Meet the founders of Twickenham Fest

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Twickenham Festival is a chamber music festival focused on sharing classical music with the community.

Twickenham Fest will be celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and there are a few things people might not know about the event and how it began.

Co-founders Susanna Phillips and Matthew McDonald are both North Alabama natives with a passion to share their love of music through free community concerts.

Meet Susanna Phillips

Alabama-born soprano Susanna Phillips, recipient of The Metropolitan Opera’s 2010 Beverly Sills Artist Award, continues to establish herself as one of today’s most sought-after singing actors and recitalists.

Phillips grew up in Huntsville and attended Randolph School and says she is excited to share her music with the people of her community. “I’ve loved this city ever since I was a young child,” says Phillips. “When I come back, I’ve noticed a lot of innovation and a lot of change here in Huntsville.”

Phillips says one of the goals this year for Twickenham Fest is to reach more people of all ages and backgrounds. She says it’s been exciting to watch how it has grown with the community over the years.

Meet Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2013. He has appeared with festival orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Matthew McDonald also grew up in Huntsville and fell in love with playing the bassoon in the Randolph School band. He feels lucky to be able to play in a professional orchestra as a full-time job and to have supporting parents.

“Having that environment here in Huntsville is what allowed me to explore that,” says McDonald. “I was very lucky to be able to take the blind leap.”

For Twickenham Fest’s 10 year anniversary, they are having ten different concerts which you can learn about on their website. A schedule of events can be found there, along with a place to reserve your seats.

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