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Empath is a concert series aimed towards cultivating an open-minded dialogue about current and social affairs through music.   These evenings include food, wine, chamber music and thoughtful discussions that bridge music history and modern topics.  The purpose is to create a stronger connection between the performers and audience where each individual can share their experiences, knowledge, and thoughts. The concept was envisioned by Emma Hays Johnson and Celaya Kirchner and was inspired by their love of chamber music with friends.


Upcoming Concerts


12/27 @ 7:30 in Bowie, MD

 12/28 @ 7:30 in College Park, MD

Join Empath for a concert centered around the topic of Cultural Appropriation featuring two incredible guest artists from North Carolina, violinist Gabriela Potter, and violist Santiago Vazquez-Loredo. Potter and Vazquez-Loredo will accompany Celaya Kirchner and Emma Hays Johnson in the performance of Dvorak's "American" Quartet and two transcriptions from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker. Johnson will also perform Bright Sheng's solo cello work, Seven Tunes Heard in China. Following the performance will be an audience-driven discussion, giving a unique opportunity for concert-goers to directly engage with not only the performers but their fellow art-lovers. Contributions of food and drinks for the potluck reception would be much appreciated.

About the Guest Artists

Gabriela Potter, violin

Gabriela Potter is a professional violinist, violist, and registered Suzuki violin instructor residing in Durham, North Carolina. Gabriela has registered Violin Books 1-10 and Early Childhood Education with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is the Secretary of the North Carolina Suzuki Association. Gabriela received her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from East Carolina University in 2015, and has since been invited back to teach and perform with the Summer Chamber Music Institute as part of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival in residency at ECU. In addition to her teaching schedule with the Meredith College Community School of Music, High Strung Music School, and the Music Kids Program, she enjoys performing with the Long Bay Symphony Orchestra, the Tar River Symphony Orchestra, and other professional ensembles in the area. Gabriela is thrilled to be joining her friends Celaya, Emma, and Santiago on stage, and is deeply honored by the opportunity to be a part of the Empath Concert Series.


Santiago Vazquez-Loredo, viola


A native of Hickory, North Carolina, Violist Santiago Vazquez-Loredo began studying violin at public school at the age of 11.  As a passionate chamber musician, Santiago has collaborated alongside renowned musicians including Miriam Fried, Hye-Jin Kim, Xiao-Dong Wang, Kwan Yi, Catherine Cho, and Emanuel Gruber as part of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Next Generation Series at East Carolina University. Santiago has been a participant at summer
festivals such as the Richard Luby Violin Symposium, the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music in Nelson, NH and the Bowdoin International Music Festival.  Santiago has earned the opportunity to perform in solo masterclasses for Kim Kashkashian , Ida Kavafian, Axel Strauss, Maiya Papach,
Bella Hristova, and Jesse Mills.  In the chamber music setting, Santiago has been afforded the opportunity to perform in masterclass for world-class musicians including Michael Kannen, Maria Lambros, Hsin-Yun Huang, Paul Biss and Zvi Plesser. As a passionate teacher, Santiago began teaching in the 9th grade in the community of Hickory, NC.  Santiago enjoys teaching his students which range from teaching levels of elementary school to his eighth grade English teacher.  Santiago graduated from the East Carolina University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Music - Viola Performance under the tutelage of renowned pedagogue Ara Gregorian and was a
recipient of the Friends of Music Scholarship, Mary RM Hardy Scholarship.  He is currently enrolled in the Certificate of Advanced Performance Graduate Program at East Carolina
University where he will continue his studies with Ara Gregorian and Hye-Jin Kim

2019/2020 Empath Concerts

All concerts begin at 7:30pm and take place in homes in Bowie and Kensington, MD

11.15   Nationalism
12.27   Appropriation
12.28   Appropriation
2.07     Classism
2.08     Classism
4.10     Gender
5.15     Herstory

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