SPRING CONCERT BY THE
WEST POINT CADET STRING ENSEMBLE
West Point, NY – The West Point Cadet String Ensemble (West Point Strings), under the direction of Ms. Ellen Gartner Phillips, presented their second annual spring concert on Saturday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m. in the Eisenhower Hall Ballroom. Last year marked the first full orchestral performance by the cadet group with a conductor, and perhaps the first such concert in the history of the Academy. The concert was a rousing success with a large audience enthusiastically responding to the variety of music and talent of the cadet musicians. THIS CONCERT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
This year’s concert promises to be equally as exciting with music by Rossini, Sousa, Gershwin, Bach, and the Beatles. The program and will also feature a great deal of variety with chamber group performances and cadet violin and cello soloists.
The West Point Strings was first named as an official cadet club in 2006 but traces its roots to the previous year. In the fall of 2005, Cadet Renee Rysiewicz ’07, then a yearling (sophomore), decided she wanted to continue playing the violin while at the Academy and that doing so in a small ensemble would be fun. The club began with informal meetings in company dayrooms as cadets found free time to play. Since then, the club has grown to include a full string ensemble with weekly rehearsals. Last year, the club celebrated its first year with a director, Ellen Phillips, making the historic performance possible. The club has provided string music in chamber groups for numerous events at West Point to include receptions, dinners, weddings and special events. The club includes cadets who play violin, viola, cello and the string bass.
Director Ellen Gartner Phillips is a classically trained violist. She has played with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and has worked under the baton of acclaimed conductors Larry Rachleff, Stephen Sanderling, Joseph Silverstein and Michael Stern. She holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Master of Music Degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, Texas. Ms. Gartner Phillips also manages a private studio of violin and viola students in Poughkeepsie, New York and is married to Staff Sgt. Joshua Phillips, a horn player in the U.S. Military Academy Band. Commenting on the concert, she noted “the West Point Strings have come a long way in a very short time. I am thrilled to be a part of that growth and excited that these cadets continue to make music a part of their already busy lives.”
For more information about the Army Strings, call the club Officer-in-charge, Colonel Rod Sturdivant at (845) 938-3322; or visit the club web site athttp://www.usma.edu/uscc/dca/clubs/club%20setup%20info/astg.html