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Strings announces 25th anniversary lineup

The MASS Ensemble combines music, sculpture and movement in an eclectic act that includes innovative instruments like the Earth Harp, shown here. The group opens Strings Music Festival’s Different Tempo series June 30.





The MASS Ensemble combines music, sculpture and movement in an eclectic act that includes innovative instruments like the Earth Harp, shown here. The group opens Strings Music Festival's Different Tempo series June 30.

— Summer is usually a distant thought in the middle of March, but with temperatures nearing the 70 degree mark, it feels like the Strings Music Festival could start next week.

A quick look at the calendar puts the Strings opening night orchestra three months away, but the annual music festival announced its full lineup this week and tickets go on sale April 4.

Strings Executive Director Kay Clagett said this year's lineup is just as special as the festival's 25th anniversary season warrants.

"It's going to be a great summer of music," she said. "It's hard to believe that 25 years have gone by so quickly."

The Different Tempo series offers up some big names this year, like newcomers k.d. lang and country starlet Lee Ann Womack.

Opening Different Tempo on June 30 is the MASS Ensemble, which combines music, dance, architecture and sculpture with visually enticing soundscapes. The ensemble will bring the Earth Harp — the world's largest harp — and a variety of musical styles and unorthodox instruments.

Some favorites are returning — like Brent Rowan and Friends and Alison Brown Quartet — and some new faces are emerging, as well.

Johnny Clegg is new to Strings Music Festival, and so is world-renowned cellist Gary Hoffman.

"We've tried to do some special concerts and some unique events and make it a really must-do season for everyone in the community," Clagett said.

To give back to the community that has long supported the festival, three Heritage Concerts will feature collaborations with local photographers, dancers from Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp and local youth musicians.

There will be a free community day of music and a series of free outdoor Music on the Green concerts also featuring some local musicians.

"We have a big summer to celebrate," Clagett said.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com