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Chamber Music Yellow Springs has commissioned a string quartet by Yellow Springs native Allen McCullough that will be performed by the Aeolus Quartet on Sunday, April 14. The piece was written for the Daedalus Quartet, who was scheduled to perform it this weekend, but an injury forced a change in plans. (Photo courtesy of Mercer University)

Several compositions by former Yellow Springer Allen McCullough will be performed in the village this weekend. (Photo courtesy of Mercer University)

Former Yellow Springers, siblings, bring new music to town

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Helen McCullough Allen

Helen McCullough Allen

Chamber Music Yellow Springs will present a combined lecture and concert by Allen McCullough, Ph.D., and Helen McCullough Allen, DMA, in the Great Room of the Yellow Springs Senior Center at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Admission is free, and a reception will follow the event.

The two grew up in Yellow Springs in a musical and civic family. Both are now music professors, he in composition and she in voice performance. Their presentation is based on songs which Allen composed for his sister, Helen, including a song cycle titled “Franz Kafka: The Way Home and Other Songs for High Voice” and another song cycle based on the brighter poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, such as “To Helen” (as in of Troy). The lecture will address some potential “building blocks” of music, such as the major/minor scale, and will “ultimately attempt to explain why the music of living composers can seem odd and/or challenging, but also why it is exciting,” McCullough wrote in a recent email from his home in Indiana.


This community outreach is supported by a Challenge America grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which CMYS used to commission a string quartet by McCullough to premiere during its regular season. The acclaimed Aeolus String Quartet will perform his String Quartet No. 2 this Sunday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Yellow Springs. The Aeolus will also perform Haydn’s last quartet, Op. 77 No. 2, possibly his best, and the highly romantic “Voces Intimae” Quartet by Jan Sibelius. The commission was supported by the NEA and a grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Sunday’s event will be preceded by a lecture at 6:45 by Charles Larkowski, and followed by a post-concert dinner and reception, for which a reservation is required. Concert tickets are $20 for adults and $7 for students. WDPR-FM (88.1) will broadcast the concert at10 a.m. on Saturday, April 20.

For further information or to make reservations, call (937) 374-8800 or visit


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