Published on November 1, 2016 by Ashley Smith  
strings carnegie

A Samford University ensemble filled Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall with music recently in a performance that exceeded expectations for the Samford String Quartet and guests. The event drew a diverse audience, including many young Samford alumni in the New York area. 

It was a complete success in all aspects, according to Joe Hopkins, School of the Arts dean and soloist for the recital. 

“You can’t help but be proud of Samford and the people who bring distinction to this university,” Hopkins said. “We are especially grateful to [Samford arts patrons] Vicki Dvonch and Wilton Bunch for inspiring the entire event by creating the Samford Quartet (composed of Jeff Flaniken, Angie Flaniken, Caroline Nordlund and Samuel Nordlund) and commissioning the compositions of Joel Davis.” 

Jeff Flaniken and the rest of the quartet echoed this sentiment by expressing their sincere gratitude to the Bunch family for providing the opportunity “to play music in the music capital of North America.” 

Davis, composer and arranger of several of the performed pieces, added, “This opportunity really felt like the beginning rather than a culmination for the String Quartet. It was an honor to be part of this collaborative effort.” 

The concert included works by Beethoven, Dvorak, and collaborative pieces featuring four spirituals arranged by Davis and sung by baritone Hopkins. The quartet also performed Antiphons, a new piece written by Davis and commissioned by the Bunch family. 

After the performance, guests gathered at the legendary Tavern on the Green for a reception. One of the best aspects of the occasion was connecting with alumni in the area. 

According to Davis, “It was amazing to learn about what the future holds for the Samford graduate.”  

Hopkins added that the performance reflects the impressive reach and impact of the Samford community beyond the Birmingham campus.

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Ashley Smith is marketing and communication coordinator for Samford Arts.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.