The Collegian
Thursday, August 06, 2020

University's ensemble-in-residence wins second Grammy

The University of Richmond's ensemble-in-residence, eighth blackbird, recently won its second Grammy Award and will be playing at the university March 14.

The ensemble has been working with the University of Richmond for almost 10 years, and the group has been together for a total of 16 years, Timothy Munro, the group's flutist, said.

The group won this Grammy for Best Small Ensemble Performance. Its first Grammy Award was for Best Chamber Music Performance in 2008, according to its website.

"It's a tremendously outstanding honor," Munro said. "It feels surreal to be in the company of everyone who has won Grammys; this one is particularly special because of links with University of Richmond, because University of Richmond supported the project early on financially and in many other ways."

The group's violin and viola player Yvonne Lam said, "I'm not actually on the album, because I joined them after they made the recording, but I am very excited for the group, and it was exciting for them to go and accept the award because the first award they didn't get to accept in person."

Their concert will start at 7:30 p.m. on March 14 in Camp Concert Hall.

"The theme is inspired by an art exhibition in Chicago called 'The Language of Less,'" Munro said. "We're going to be playing music that, for us, represents less and more, from the very slow to the very fast, from super funky stuff to incredibly ethereal stuff."

The ensemble doesn't just perform concerts on campus or hold residence only with the University of Richmond, but also with the University of Chicago. At the University of Richmond, the ensemble works with many different aspects of the music department.

"We're involved in lots of parts of the music department, from one-on-one lessons, to coachings with the whole orchestra, to everything in between," Munro said.

"People can take private lessons with me, and I also do sectionals with the violins in the orchestra," Lam said.

The ensemble is also trying to branch out from working just within the music department to possibly working with the entire campus.

"We're trying to expand activities we do outside the music department, such as dance and theater and visual arts -- the fine arts," Munro said. "We also have a huge and incredibly exciting whole-campus thing next year we can't yet talk about."

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