The region has a unique ensemble of classical music all its own



GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (WFRV) – Something extremely unusual is happening in the music scene in our region.

Four musicians go down in history as concert performers who teach.

It is wonderful to listen to the wonderful playing of the Griffon String Quartet.

The professional group performs regularly in our region, often for free.

It should be noted that an occasional monthly concert takes place at the First Presbyterian Church in Green Bay.

The first took place on October 27, and there are seven more chances to hear the quartet and ask questions.

Here are the musicians, all with advanced degrees and extensive experience:

+ Viola: Blakeley Menghini (blake-lee men-ghee-knee).

+ Violin: Ji-Yeon Lee (gee-yun lee).

+ Cello: Ryan Louie.

+ Violin: Vinicius Sant’Ana (who bears his nickname, Vinny, then sant-ana).

These musicians are friendly and energetic, and their performances are fun to watch (my review of a concert).

The quartet has connections in Door County through Midsummer’s Music ( and the Institute of Fine Arts at Green Bay East High School and St. Norbert College in De Pere.

With the release of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group has appearances of men in the works to teach and play.

Notably, Midsummer’s Music co-founder Jim Berkenstock will feature the band in his program on the role of music in brain development.

Nothing like this group has ever existed in Northeastern Wisconsin, and there are many ways to experience it. Here is the latest schedule:

+ “From the cradle to the grave: the little-known duo of music with the brain” presentation by Jim Berkenstock (more on the program below).

Live: Nov 8 – 3 p.m. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Sister Bay.

Virtual: November 9 – 1 p.m., Green Bay Brain Center, www.braincentergb / better-together.

+ “Griffon String Quartet: Double Sharp B program.

November 11 – 11 a.m. Society of the Good Samaritan, Scandia Village, Sister Bay.

+ “Gather with the Griffin” mini-concerts for seniors.

November 17; December 15; January 12, 2022; February 9, 2022; March 9, 2022; April 13, 2022; May 11, 2022 – 11:30 a.m. First Presbyterian Church, Green Bay.

+ “Griffon String Quartet: Music for Food” to support the Door County Food Pantry Coalition.

November 20, 2021 – 5:30 p.m., Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor.

+ “Griffon String Quartet: community concert for the resources of the sun. “

December 10, 2021 at 1 p.m., Sunshine Resources, Sturgeon Bay.

+ “Griffon String Quartet: Memory Café – Program B Double Sharp. “

December 14, 2021 at 1 p.m., Green Bay Botanical Garden, Green Bay.

+ “Griffon String Quartet Holiday Concerts”.

December 17 at 5 p.m., SWY231, Sturgeon Bay.

December 18 – 2 p.m., Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor.

December 19 – 2 p.m., Brown County Central Library, Green Bay.


Jim berkenstock, president and artistic director of Summer solstice music, will present “From the cradle to the grave: the little-known duo of music with the brain” at 3 p.m. on November 8 at the Saint-Luc Episcopal Church. Entrance is free, but tickets are required. Info: Note the November 9 virtual presentation below.

According to a press release: The in-depth program aims to link music with brain functionality in humans of all ages. Much recent research has led to a better understanding of how humans process, use and enjoy music. We now know that infants (even prenatal) recognize certain musical components long before language comprehension begins. We also know that adults with advanced dementia, who are beyond most normal means of communication, can be reached in remarkable ways that can improve their sense of touch, behavior and sense of well-being. to be.

“Cradle to Grave: Music’s Unsung Duo with the Brain” is an interactive exploration to answer questions such as: “Why do I love music? “…” Do I have a hidden talent? “…” Is there an innate musicality in infants that persists throughout life? … “What hidden promises does music have? and “What musical secret did Einstein know and use?” “

Learn how music works and how we work, especially from a musical point of view. The presentation will be informal, informative and intriguing, and it will be animated by the talent of The Griffon String Quartet.

The session will last approximately one hour and will include a question and answer period.

The November 8 program will be taped for the November virtual presentation at 1 p.m. from the Brain Center in Green Bay as part of its guest speaker series. To view the virtual presentation, visit www.braincentergb / better-together to request free access to the program.

Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, longtime summer residents of Door County and principal orchestral players of the Lyric Opera in Chicago.


In its twelfth season, Music for food is a musician-led initiative to fight hunger, where musicians perform and choose a local pantry. Members of the public donate to the Pantry, and the Pantry then creates meals for those in need.

The free concert presents the Griffon String Quartet playing excerpts from the Danish String Quartet’s “Last Leaf” album, Astor Piazzolla’s dramatic “Four for Tango” and Ludwig van Beethoven’s “String Quartet No. 12 in E-Flat, Opus 127”. Attendees of the event on November 20, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, can bring in non-perishable food or make a monetary donation to the Door County Food Pantry Coalition at the door. Visit to reserve free tickets.

Music for Food concerts raised funds to create more than 1.5 million meals. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, food insecurity affected countless Americans, especially those with children and those who self-identified as black, Latino, or Native American. More than 35 million people in the United States faced food insecurity in 2019, and Feeding America predicts that 42 million people – including 13 million children – could be food insecure in 2021. More information on Music for Food, including locations and dates of other events, is available on



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