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Fifth Annual Nief-Norf Summer Music Festival Arrives In Knoxville


The University of TN School of Music is hosting a very unique contemporary music festival this week and next: The Nief-Norf Summer Festival.  Not only is this an educational festival, where students and professionals alike come to learn, collaborate, and perform, but it's also a festival that brings new and exciting music to the public, as well as thought-provoking lectures. 

The public may be familiar with Dr. Andrew Bliss's name.  He is a relatively new arrival to Knoxville, but he's already making quite the mark on the contemporary music scene.  Bliss is the director of percussion studies at UT and is also the Artistic Director of the Nief-Norf festival.  Last year, he brought in Pulitzer-Prize winning composer, John Luther Adams, to Knoxville to facilitate a performance of his work "Inuksuit" at Ijams Nature Center; a complex work for 9 to 99 percussionists performed in nature that Bliss organized along with the help of numerous volunteers in the community. 

Bliss intends to bring more innovative performances such as this to Knoxville and hopes that moving the Nief-Norf Summer Festival here will help residents to become more familiar with the name "Nief-Norf" which is not only a summer festival, but a year-round music organization dedicated to promoting new music.

The summer festival presents concerts and lectures open to the public now through June 19th; events are taking place in various venues across Knoxville.  More information can be found on their website at www.niefnorf.org, on their Facebook page, as well as on Twitter.    

Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.