As magical as it is to experience concerts when the audience is enthralled from the first to the last note, it is also magical to experience concerts when the audience is discovering a new experience with ooh’s and aah’s. Each year, the Carmel Bach Festival presents a Community Concert. This has been held in previous years at the St. Francis Xavier Church in Seaside. Thank you to the good people of this church for welcoming one and all to hear music. Thursday evening, July 18, 2019, was the latest of these informal free concerts. We heard a kind of “tasting menu” of pieces played by a string quintet and woodwind octet. Providing behind the scenes help was Suzanne Mudge, Director of Community Engagement. These concerts are planned to inspire people to experience the music of the Carmel Bach Festival.
Starting us on the adventure were the strings with a Divertimento by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Watching the musicians, Elizabeth Girko, Ann Duggan, Margaret Eldridge, Paul Rhodes and Derek Weller, bring their instruments out and sit down to play was an eye-opener for one listener. That brought a smile to my face which grew as the music unfolded. Following the Mozart the woodwinds, Neil Tatman, Peter Lemberg, Ginger Kroft, Erin Finkelstein, Laura Koepke, Justin Cummings, Alicia Mastromonaco and Alex Camphouse, played a Sarabande and Rondo from a Divertimento by Gordon Jacob. Several of the musicians took turns giving us spoken tidbits on the music. This was helpful to many in the audience. I was particularly taken by the Wapango by Paquito D’Rivera. The rhythms and catchy tune made you want to get up and dance! Closing out the concerts was the Octet in E flat Major by Ludwig Van Beethoven. The performers from the Festival Orchestra found the very pleasing sweet spot of tempo and articulation in the acoustically live room. I am confident the adventure of the evening’s music was fun for all.
These Community Concerts are not intended for the seasoned attendees of regular concert series programs. However, it gives the neighbors of concert venues an opportunity to hear works by great composers. It gives community friends a chance to hear instruments played by fabulous musicians. It gives people of all ages a chance to slide into a pew and experience what is available on recordings. It was obvious to me that each musical offering was selected with care, practiced with skill, and presented with joy. We have such beautiful places in our community to hear music. Thank you St. Francis Xavier Church for opening your doors. Thank you Carmel Bach Festival for sharing great music in our community!