in Condon: Abolt's Spirithome

At the first three concerts, there will be a pre-concert talk starting at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for 18 and under.

The Saturday concert is a benefit for Alpine Artisans and starts at 6:30. For tickets or more information for the benefit, call Jenny at 406-754-0034 or email


A new organization called Chamber Music Montana is holding a festival starting this Friday.

They'll play two nights in Missoula before heading up to St. Ignatius and then Many Glacier Lodge.

The group includes veteran performers in the Montana classical music, like Margaret Baldridge, Maxine Ramey, Nancy Cooper and more.

The selections include everything from Benny Goodman to Debussy, depending on the evening. 

Here are the Chamber Music Montana Festival dates:

Friday, July 6

Opening night gala at the Missoula Winery

7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each, available at the door or by calling 406-243-4518 to reserve a table of 4 for $80 or 5 for $100 or for your individual seat. Glass of wine and dessert included with your $20 ticket.

Featuring light classics, tangos and jazzy selections by Piazzolla, Benny Goodman, Villa Lobos, Sowash, Milhaud and others.

Saturday, July 7

Music Recital Hall at the University of Montana School of Music

7:30 p.m. Tickets: $12 general, $8 seniors.

Tickets available through GrizTix and at the door.

Featuring masterworks of chamber music including: Menotti Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Piano; Bach's Musical Offering; Debussy's Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun for flute, clarinet and piano; Mozart's Kegelstadt Trio; Chaun trio for horn, bass, clarinet.

Sunday, July 8

St. Ignatius Mission

1 p.m. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted.

Donations from the concert will support the fresco restoration at the Mission.

Monday, July 9

Many Glacier Lodge in Glacier National Park

6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

Program includes music by Peter Schickele, Piazzolla and others.

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