The Brierwood Ensemble is a group of Wilmington musicians who enjoy sharing their love of music through stories, history, and engaging programming for all. The ensemble was co-founded in 2016 by four northern transplants – violinist Linda Estep, violist/violinist Clark Spencer, bassoonist Helena Kopchick Spencer, and harpist Christina Brier – who quickly fell in love with their adopted home and its warm, welcoming environment for creative artists.
Committed to exploring both familiar and lesser known works of classical music with a wide range of audiences, the Brierwood Ensemble performs in a variety of venues throughout Wilmington and beyond. A hallmark of Brierwood Ensemble concerts is the inclusion of informal program notes from the stage, with the performers themselves offering insights into the historical and cultural context of the musical selections. The ensemble regularly seeks opportunities to pair music with visual art and literature, and recently performed a multimedia program based on the beloved children’s story The Secret Garden as part of the Seahawk FAM (Family Arts Matinee) series at UNC Wilmington.
The Brierwood Ensemble also actively promotes new music by American composers. In spring 2018, the ensemble premiered Lost and Found and North Carolina Lighthouse Suite, two Third Stream works by UNC Wilmington alumnus Ryan Mulder. And as part of the commissioning consortium for Jenni Brandon’s Ahead of All Parting for mezzo-soprano, bassoon, and harp, Brierwood Ensemble members will perform the work’s Carolina regional premiere in spring 2020 with guest artist Cera Finney.