An oboe concerto, a viola and piano sonata, and a string quartet comprise the first program this season by Chamber Music Hilton Head.


CMHH is a regional ensemble whose dozen members will present four programs this year, with performances both in Hilton Head and in Bluffton.

The Sunday afternoon Bluffton series, new this year, is based on the ensemble’s successful exploratory concert there last season. Monday evening performances continue in Hilton Head, where All Saints Episcopal Church has been the ensemble’s home base for several years now. With tickets good for either location, listeners can choose based on closeness, ease of driving, and preferred date.

     “KidsPreConcert,” also new this year, is an opportunity for youngsters of middle school age and older to meet the musicians and learn what especially to listen to and look for in the upcoming performance. Families are welcome to arrive 45 minutes early to the Bluffton performance (Sunday only, not offered Monday evening). The concert itself is then free for the entire family so long as the qualifying youngster attends, and there is no need to call ahead.  

Hilton Head oboist Lauren Stuligross will be the soloist in Oboe Concerto in C Minor by Baroque composer Benedetto Marcello. She will be accompanied by strings and “continuo,” the latter to be played on synthesized harpsichord by CMHH guest and Hilton Head music educator, James Berry.

Speaking of unusual instruments, the sonata that follows was intended for arpeggione, a six-stringed instrument fretted and tuned like a guitar but played with a bow. With that instrument largely forgotten, this beautiful sonata is played nowadays by cello or viola, together with piano. Violist Yvonne Johnson and pianist Jean Shamo collaborate in this performance of Schubert’s “Arpeggione” Sonata.

The program ends with Beethoven’s “Serioso” String Quartet, Op. 95. Interestingly, it is not so serious, long or complex as the title suggests. The four movements are crisp and quite accessible on first hearing, rewarding both to perform and listen to. Performing the piece are CMHH veterans Melissa Barrett and Tristan Lehnert, violins; Yvonne Johnson, viola; and Angela Maleh, cello.

Following its October performances, the ensemble’s continues with programs January 31-February 1, March 21-22, and April 25-26. Each will be performed both in Bluffton and Hilton Head, and each will have an associated KidsPreConcert. Season tickets are available now, online at, and they may also be purchased at the October performances. Visit the website phone (843) 681-9969 for additional information.



Sunday, Oct 18, 3:30 pm Lowcountry Presbyterian Church, Bluffton

KidsPreConcert at 2:45 pm

Monday, Oct 19, 7:30 pm

All Saints Episcopal Church, HHI

Tickets $20, students free, seating open (no reserved seats)

Tickets, program notes, and recorded excerpts online at 843.681.9969