Emerson Brown, Jennifer Conti, Jonathan D’Amico, Megan Dionne and Katie Murray are the members of the new clarinet quintet The Licorice Sticks, scheduled to make their performance debut in “A Very Classy-cal Summer Concert” here in Woonsocket at the St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center on August 21 at 4 p.m.
D’Amico and Brown are the founding members of the ensemble. When asked about the name, The Licorice Sticks, D'Amico replied that he always thought that is was a fun name. When he and Emerson where in college together they played with other clarinet ensembles who would always choose more serious names like “Quartet Quidam.”
“I’m still not sure of Quidam’s definition,” said D'Amico.
After college, D'Amico and Brown played with various ensembles across New England. In 2010, they both joined the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble where they met up with old friends and formed The Licorice Sticks. The intent of the group is to perform music from the classical repertoire that was written or arranged for clarinet quintets to music for more seasonal concerts and to commission new works for their medium.
Their August debut concert will consist of works by W. A. Mozart, Farkas Ferenc, Yvonne Desportes and Alfred Uhl.
Brown is a graduate of Rhode Island College with a B.S. and a Masters in Music Education. When he was young he told his mother that he wanted to play the saxophone. She went out and returned with a clarinet. He has been playing it ever since.
Conti is not only a musician but an ER RN. She earned her nursing degree in 2009 from the Rhode Island College School of Nursing. She is also a current member of the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble. She has been described as a dedicated and passionate musician by her peers.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Rhode Island College, D’Amico, performed with ensembles all across New England and toured the United States and Europe. Not only a clarinetist, Jonathan is also an accomplished composer and conductor.
Also a member of the Rhode Island Wind Ensemble, Dionne has been a clarinetist for 20 years. She holds a BA in Communication from Rhode Island College and works in her family’s business. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a BA in Communications.
Murray has been hooked on the clarinet since the 5th grade. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a minor in theater from Rhode Island College. She works as a project director at EquipNet and still lives by her high school music teacher’s motto: Never settle for your present level of achievement.
The Licorice Sticks’ “A Very Classy-cal Summer Concert” will be held on Sunday, August 21, 2011 at 4 p.m. Admission is $7. For tickets or additional information call the St Ann Arts and Cultural Center at 401-356-0713 or visit www.StAnnArtsCtr.org. For a musical preview of this talented ensemble, see the attached video.