David Cullen invited to play at Carnegie Hall
October 18, 2016   //   By:   //   Achievements, Arts & Culture, Arts and Culture

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Elizabethtown College Artist-in-Residence, David Cullen, began playing guitar at the age of 7. Fifty years later, he is excited to perform at Carnegie Hall, he said. “The Gathering Concert” takes place Oct. 28 at Weill Recital Hall and features Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman  on guitar and award-winning pianist and composer Lynn Yew Evers. According to the Carnegie Hall website, Weill Recital Hall hosts hundreds of events each season in its intimate 268 seat space including recitals, chamber music concerts and masters classes.

Also performing in the Oct. 28 concert is Cullen’s wife, Jill Haley, who writes and makes music for the National Parks Soundscapes Series. “I don’t play with her a lot, because we like to do our own separate music jobs,” Cullen said, estimating they play just six or seven joint performances a year. At Carnegie, they will perform two tunes from Haley’s National Parks’ collection. She will play oboe and English horn. Joining Cullen, Halley, Ackerman and Evers are cellist Eugene Friesen and guitarists Vin Downes and Trevor Gordon Hall.

Ackerman, the headliner, and Cullen have been playing together for 25 years, so when Ackerman was invited to play at Carnegie Hall for the first time, he invited Cullen to join him. “We’re just going to enjoy the moment and play some music with an old friend Will Ackerman and with my wife,” Cullen said.

In the past, Cullen has played in New York at the Merkin Concert Hall and 92nd Street Y and at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. “Carnegie Hall is a very iconic place,” he said, “[It will be] great to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I played Carnegie’.”

According to James Haines, Chair of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, having a member of Elizabethtown College faculty play at Carnegie Hall “shows the caliber of performers and musicians with whom our students get to study.” Every music student who has graduated in the past 20 years, Haines said, has been taught by Cullen in a class or private lessons. “He’s just really invested in our program,” he said.

Cullen has been a part of the College more than a quarter century. “Teaching the students [at E-town] has been very rewarding. I’ve been the Artist-in-Residence here for 10 years, and performing in that role has allowed me to present a wide variety of concerts every year. This has all helped to make me the musician I am today, and I thank Elizabethtown College for supporting this position,” the musician said.

Haines said he is disappointed that he cannot attend  Cullen’s performance. “Having an artist of his caliber as a member of the community is a real treat,” he said, “He’s one of the best artists I have ever known.”

About the Author :

Samantha Kick is a senior English professional writing major with a theatre minor. She has written and copyedited for the Etownian and assisted Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow Emeritus Donald Kraybill in research for his current project on the history of Eastern Mennonite University due for publication in fall 2017. Her visions for the future involve a pen, paper and the oxford comma.