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Performance by the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra Quartet to Feature Newly Restored Chatfield Instruments
Posted 10/22/2019 12:36PM

The Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra Quartet Recital featuring the newly restored Chatfield Instruments will be performed at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Zion Episcopal Church, 237 North Lake Rd., in Oconomowoc. Musicians featured during the concert are Roberta Carpenter and Jennifer D'Alessio on violins, Robert Ignaszak on viola, and Paul Kilpatrick on cello. Michael Britz will join the group on string bass for Variations on Fanfare for Lake Country. A presentation about the Chatfield Instruments and restoration process by renowned Luthier, Scott Sleider will also be a part of the event.

Read the full story about this event written by Rebecca Seymour.


Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra hosts quartet recital

Oconomowoc's rich legacy of performing arts resonates through restoration of Chatfield instruments

By Rebecca Seymour

The Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra String Quartet will perform a special recital spotlighting the newly restored Chatfield Instruments at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Zion Episcopal Church, located at 237 North Lake Rd., in Oconomowoc.

The live musical event will include Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 18 #3, Variations on Fanfare for Lake Country by Brian Wilbur Grundstrom and commissioned for the Chatfield Instruments, and String Quartet #2 composed by Alexander Borodin.

A presentation about the Chatfield Instruments and restoration process by renowned Luthier, Scott Sleider will also be a part of the event.

Musicians featured during the concert are Roberta Carpenter and Jennifer D'Alessio on violins, Robert Ignaszak on viola, and Paul Kilpatrick on cello. Michael Britz will join the group on string bass for Variations on Fanfare for Lake Country.

Roberta Carpenter (violin) is the music director of the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra. She has performed extensively as a violinist with symphonic, chamber, ballet and opera orchestras, many times as concertmaster. Carpenter's current tenure as concertmaster is for the Waukesha Choral Union Orchestra, and her recordings of the Fanfare for Lake Country on the Thunis Stradivarius can be found online.

Jennifer D'Alessio (violin) is the concertmaster of the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra and is also a fiddle and accordion player and singer with her Irish rock band, Hearthfire. She has been a soloist with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and toured in Japan and Taiwan as concertmaster of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Robert Ignaszak (viola) is currently the orchestra director at Nature Hill Intermediate and Silver Lake Intermediate Schools in Oconomowoc, and is on the faculty of the Waukesha String Académie. He has also taught at Oconomowoc High School and Oconomowoc Middle School. In spring of 2019 he was the recipient of the Chatfield Award for his years of service to the arts in Oconomowoc.

Paul Kilpatrick (cello) studied cello with George Sopkin and Wolfgang Laufer of the Fine Arts Quartet. He played in the Oklahoma Symphony for seven years, and has been with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra for the past 28 years, playing occasionally with other groups in the area, including the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra.

Michael Britz (bass) has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Florentine Opera, Skylight Opera and many touring Broadway shows and revues. He is currently a member of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, plays with the Bel Canto Chorus Orchestra, and is the bass instructor at Carroll University.

Chatfield instruments

In 1937, Frank Chatfield donated a matched string quartet of instruments, as well as a beautiful hand carved wood display cabinet to Oconomowoc High School. For more than 80 years, the two violins, viola and cello have been played by countless OHS orchestra students until they fell into disrepair and were eventually placed in storage.

Chatfield, a long-time city planner for Oconomowoc, took up the hobby of building and repairing violins, violas and cellos. Over the years he harvested trees from the Lac La Belle area for his instruments and to this day some of his original wood prepared for violin making still exists.

The Chatfield Project was established in 2015 in efforts to save the musical instruments and preserve them as a treasured part of Oconomowoc history. The project is funded through private donations from members of the community and local charitable organizations, grant monies and other fundraising efforts.

Renowned luthier, Scott Sleider of Wauwatosa, restored the instruments to playing condition. The process required several hundred hours of work with a total cost estimated at nearly $30,000.

The Chatfield Instruments will be on display at the Oconomowoc Arts Center on the OHS campus. They will be available on a one-on-one basis for the community, including the students to use.

There will be a reception after the concert with an opportunity for the audience to ask questions. A free-will offering will benefit the mission of the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra (OCO).

For more information about the OCO, and the Chatfield Project, visit www.oconchamberorch.org.

Luthier, Scott Sleider












Luthier, Scott Sleider

Chatfield Instruments






Chatfield Instruments

Photo Credit: Rebecca Seymour


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