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Johns Island community members tell their stories in tandem with Spoleto musicians

Renate Rohlfing (center left) presents the sonic memoirs of the Tell Your Story Project. Also pictured: Edward Kass (left), Christina McNeil (center right) and Antwoine Curtis Geddis (right)
Spoleto Festival USA
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Renate Rohlfing (center left) presents the sonic memoirs of the Spoleto Festival USA Tell Your Story project. Also pictured: Edward Kass (left), Christina McNeil (center right) and Antwoine Curtis Geddis (right)

Pianist Renate Rohlfing shares about Spoleto Festival USA's Tell Your Story, a new oral history project that fosters artistic collaboration between Spoleto Orchestra fellows and lifelong residents of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

In this Sonatas & Soundscapes interview that aired Wednesday, June 1st, host Bradley Fuller speaks with collaborative pianist and music therapist Renate Rohlfing about Tell Your Story, a new Spoleto Festival USA community outreach project combining oral history, field recording, and music composition. As Renate explains, the sonic memoirs of the 2022 Tell Your Story are the result of three collaborations between Charlestonians and Spoleto Orchestra fellows: Antwoine Curtis Geddis and Aurora Mendez, Jacqueline Grimball Jefferson and Joy Guidry, and Christina Hunter McNeil and Viola Chan.

Joining Renate as project leaders were Festival Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy and Spoleto Orchestra Manager Edward Kass.

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Spoleto Festival USA
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Spoleto Orchestra fellow Joy Guidry (left) in collaboration with Jacqueline Grimball Jefferson (right) of Wadmalaw and Johns islands

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Originally from Greenwood, SC, Bradley Fuller has maintained a deep interest in classical music since the age of six. With piano lessons throughout grade school and involvement in marching and concert bands on the saxophone, Bradley further developed musical abilities as well as an appreciation for the importance of arts education.