Building Community One Note at a Time

Griffon Strings Quartet hosts inaugural gala

Photo by Heidi Hodges.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow knew it. In 2018, a group of researchers went so far as to use computational data to prove it. Here in Door County, through inclusive programming and community outreach, Midsummer Music’s Griffon String Quartet illustrates it. Music is the universal language of mankind. 

“The Griffon String Quartet is built upon three pillars: Educate, Enrich, and Excite,” said Noah Schaffrick, Associate Director and Education Program Coordinator for Midsummer Music. “All our programming and collaborations strengthen our mission and strengthen the musical infrastructure by demystifying chamber music and creating an experiential bridge from short presentations to full classical concerts within our community.”

Formed in 2018 as the resident string quartet of Midsummer’s Music, the Griffon Strings Quartet engages with communities throughout northeast Wisconsin through three key programs. Its Einstein Series provides educational outreach programs and music lessons to school-age children. The B Double Sharp program presents mini concerts for the elderly and those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as their caregivers. Additional Community-Embedded programs are all-inclusive for families, performing pop-up programs in restaurants, coffee shops, businesses, and various other spaces. 

“All the Griffon String Quartet events are affordable in the belief that everyone deserves to experience exciting chamber music by world-class artists in everyday settings,” Schaffrick added. 

To date, the programs have been funded by grants and public funding. 

“As the Griffon String quartet grows and is privately funded, we would like to host a gala to help fund the needs of the quartet’s ongoing mission of being actively embedded in the northeast Wisconsin community and engaging every generation through music,” Schaffrick said.

On May 29, Midsummer Music will host the inaugural Griffon Gala at the Kress Pavilion, 7845 Church St. in Egg Harbor. Program highlights will include a performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127. Performing at the May 29 Gala include violinists Ji-Yeon Lee and Vinicius Sant’Ana, violist Blakeley Menghini, and cellist Ryan Louie. 

“Extraordinary musicians who have performed with orchestras and ensembles around the globe in the finest halls from Carnegie Hall and Brazil’s Teatro Municipal de São Paulo to Ukraine’s Lviv Philharmonic Hall,” Schaffrick said. “They are equally dedicated to music education and inspiring the next generation of music lovers.”  

Despite having advanced degrees and significant professional experience, both as educators and performers, the ensemble is known throughout the communities it engages with for its approachability and  recognized for “their youthful vigor, which is infectious,” Schaffrick added. 

In addition to the ensemble members, several of the ensemble’s current students will be on hand to share their stories about how much the strings lessons program means to their lives. Some will also perform. 

“The students were invited to play by the members of the Griffon String Quartet to showcase the work they have accomplished this past year,” Schaffrick said, the idea stemming from the importance of collaborative music-making and how both chamber music and Griffon residency work to build community and friendship.

In addition to great music, several fundraising items available at the event include lesson scholarships, instruments, music, private Griffon performances, concert sponsorships, Green Bay Chamber Music Society memberships, and two autographed Griffon posters, and more. Kim Jensen/Mojo Enterprises III will cater the event with heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and beverages.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at or by calling 920.854.7088. All proceeds benefit the Griffon String Quartet’s residency and programs. To sponsor this event, please contact Midsummer’s Music at 920-854-7088 or email [email protected] for details and perks.