Thornton String Quartet celebrates 10 years with Oct. 11 concert

Thornton String Quartet Rotator
Members of the original Thornton String Quartet in 2005 included, left to right, Kate Zrust of Kearney, Kalie Wetovick Steele of Fullerton, Andrea Zecha of Kearney, and Heidi Hilligas of Kearney.

KEARNEY – The Thornton String Quartet will perform its 10th Anniversary Celebration Concert at 1:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 11) at the Frank House on the University of Nebraska at Kearney campus.

The concert is directed by Ting-Lan Chen, UNK professor of music and performing arts. The performance is free and open to the public.

Thornton String Quartet members from 2004 to present will present the concert of chamber music by composers such as Tchaikovsky and Vaughan Williams.

The establishment of the Thornton String Quartet came from a gift from UNK alumna Mary Elaine (Thornton) House in 2004 – an endowment that provides four annual string quartet scholarships to UNK string students through competitive auditions.

“The Thornton String Quartet Scholarship Fund is vital to the string education at UNK,” said Chen. “Because of this wonderful gift, UNK is able to provide chamber music training to string students and to share the rich heritage of string chamber ensemble to the community.”

In the past 10 years, the Thornton String Quartet has represented UNK in various important venues, including the University of Nebraska President Installation Ceremony and Kearney Area Foundation Celebration event.

Alumni who will return to Kearney to perform:
Fullerton – Kalie Wetovick Steele, violin
Kearney – Rachel Weinberg, violin; Andrea Zecha, cello
Lincoln – Jennifer Zumwalt, violin
Scottsbluff – Cindie Reneau, violin

UNK students/faculty performing:
Kearney – Gina Lieb, violin
Lincoln – Sarah Davis, cello; Erich Gebers, cello
Omaha – Madeline Maloley, violin
Bismarck, N.D. – Eric Jensen,viola
Orange City, Iowa – Caleb Rohrer, violin
China – Xiaojun Liu, violin
Faculty – Ting-Lan Chen, viola and piano


Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454,
Contact: Ting Lan Chen, professor of music and performing arts, 308.865.8041

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