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Jeff Midkiff

Midkiff_Jeff3.jpgJeff Midkiff grew up where bluegrass and traditional string band music thrived. He received his first mandolin at age 7 and moved quickly into the world of fiddlers’ conventions and contests. He won his first mandolin competition before reaching his teens. As he grew older, he added fiddle to his instrumental arsenal and took up clarinet to play with his high school’s symphonic band.

Jeff earned music degrees from Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. Even while immersing himself in classical repertoire, he gained attention as mandolin and fiddle player with widely respected bluegrass groups. Jeff performed clarinet with Florida’s Naples Philharmonic and became orchestra director in Fairfax, Virginia, schools in 1992. An appearance with the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall reawakened his passion for clarinet. He returned to Chicago to revive his performance career — on clarinet only, he thought, but ultimately on mandolin and fiddle, too.

In 2003, Jeff released his first solo CD, Partners In Time, a thoughtful blend of classical, bluegrass, jazz and swing influences. In 2006, Jeff became an orchestra director in the Roanoke City Schools. He has performed clarinet with numerous orchestras and appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on mandolin.

Jeff Midkiff's concerto for mandolin and orchestra, “From the Blue Ridge,” was composed for the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and premiered October 3, 2011.

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