Music staff practice what they teach

The deep dramatic melodies of the piano reverberated around the room and I felt this uncomfortable feeling in my chest as if my heart was fluttering. My eyes began to water and I felt as if I had a giant marble in my throat as I looked into her eyes and saw, glistening in the light, what looked like the glaze of tears.

I always tell people to listen to all kinds of music as I do but this was my first experience at a classical music concert. WitsMusic hosted a classical music concert in the Atrium on Tuesday night showcasing the talent of classical musicians from around the country.

It was an hour long event that took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and imagery in my mind. I always imagined that my first live encounter with classical music would involve a big theatre and an orchestra numbering near the hundreds, but this concert was exactly the opposite.

The Atrium is a small cosy venue, with a lowered stage no more than 10 feet away allowing the audience of 102 to look straight at the performers. The soft, warm glow of the orange lighting against the wood of the stage added to the intimate feel of the evening as if we were in a room lit with hundreds of candles.

It was the second act of the evening with Michele Corbin, a Soprano, and, pianist from Tri Hemany, Malcolm Nay that almost brought me to tears last night. Corbin evoked emotion around the room with the powerful range of her voice and expressions on her face as she bellowed out a song or, “chanson” as it’s called in the opera world that recalled past memories of love.

As I looked around the room I couldn’t help but notice the small audience had very few young people who weren’t arts and music students there to support their teachers and family members. It got me thinking about why more young people aren’t open to the experience of classical music.

Deejaying and creating beats on computer programmes with synthesizers and other music creating gadgets is more the choice of the younger generation today, and perhaps taking things back to basics with real instruments is the best place to start on the path to rue musical appreciation. Even my partner who doesn’t consider himself much of a classical music kind of guy was visibly moved to a point where he declared the evening “cool”.

It’s one thing to listen to classical music on the radio or a CD but to have a live classical experience is quite different, with nothing but instruments classical artists paint pictures in your mind, and if you surrender to the melodies and allow the music to engulf you, you may just discover a deeply emotional or creative part of you, you never knew existed.

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