CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 14, 2015 –The 442s, a contemporary string band, will bring their unique musicianship to the Robert F. and Gertrude L. Shuck Music Recital Hall at 3 p.m. Sept. 27 as the Chamber Music Sundays at Three season opener at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.
The 442s are comprised of players from the St. Louis Symphony (violin and cello) and the jazz world (acoustic bass, guitar/keyboard) who blend musical genres to create a mix that appeals to both a pop music audience and classical aficionados. Adam Maness composes most the ensemble’s music which consists of both instrumental and vocal works.
The 442s are named for the modern standard tuning of 442 Hz. Brought together by the innovative and inspired compositions of Maness, who also plays guitar, accordion, melodica and glockenspiel in the group, The 442s features Shawn Weil on violin, Bjorn Ranheim on cello and Sydney Rodway on bass. This unique collaboration, formed in the spring of 2012, combines outstanding musicianship, group singing, inventive improvisation, whistle solos and special guest appearances.
Exploring the boundaries of jazz, classical, folk and rock music, their music can move listeners to the edge of their seat or comfort them like a lullaby, all within the same set.
Originally inspired by the Grammy Award Winning album, “The Goat Rodeo Sessions” – a collaborative album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile – The 442s were born of a common musical inquisitiveness and a search for new and exciting musical possibilities. Their search already has taken them to venues as varied as Powell Symphony Hall, Cyrano’s Café and the Tavern of Fine Arts.
Maness began playing piano as a 10-year old and by age 16 was playing professionally with some of St. Louis’s most well-known jazz musicians like Willie Akins, Freddie Washington and Rob Block. After high school he moved to New York City and studied piano performance at the Jazz and Contemporary Music program at the New School University. In 2004, he began collaborating with Erin Bode, playing piano and guitar, writing songs and arranging pieces for strings. Maness has shared the stage with such great musicians as George Garzone, Derrek Phillips, Seamus Blake, John Elis, M
ark Colenburg, David Halen, Peter Schlamb, Brian Owens and Debbie Boone. His performances, compositions, songs and arrangements have been featured on numerous recordings and on national and international television and radio broadcasts. Maness lives in St. Louis with his wife, Heather, and children, Nico and Ivan.
Rodway took a rather unusual path to the double bass. He spent the majority of his professional career as a jazz saxophone player. Trained at the University of Kansas, he spent more than 15 years playing and touring with a variety of national artists. In 2004, at the age of 34, he decided to purchase and learn to play the upright bass in hopes of accompanying his wife, Erin Bode.
It was a good match, and within a couple of weeks he was playing gigs with her trio. Since then they have traveled extensively, performing in some of the best jazz clubs and concert halls in North America, Europe and Japan, and have recorded five studio albums. Primarily self-taught, Rodway has seized numerous performance opportunities in the jazz and classical worlds and is a full-time member of the Metropolitan Orchestra of St Louis. Influenced mainly by the likes of Edgar Meyer and Larry Grenadier, he is very excited to continue this journey toward bass excellence.
A native of Chicago, Weil was appointed to the Saint Louis Symphony in April 2005. Prior to his appointment, he played as a contracted member of the orchestra for two seasons. Weil is a violinist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and, for four seasons, was co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony. During his tenure at the New World Symphony, he was invited to represent the institution in chamber music performances domestically in Manhattan and the Hamptons, and internationally in Prague, Rome and Monte Carlo. He has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Alasdair Neale and the Miami String Quartet. An active educator and mentor, Weil is on the violin faculty of Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. He is frequently involved with the Education and Community Partnership Program of the St. Louis Symphony. From 2002 to 2003, Weil served on the faculty of the acclaimed Opus 118: Harlem Center for Strings in Manhattan. Weil received his Bachelor of Music degree and the Performance Diploma from Indiana University.
Cellist Ranheim was appointed to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in September 2005, holds the principal chair of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Colorado, and is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Prior to these appointments, Ranheim served as associate principal cellist of the Fort Worth Symphony. He has performed and toured with the orchestras of Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit and Baltimore. He has held principal and assistant principal cello positions with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra and, at the invitation of the music director, Quebec City’s critically acclaimed Le Violons du Roy.
Ranheim made his concerto debut with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1996 as winner of the Young Peoples Symphony Concert Association Competition and has since appeared as soloist on multiple occasions with the Colorado Music Festival, New World Symphony and the National Repertory Orchestra. Actively performing in chamber music, Ranheim has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Central America, with performances at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Gardner Museum, El Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. He has participated in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Seminar, Costa Rica International Chamber Music Festival, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Audubon Quartet Seminar and has been a frequent guest artist at the National Flute Association Convention. Ranheim is highly visible throughout the St. Louis region presenting recitals, chamber music performances, educational and outreach concerts and is a member of the Eliot Piano Trio with St. Louis Symphony concertmaster, David Halen and pianist, Seth Carlin.
A committed advocate of contemporary music, Ranheim has performed world premiere performances of works by Stephen Paulus, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Heitzig and William Beckstrand. Ranheim received his Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Stephen Geber, retired principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Tickets are $17 and may be purchased by contacting the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by calling (573) 651-2265, or by visiting www.RiverCampusEvents.com.