In 1997, Saxton Rose and his wife, Elizabeth Pacheco Rose, met in their junior year of undergrad in the music library at the University of Colorado Boulder and have been together ever since.
“Our first kind of meeting was playing together,” said Rose, interim dean of the UNCSA School of Music and associate professor of bassoon at the university. “We had a concert that a friend of ours organized at his church. He was trying to get us together, I think, so he asked each of us to play on this concert. We played together in a little chamber ensemble, and that’s how we started dating.”
Pacheco Rose, visiting professor of voice at Wake Forest University, said they got married in 2000.
“There’s definitely a chemistry that we share on and off the stage,” she said. “It absolutely adds to our music making together. There are things we don’t have to say, that we feel between each other. It’s a beautiful experience for sure.”
At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13, Rose (bassoon) and Pacheco Rose (voice), along with two other married couples, will perform in “A Love Concert” that will be livestreamed from Watson Hall at UNCSA.
The other couples are Tadeu Coelho (flute), assistant professor of flute at UNCSA, and Carole Ott Coelho (voice), associate director of choral activities at UNC-Greensboro; as well as Jaren Atherholt (oboe), assistant professor of oboe at UNCSA, and Benjamin Atherholt (contrabassoon), the bassoon instructor at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he also plays assistant principal bassoon and contrabassoon with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
The concert will have something for everyone, including baroque, contemporary and jazz, along with music performed on different instruments.
Rose said the concert fits into the Valentine’s Day theme because of the performances by couples.
But, he added, “because the couples are bubbled, they’re in the same household. We don’t have to use the PPE or the masks or the barriers or anything. It’s a lot more like a (normal) concert experience.”
Anima Vox Duo
The Coelhos who together make up the duo Anima Vox will perform the first segment of the concert, starting with the world premiere of "Three Love Songs for Soprano and Flute" by composer David McHugh, a former film composer at the School of Filmmaking at UNCSA.
Other performances include the world premiere of "Soneto," which features a happy fantasy with decent love, arranged for the flute, voice and Tibetan bowl, by composer Adriana Romero. Anima Vox will also do an improvisation based on “Gritei” by Ligia Vellasocoo, for the flute and voice.
Improvisation is how the Coelhos met.
“We met performing with an experimental performing group in Greensboro during a concert at a bookstore that involved improvisation,” Carole Coelho said.
After that performance, Tadeu Coelho invited her to perform with his baroque assemble and their relationship began to evolve.
While they were in Paris in July 2015, they attended several services at Notre Dame Cathedral. On the last service they attended, Tadeu Coelho asked her to go up to the alter.
“He looked down and was looking at his bag, and I thought he was getting out his phone, but he was actually getting out a ring,” his wife said. “That’s where he proposed.”
When Jaren Atherholt had a choice in 2004 of going to graduate school at Rice University or The Juilliard School, she expected to go to Juilliard because that had always been her dream. But she decided on Rice.
“I just think it’s amazing because if I hadn’t gone to Rice, I would not have met my husband,” she said.
The couple met during her second year at Rice at an oboe party at the home of Benjamin Atherholt’s father, Robert Atherholt.
The couple said they liked each other but tried not to date because Robert Atherholt was Jaren Atherholt’s oboe professor.
When Benjamin Atherholt won a contrabassoon job with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans in 2006, and Jaren Atherholt won a job with the same orchestra in 2007, she started wondering about the odds of that happening.
“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is amazing. Maybe, this is meant to be,'” Jaren Atherholt said.
They have been together now for 15 years and married for seven years. Benjamin Atherholt lives in New Orleans and his wife in Winston-Salem, but he is doing a contrabassoon residency at UNCSA this spring semester.
The first piece in their middle section of “A Love Concert” is Sonata in A minor TWV 41:a3 for oboe and contrabassoon by composer Georg Phillip Telemann. It is a song they have redone from their winter song with Lyrica Baroque, a nonprofit Jaren Atherholt founded in New Orleans. The song has four movements — “Siciliana,” “Spirituosoo,” “Andante” and “Vivace.”
The other two songs are by Benjamin Atherholt — “Hymn” for oboe and contrabassoon and the world premiere of “Yesterday’s Tomorrow” for narrator and contrabassoon, which he wrote in January 2021.
“Yesterday’s Tomorrow” is a poem.
“It’s a poem dedicated to my Valentine,” Benjamin Atherholt said.
Rose and Pacheco Rose have performed around the world as Duo Rose.
For the Feb. 13 concert, the first pieces were written specifically for bassoon and soprano voice.
“They were written specifically for us,” Pacheco Rose said laughing.
They will perform Cinco pecas para canto e fagote by Brazilian composer Francisco Mignone. Pacheco Rose will sing five songs in Portuguese.
“These five songs are all based off of folk or popular melody that he heard from a different region of Brazil,” Pacheco Rose said of Mignone.
She said the songs are special to her because her father’s side of the family is from Brazil.
“They make me very happy every time we revisit them,” she said. “We’ve done them quite a bit now over the years.”
The first song is called “Assombracao.”
“It’s about a ghost, Pacheco Rose said. “It’s an eerie, spooky one. It’s from the Amazon region.
The fifth and final song is called “Pinhao Quente.”
“The last one is super, like fiery and sexy,” she said.