The first of the four lunchtime recitals of this fall season was a full success. We had a large audience of 50 people, including a class of the Livingston School with their teachers. Livingston is no longer a middle school but started the year as a new elementary school. Consequently, the students attending our concerts are younger than in years past. Please see the accompanying pictures.
We also were blessed by the high quality performance of the musicians. I Virtuosi del Seicento is a special ensemble featuring early Baroque music. We listened to an unusual and very tall string instrument called theorbo played by Mark Johnstone. Dr. Tim Urban played several recorders, once even two at the same time. Shea Velloso accompanied everything on the harpsichord of our church. Since the harpsichord is now played so often, it held the tune beautifully. We thank our organist, Ben Berman, for this.
One of the functions of the concert series is bridge-building and supporting the integration efforts of the school system as the majority of the children is of Latino background. With this in mind, we asked the children to raise their hand if they had ever played recorder in school. Most of them had. It was a nice teaching moment, then, when Dr. Urban used the children’s familiarity with the instrument to elaborate on the historic features of the various recorders he had brought. After initial moments of shyness, the children asked many questions. But most importantly, the concert exposed them to the possibilities of the instrument when in the hands of a professional player.