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Culture notes: Chamber music in the mountains; Atlanta Music Project in concert Saturday

Highlands-Cashiers fest lineup

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, two hours away in Western North Carolina (just over the Georgia line from Mountain City and Dillard), has provided a stirring soundtrack for summer mountain getaways by Atlantans and others for three decades. Organized by William Ransom of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, the 31st edition will run from July 6 through Aug. 12

Highlights of the 27-concert series include a pre-festival “Classical Jazz” show with Gary Motley Trio featuring Veronica Tate on June 13 (a benefit for the fest) and a free picnic concert with the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet (June 27); the Eroica Trio (July 27-30) and Linden (Aug. 3-6 and 10-12) and Attacca (Aug. 10-12) string quartets; Laura (violin) and Julie (cello) Albers (July 13-16); and former and current Atlantans including violinist William Preucil (July 6-9), trumpeter Christopher Martin (Aug. 12), the Vega Quartet (July 20-23), cellists Charae Krueger (July 8-9) and Christopher Rex (July 22-23).

The Final Gala Concert, featuring the Vivaldi Four Seasons on Aug. 12, will be followed by a gourmet dinner at Wildcat Cliffs Country Club.

Information: 828-526-9060, HOWARD POUSNER

Valuable lessons on view

In March, the Atlanta Music Project, a nonprofit that provides intense music education for at-risk children, received a grant of $122,801 from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. And at the group’s free spring concert on Saturday, the uninitiated can find out why the Virginia-based foundation was inspired to make such a substantial investment.

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra conductor Jere Flint will serve as a guest conductor of the 2 p.m. concert at the Coan Recreation Center involving all 60 students, ages 8 to 13, from Atlanta Music Project programs at Coan (in the intown Kirkwood neighborhood intown) and the Gilbert House (in southwest Atlanta).

AMP’s after-school youth orchestra and choir program offers music education five days a week, two hours each per day. There are no auditions for the free program, founded in 2010, which requires only that students commit to attending all classes. It is modeled on El Sistema, a youth orchestra system from Venezuela.

Coan Recreation Center is at 1530 Woodbine Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-371-5008, HOWARD POUSNER

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