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Free Arts Month: youthful chamber music in a snowy Old Town

Post by Rosemary Ponnekanti / The News Tribune on Jan. 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
January 11, 2011 9:24 pm
The Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra string quartet. Courtesy photo.

You could almost believe you were in Europe – listening to Haydn and Handel before walking outside into a snowy street. Tonight was a concert in the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town series, free shows in Slavonian Hall on North 30th Street that range from really new percussion compositions to saxophone quartets and baroque lute songs. Tonight’s concert showcased the young musicians in the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, in particular their wind and string principals as they combined in various permutations to make chamber music.

It wasn’t a professional concert, unlike some fantastic ones the Classical Tuesdays folk have put together. But it’s a learning experience for these fine young musicians – playing chamber music is like having an erudite, enthusiastic conversation where everyone speaks at once and yet you’re listening to what everyone’s saying. It’s hard to do well, but these teenagers achieved some graceful moments, from the opening Haydn string quartet (rather solemn) to the pleasant woodwind quartet and lush string quintet by Spaniard Joaquin Turina. Violinists Jonathan Galle and Ana Campo shone, as did cellist Wesley Newsome; and there was a rocking bass quartet playing with deadpan deliberation and great intonation (which is difficult, as I know from many personal experiences.)

And then, of course, all that beautiful snow…

The Classical Tuesdays series runs at 7 p.m. second Tuesdays October through February; the next and final concert is Feb. 8 featuring amplified flute, marima and electric guitar. Free. Slavonian Hall, 2306 N. 30th St., Tacoma; 253-752-2135, classicaltuesdays.blogspot.com

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