DaPonte String Quartet invites the public to its Happy Hour Fridays. Every Friday at 5 p.m. the group gathers together virtually to chat about music, listen to each other’s plans, or discuss upcoming events. Special guests are often welcomed to the Happy Hour discussion. It could be an old friend or a special guest artist who is working with the quartet to reschedule 2021.

Bob Keyes is the special guest Dec. 4, followed by Awadagin Pratt Dec. 11 and Joel Quarrington Dec. 18.

Make sure to get on DaPonte's email list to get information about these Zoom Happy Hours. Please contact Executive Director Lisa Westkaemper at 207-315-7105 or lisa@daponte.org, visit daponte.org or find the group on Facebook at facebook.com/DaPonteStringQuartet.

Bob Keyes is a Maine-based and nationally-recognized arts writer and storyteller with specialties in American visual arts and the contemporary culture of New England. Born and raised near Boston, he has spent more than 15 years writing about arts and culture for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram. For more information, visit bobkeyes.com.

Among his generation of concert artists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras. Born in Pittsburgh, Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. Three years later, having moved to Normal, Illinois with his family, he also began studying violin. At the age of 16 he entered the University of Illinois where he studied piano, violin, and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he became the first student in the school’s history to receive diplomas in three performance areas – piano, violin and conducting. In recognition of this achievement and for his work in the field of classical music, Pratt received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins as well as an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University after delivering the commencement address in 2012. For more information, visit awadagin.com.

For more than 30 years, Joel Quarrington has served as the Principal Double Bassist of many ensembles, including the Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Symphony and Canada's National Arts Centre Orchestra and most recently, the famous London Symphony Orchestra. Born in Toronto, Quarrington began his formal studies of the double bass when he was 13. Upon graduation from the University of Toronto, he was awarded the Eaton Scholarship as the school’s most outstanding graduate. He is a winner of the Geneva International Competition and the CBC Talent Competition, and has made solo appearances across Canada, the United States, Europe and China. Quarrington teaches in the summers at the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec’s beautiful Eastern Townships where his master classes have attracted players from around the world. He also teaches at the University of Ottawa and at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he is a visiting artist. For more information, visit joelquarrington.com.