September 9, 2023
Decoda Community Residency – Public Concerts Sept 24th & 30th
ArtFields is proud to announce that New York City-based chamber music collective, Decoda, is heading to Lake City, South Carolina from September 22 – September 30, 2023 for a community residency. The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall, Decoda’s mission is to create a more compassionate and connected world through music by curating outstanding musical performances, facilitating creative songwriting projects, and training the new generation of young artists to rethink and reimagine their role in society.
Decoda will be joined by celebrated vocalist/composer Sarah Elizabeth Charles and her duo partner, pianist/composer Jarrett Cherner, for a series of kickoff concerts the weekend of September 22nd, including a public and free performance on Sunday, September 24th at 4pm at the Stables. Throughout the week, Decoda and Sarah Elizabeth Charles will bring an eclectic program of music to community venues in and around Lake City, including several area schools and the Lake City Senior Center.
The centerpiece of Decoda’s partnership residency with the Lake City Artfields Collective is a six-day creative songwriting project with high school students at the J Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School. Decoda members Clara Lyon (violin), Claire Bryant (cello), Catherine Gregory (flute), Brad Balliett (bassoon), David Kaplan (piano), and Sarah Elizabeth Charles (vocals) will work alongside up to 25 students throughout the week, collaboratively writing new songs around the theme of Infinite Exploration. Inspired by the legacy of Lake City native, astronaut and saxophonist Ron McNair, the idea of boundless exploration through both music and composition as well as the new Artfields exhibit Southern Voices, Global Visions (opening the weekend of September 23, 2023) will serve as a catalyst for the creative community project.
Public events include the Sunday, September 24th concert at the Stables at 4pm, which will feature music by South Carolina composers Andy Akiho, David Kirkland Garner, and other works by Clara Schumann, Stravinsky, Chick Corea, and Sarah Elizabeth Charles and Jarrett Cherner. The performance will feature a brand new arrangement by Decoda’s Brad Balliett called Fantasy on a Rendezvous 5 (Ron’s Piece) created especially for this partnership. “Ron’s Piece” is based on Jean-Michel Jarre’s piece “Final Rendez-vous: Ron’s Piece – Challenger”, written in 1986 in honor of Ron McNair and the six other crew members aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle. Decoda is honored to share this musical tribute to McNair’s legacy in his hometown community of Lake City.
The culminating celebratory performance of the community residency will be held on Saturday, September 30 at 2pm at the Stables and will feature the new songs written by the participants from J Paul Truluck Creative Arts and Science Magnet School alongside Decoda.
Decoda was founded in 2012 by musicians who first collaborated as members of Ensemble Connect, a two-year fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education. Its work as an ensemble has grown out of this collective training, which focused on developing skills as exemplary performers, dedicated teachers, and passionate advocates for music in communities around the world.
Decoda’s versatile musicians are equally committed to virtuosic performance and audience engagement. Its flexible instrumentation, from trios to large mixed ensemble, allows for unique, inspiring and engaging concert experiences for a vast array of audiences, from concert halls to schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities. As alumni of Ensemble Connect and in recognition of its members’ ongoing success as artists, educators, and advocates for music, Decoda is the only independent ensemble to be recognized as an affiliate ensemble of Carnegie Hall.
In 2013, Lake City, SC engaged in an experiment to revitalize the town by using the arts to attract tourists. Since its inception, the ArtFields Collective has awarded 111 prizes to 98 artists from 12 Southern states. The ArtFields art competition celebrate Southern art and draws thousands of visitors from throughout the Southeast and beyond during its 10-day run. Artworks exhibited in a combination of traditional gallery spaces, businesses, local non-profits, and outdoor spaces transform Lake City into a vibrant creative environment. Throughout the year, ArtFields manages rotating exhibitions in Jones-Carter Gallery, TRAX Visual Art Center, and Crossroads Gallery, along with a robust public art program and youth arts programming.