En Saga Players including Kay Newnam, violin; Brian Newnam, viola; Joseph Fasel, clarinet; Laura Taylor, flute; James Knudson, cello; Regina Doorn, contrabass; and violinists Michelle Yang and Grace Kim. Photo by Kirsten Laskey/ladailypost.com
The performance will begin at noon at the United Church of Los Alamos. The usual venue, Fuller Lodge, is being renovated.
En Saga Players is made up of local musicians including Kay Newnam, violin; Brian Newnam, viola; Joseph Fasel, clarinet; Laura Taylor, flute; James Knudson, cello; Regina Doorn, contrabass; as well as high school students and violinists Michelle Yang and Grace Kim.
Brian Newnam explained the pieces the ensemble are performing, Mozart’s “Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major, K. 581” and Sibelius’ “En Saga Septet,” are very different from oneanother. He described Sibelius’ work as dark and turbulent. Still, when Brian said he came across the work, “I was just infatuated by it. I love it.”
It turns out others feel the same way.
The Newnams helped introduce New Mexico to the piece in 2013. Brian recalled after the performance one audience member commented, “I wished it never ended.”
In contrast, Mozart’s piece is “a lighter work. Totally different mood,” Brian said. It is cheerful and light-hearted.
While the Brown Bag show’s program features variety, the same can be said for the En Saga Players. Its members are music teachers, long-time musicians, professional players and students. Brian said despite only being teenagers, Yang and Kim are very accomplished and bring an extra energy to the ensemble.
Performing in the noontime show, he added, is a positive experience for them. “The students are gaining experience. They play very well … playing both these pieces is going to be a major experience for both of them. They are very good.”
The Brown Bag shows are a tradition in Los Alamos. The Arts Council has offered the free shows since 1973.