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Season Opener

Oct 27, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Covenant Presbyterian Church, 33 Burton Hills Blvd, Nashville, TN 37215, USA

Danielle Maeng, Flute

MaryGrace Bender, Cello

Brendan Jacklin, Piano

Who's Playing?

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Korean-Australian flutist Danielle Maeng pursues a multi-faceted career and has performed in notable venues across the United States. Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, Danielle studied with Norma Rogers and Philip Dikeman as a Myra Jackson Scholar at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University. She continued her studies in London at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music with Principal Flute of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Samuel Coles, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music Degree. Additionally, during her studies in Europe she studied in Paris, France at l’École Normale de Musique with Jean Ferrandis and was awarded Diplôme Superieur de L’Enseignement by a unanimous vote from the jury. She was a first prize winner in the Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition and gave her debut performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has spent summers at the Brevard Music Festival and L’Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice. Danielle obtained her Masters Degree in Flute Performance at the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of renowned flutist Ransom Wilson.


During the 22/23 season, Danielle was a Flute Fellow in TŌN - The Orchestra Now. TŌN comprises vibrant young performers from across the globe performing regularly at venues including Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center, and the Fisher Center in the Hudson Valley. Most recently, she was appointed flute faculty at Brevard Music Center’s Flute Seminar. Danielle is currently based in Nashville, TN and enjoys spending time outdoors and discovering new hobbies.

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Cellist MaryGrace Bender is a performer, teacher, and believer in the beauty of music and the important impact it has on how we see the world. As a Suzuki teacher, she leads a full studio of cellists in the Nashville area, as well as a studio in Huntsville. MaryGrace founded the Nashville Chamber Music Society, which is a 501(c)(3) organization and performs on a regular basis with NCMS in a variety of spaces for a variety of audiences. This past summer, MaryGrace taught at Stringtime in DC, a festival for young musicians, and previously served as a faculty member and performer for Lincoln Center’s Restart Stages series for BridgeMusik in NYC. She regularly records in Nashville for scoring companies such as Sony, Bungee, Hulu, and Netflix, and enjoys coaching NashvilleCMS program chamber groups. She performed with the McDuffie Center for Strings in Carnegie Hall, as Young Artist for The Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy, and recorded orchestrally under Philip Glass’s Orange Mountain Music label which The Wall Street Journal reviewed as, “impeccably polished.”

MaryGrace’s studies include a master's degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music in Cello Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy, and an undergraduate degree from The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University. She spent summers at The National Repertory Orchestra, Meadowmount School of Music, Brevard Music Festival, Chautauqua Summer Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival and School as a New Horizon's fellow. Past influential teachers include Dr. Melissa Kraut, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Julie Albers, Dr. Felix Wang, and Anne Hall Williams. MaryGrace lives in Huntsville with her husband Blake and their dog, Cooper. They all love the outdoors and she attempts to keep up with Blake via hiking, biking, skiing, or running.

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Canadian-American pianist Brendan Jacklin is a performer, teacher, lecturer, and new music advocate. A special interest of his involves performing interdisciplinary and multimedia music, performing works with electronics, video, poetry, and dance. Brendan has presented at conferences across the USA, including topics on recording technology, performance practice, and pedagogy. Brendan is a co-founder of A Seat at the Piano, an initiative to create a more equitably representative body of piano works, as well as Director of Programming for the Nashville Chamber Music Series. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Piano at Fisk University.

Brendan completed his D.M.A. at the University of Cincinnati, with cognates in piano pedagogy and multimedia music. He received his M.Mus from Bowling Green State University, and his B.Mus at Brandon University with minors in cello performance and history. Previous teachers and mentors include Awadagin Pratt, Michelle Conda, Thomas Rosenkranz, Megumi Masaki, and Leanne Zacaharias. Based in Nashville, TN with his family, when he is not doing any of the above, you can probably find Brendan running, baking, or reading. You can follow his baking at with Instagram (@brendanjacklin) or find upcoming concert and project details at

What's playing?

