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Opus 76 Quartet to perform classical masterpieces at St. Agnes

The Opus 76 Quartet is composed, from left, of: Zsolt Eder, Ashley Stanfield, Keith Stanfield and Daniel Ketter. The group will perform classical music’s greatest hits on Sept. 21 from 6-8 p.m. followed by a reception at St. Agnes Church, 5250 Mission Rd., in Roeland Park. COURTESY PHOTO

by Moira Cullings

ROELAND PARK — Ashley Stanfield has witnessed firsthand the benefits of a strong fine arts program.

When she’s not playing the viola professionally with the Opus 76 Quartet, she teaches violin at St. Agnes School in Roeland Park.

“I think that as a society, we have this sort of semi-delusion during times of relative prosperity that the fine arts are somehow less essential than, say, science, math, reading or even sports,” said Stanfield.

“But when we look back at history,” she continued, “every time there’s been a crisis or a period of great suffering for humanity . . . there has always been a fervor to make and receive art.”

To raise funds for St. Agnes’ fine arts department, Opus 76 is treating the community to an elegant evening of classical music’s greatest hits on Sept. 21 from 6-7 p.m. at St. Agnes Church. The evening will culminate with light refreshments in the parish center from 7-8 p.m.

Single tickets are $30, and family tickets are $100. All proceeds will benefit the fine arts department.

Stanfield hopes to replicate the event at other area Catholic schools so they can bolster their own fine arts programs, which she believes offer unparalleled benefits to young musicians.

“I hope that my students at St. Agnes have benefited by being able to use the skills they have learned on the violin as tools to express themselves,” she said, “and process the world around them.

“Through determination, grit and sometimes even joy, they have proven that they can achieve the goals they set for themselves.”

To purchase tickets for the concert, go online to: bit.ly/opus-76.

About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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