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Posted by on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 in College Life, Music.

For the past week and a half, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival (CCSMF) has been in full swing.  One of the highlights for me was the first Festival Artists Concert, where a few of the faculty of the camp performed.  A packed  audience filled Packard Hall (I can’t resist!), and there was even a need for extra seats to be set out.

What I loved most about this concert was that it was truly exciting and fun.  Classical music?  Exciting?  What?

A student group performing a Mendelssohn String Quartet. They looked (and sounded) intense.

To begin the concert, Jon Nakamatsu (piano), Elizabeth Mann (flute), and Jon Manasse (clarinet) performed Shostakovich’s Three Waltzes and extinguished the barrier between performer and listener as the lively trio found a way to connect to the audience with its childlike playfulness.  People clapped between movements, laughed during the silly twists in the melody, and this was all completely fine!

Now I am just opining, but I think that is what is lacking in the music world today.  While there are great classical performances, people aren’t allowed to whisper excitedly to each other during concerts in fear of being snubbed by some elitist classically-trained listener.  This needs to change!  If you can imagine it, back in the day of Beethoven, people would go on riots after performances if they did or didn’t like the piece!  We need that same kind of enthusiasm!  A classical music Bonnaroo!

The second half of the concert was full of flair as Mark Fewer, Stephen Rose, Phillip Ying, David Ying, and Jon Nakamatsu presented the Dvorak Piano Quintet, which is one of my all-time favorite chamber pieces.  They had an astonishing amount of vitality, yet brought so much character and color to the work.  Though the audience didn’t clap between the movements of this piece, there was a hushed energy in the audience who didn’t want to break the continuity of the work.

The concert was so good it inspired me to practice afterwards.

Everything about CCSMF has been incredible.  From the orchestra with its dynamic conductor Scott Yoo, to chamber ensembles, this place also has scrumptious farm-fresh food and a spectacular view of the Rockies.  The fellow musicians here are all so nice to each other… which reminds me quite a bit of the amiable atmosphere of Blair.

The spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains from the music building.

More on Colorado to come!

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