Carl Maria von Weber (1786–1826) is best known as the first German Romantic opera composer, with his operas Der Freischütz (1821) and Oberon (1826) defining the German Romantic character. His operas featured the supernatural, the Devil, magic, and the omnipresent dark and foreboding woods that would come to influence so many later Romantic composers, such as Felix Mendelssohn, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner. In addition to his renown as an operatic composer, Weber was also a virtuoso pianist and an accomplished guitarist. It was largely for his own performances on piano and guitar that he wrote many of his songs, solo works, and chamber music, including his Trio in G minor, Op. 63.


Weber wrote his trio in the midst of completing Der Freischütz, completing the trio in 1819 while on hiatus from composing the opera. Despite the forward-looking Romanticism of his opera, the trio is a more traditional Classical work, likely written for an evening’s entertainment at home rather than a concert stage. Dedicated to his friend and flutist Dr. Philipp Jungh, the work was premiered at the house of another composer, the violinist Louis Spohr. It would prove to be his final completed chamber work.


The first movement presents Weber’s flair for the dramatic, with a dark and brooding first theme that is accompanied by a rumbling piano, punctuated with moments of virtuosity that contrasts the lighter second theme. The march-like Scherzo is characterized by a sharp and aggressive theme that abruptly gives way to a waltz in the trio. The third movement, titled “Shepherd’s Lament,” opens with a reworking of a lied by Wilhelm Ehlers, with text originally written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Da droben auf jenem Berg) in 1804. The original poem describes a heartbroken and melancholy shepherd, watching over his sheep while lamenting his lost love. It is only in the finale where the influence of Der Freischütz becomes apparent, most notably in his quotation of the diabolical trills from Caspar’s drinking song.



Commissioned in 2020 by flutist Carol Wencenc in celebration of her ‘Golden Anniversary of Performing,’ Jake Heggie’s (b. 1961) Full Circle 50 is an exploration of style, with each movement encapsulating a different aspect of Heggie’s influences. The first movement, “Golden,” is a duet between the flute and cello overtop of a laconic accompaniment in the piano, reminiscent of many of Heggie’s art songs. “Travel Travail” is an aural depiction of an artist’s life on the road, complete with the knocking of doors in the piano. “Hummingbird” showcases Heggie’s love of literature, avoiding the stereotypical depictions of hummingbirds in music in favor of a more static character. Based on Raymond Carver’s poem of the same name, the third movement utilizes a pizzicato piano technique that underpins the strange harmonies of the flute and cello lines. “Full Circle” develops one theme through different styles of music, beginning with a stately Baroque-inspired line that morphs throughout the movement into a fiendishly virtuosic tarantella.



Composer, conductor, and flutist Philippe Gaubert (1879–1941) was one of the foremost flutist’s of his time, eventually leading to his appointment at the Paris Conservatoire. His music was heavily influenced by his French contemporaries—he regularly conducted the works of Claude Debussy, Jacques Ibert, Gabriel Fauré, and Maurice Ravel—and he was especially influenced by the Impressionistic art of his time, including by artists such as Claude Monet and Pierre-August Renoir. His aptly titled Trois Aquarelles (Three Watercolors) highlights both of these influences.

Gaubert had first written Trois Aquarelles for violin, cello, and piano, though he later thought that it would work equally as well for flute. Originally written in 1915 while he was serving in the French Army during World War One, these musical sketches remain shockingly optimistic. The first movement, “Par un clair matin” (On a Clear Morning) contrasts a singing duet between the flute and cello over a cascading piano accompaniment with a highly colorful and quintessentially impressionistic middle section. “Soir d’automne”  (Autumn Evening) depicts a melancholic stroll, nostalgic for times past. “Sérénade” is a lively dance with Iberian influences, perhaps reflecting the fact that Gaubert had a summer home in the Basque region of Spain. The middle of the third movement returns to the themes of both the first and second movements (though each is harmonically altered) before returning to his Spanish dance.

Notes written by Brendan Jacklin.

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