Tonight: The Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh bring their music to Point Breeze


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Join The Aeolian Winds of Pittsburgh in Point Breeze at the Breeze-way -- a venue name incredibly suited for the quintet.

Also known simply as the Winds, the group was founded in 2003 by what was originally the University of Pittsburgh Wind Quintet. Alex Jones, the only remaining original member, said the group, which was never short of talent, has expanded to include varying sizes of wind chamber ensembles and a number of quality members. They then took on their Pittsburgh-famous name.

And if you're wondering what in the world their name even means, that's OK because it's a frequently asked question. The word "aeolian" is Greek for "wind" and is also the term for the minor mode, which is used in both traditional and popular music.

Although the musicians always dress professionally, the Winds' goal is to share high-quality chamber music with their fellow Pittsburgh folk. "Music is our passion and we strive to make it accessible to our community," they explain on their website.

Though they are primarily a woodwind quintet, they also perform in smaller- and larger-scale works in public and private venues, such as weddings, dinners or fundraisers.

Tonight they will be sharing a half-dozen pieces for winds and strings written by a century's worth of composers ranging from five countries.

The Winds is made up of Mr. Jones on clarinet, Peggy Greb on flute, Laura Gershman on oboe and Steve Ehrin on bassoon. One member of the quintet will be absent, replaced by Zach Koopmans on horn. Two other artists -- Gino Faraci on bass and Arthur Moncrieffe on cello -- will be sitting in for the evening.

Each of the members has at least college-level experience, and some have careers outside of the musical group. The Winds use their diverse experiences to make their music fresh and memorable. Mr. Jones said that while many of the players are a part of other local orchestras, they "make a point to reserve time for the quintet because it is in many cases our most musically rewarding ensemble and collaboration."

The concert series will be held tonight at 8 at the Breeze-way, a cozy and alluring art studio at 7113 Reynolds St., on the same block as the Frick Park Market.

Mr. Jones said the Winds show will be one of the venue's inaugural performances for a series that will bring a broad range of music into Point Breeze. "I guess you could say we'll bring the musical wind for the Breeze-way," he said.

Light foods and refreshments -- including beer and wine -- will be available starting at 7 p.m. There will also be some time to mingle afterward (in which you'll be able to chat with the players -- they love to hear from the audience).

Admission is free, however a donation would be greatly appreciated to cover the costs of food, drink and the generous musicians. (The suggested donation is $10). So head on over and hear the Aeolian Winds play up a storm.

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This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To log in or subscribe, go to: http://press.post-gazette.com/


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