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Eureka Chamber Music Series Announces Tom Stone and Maggee VanSpeybroeck as New Co-Artistic Directors

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Founded by Pearl and Bob Micheli, ECMS has presented renowned classical musicians in live concerts to Humboldt County since 1993,

Eureka Chamber Music Series Announces Tom Stone and Maggee VanSpeybroeck as New Co-Artistic Directors

Eureka Chamber Music Series has appointed Tom Stone and Maggee VanSpeybroeck as Co-Artistic Directors. The EMCS board of directors has also added new members Julie Fulkerson and George Ponnay. Founded by Pearl and Bob Micheli, ECMS has presented renowned classical musicians in live concerts to Humboldt County since 1993, and is committed to continue presenting diverse, world-class musicians in intimate concerts while expanding its audience and serving the community in innovative ways.

ECMS made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020-2021 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be spending the coming year on a thorough planning process and a re-launch of the series in the fall of 2021, including favorites from the past such as the Pacifica Quartet, the Arianna Quartet, pianist Tian Ying, and the San Francisco Opera Singers. The fall 2021 season will open with a performance by Stone's newly formed piano trio, Duende, with pianist Awadagin Pratt and cellist Sophie Shao.

"Eureka is a dynamic community and I couldn't be more excited about building on the legacy of ECMS to bring great music to Humboldt County," said new Co-Artistic Director Tom Stone. "Maggee VanSpeybroeck and I worked closely together for a number of years at the Cypress Performing Arts Association and it's a joy to be reunited to work together on this wonderful series and ensure it has a vibrant future."

"We are so thrilled that Tom and Maggee will be carrying ECMS forward into the 2021-2022 concert season and beyond, and we are delighted to welcome Julie and George to the board of directors," said ECMS board member Dr. Ed Olsgard. "We look forward to the expertise and enthusiasm that all four of them will bring to our organization."

New board member George Ponnay said, "I attended my first ECMS concert with my mother in 2009 and became an instant fan. The music was world class and just wonderful. Shortly thereafter I offered to help founder Pearl Micheli photograph the concerts and there began a wonderful journey that now has resulted in my becoming the board's Treasurer. Since my career is in banking, it was a logical progression and I look forward to and am excited to help the ECMS progress towards a brilliant future with my fellow board members."

"As a young child, our home was so small, I grew up under our Steinway hearing my parents play every day, said new board member Julie Fulkerson. "Music, more than anything, transports me, even when sheltered at home where I play every day. I will be in the audience as soon as possible and can't wait for the series to resume.

Tom Stone was a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet and performed thousands of concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Praised by Gramophone for "artistry of uncommon insight and cohesion," and by The New York Times for "tender, deeply expressive" interpretations, they recorded over 15 albums and are heard regularly on hundreds of radio stations throughout the world. Mr. Stone has also served as Artistic Director of the Centrum Chamber Music Festival, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Chorale, treasurer of InterMusic SF, and board member of Chamber Music America. Dedicated to mentoring and training the next generation of exceptionally talented musicians, Mr. Stone has mentored the prize winners of the Banff international String Quartet Competition and was a visiting artist at Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other elite universities. Recently Mr. Stone formed a piano trio called Duende with award-winning musicians Awadagin Pratt and Sophie Shao.

Maggee VanSpeybroeck is a Humboldt County native and has been attending the Eureka Chamber Music Series since its very first concert, during which, at age six, she fell asleep in the front row and got a wink from the violist of the Australian String Quartet. Ms. VanSpeybroeck's musical education continued at the University of Kansas and the Eastman School of Music, where she received her master's degrees in Musicology and Ethnomusicology. From 2013 through 2016, Ms. VanSpeybroeck was Executive Director for the Cypress Performing Arts Association in San Francisco. Following her work with CPAA, Maggee pursued her MBA at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she focused on business strategy and brand marketing. Ms. VanSpeybroeck recently relocated back to the Bay Area to work with the marketing team at Premier Nutrition Company. A fan of all modes of artistic expression, Ms. VanSpeybroeck is also an avid Burning Man community member where she leads the logistics for a 75-person camp.

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