Martinsville, Virginia


Ensemble To Perform World Premier By Local Composer

For the last several years, a small group of local musicians has come together to produce a chamber music concert for the community. At their upcoming concert, this small ensemble will have the privilege of performing the world premiere of a work entitled Carnival Fragments.

The piece was created by a local composer named Zachary Margrave. The leader of the chamber music ensemble, Deborah Burgess, asked Margrave to write the piece specifically for the ensemble’s next performance which will be on Sunday, March 8.
Margrave who has written several pieces throughout his musical career gladly accepted Burgess’ proposal to create an original work exclusively for the seven musicians in the ensemble.

“It took me about a month to actually write it, but I was bouncing ideas around for a while,” Margrave expressed. He says that after spending many weeks mulling over a few ideas, he finally found the inspiration he needed from a mistake. While playing “Molly on the Shore” by Percy Grainger at the piano, Margrave’s fingers slipped to the wrong keys. Immediately, he realized he had accidentally discovered the unique sound he was looking for.

“When I accidentally played that wrong, it sounded so cool. So, I used it and extrapolated.”

It started on the piano, but Margrave wound up writing the song for the flute, clarinet, trumpet, French horn, and cello – the preferred instruments of the seven performers that will debut the Margrave’s song to the world on March 8.

“I am excited for people to realize what kind of talent we have in our community,” says Burgess. “When we chose our theme for this concert the “Great Unknowns” – focusing on hidden gems from lesser-known composers – I knew we needed to showcase the largely unknown composers in our own community.”

Margrave is not the only local composer that the ensemble will be featuring in this concert. They will also be playing a few pieces by Sandra Ford who has faithfully attended the ensemble’s performances as an audience member for the past several years. They will play Ford’s, Song of the Flute which she copyrighted in 1989, her arrangement of Be Thou My Vision, and her composition Pastorale which she created around 2015. The Ensemble will also be playing Amy Stuart’s arrangement of What Wondrous Love Is This. Stuart is a regular member of the ensemble.

The ensemble performs in Patrick Henry Community College’s Walker Theatre on Sunday, March 8 at 3 PM. Tickets are available at the door. Adult tickets are $10. Student tickets are $5. For more information, contact Deborah Burgess at or 276-647-1914.