Smile Politely

DoCha Chamber Music Fest in review

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DoCha creates chamber music-based experiences in downtown Champaign for all people that engage all of the senses. Committed to the idea that chamber music should be enjoyed by everyone, DoCha is free, fun, collaborative, engaging, and educational. The festival took place at Orpheum Theatre located at 346 North Neil Street in Downtown Champaign.

The first concert was a Young Artist Master Class, which consisted of four young boys on violins, a viola, and a cello. This four-string quartet began with Allegro con spirito in G Major, which they first performed the whole way through, and afterwards received instruction from a DoCha performer, Josef Haydn. As they performed small measures, he would tell them how to improve or change the mood of the song with a few simple changes.

The next group of three students performed a piece from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. As with the previous group, Haydn gave his critiques and told them how to improve.

Finally, two students closed out the performance with a Cello Sonata and received high praise from the audience. It was a very unique performance, different from traditional classical performances, because Haydn would stop them when he wished to change, or thought the students could have a different tone in their performance at different parts of the piece.

The next performance was more of a traditional jazz concert. The name of the show was City Lights, which highlighted different jazz musicians featuring work from Gershwin, Porter, Schoenfield, and more. The first two performers performed three of the preludes from George Gershwin on the piano and violin. Knowing a great deal about Gershwin and his work, I paid close attention to their performance because I knew what the pieces were supposed to sound like. To my surprise, they were very in tune with Gershwin and replicated his work wonderfully.

The next group, the Larry Gray Trio, brought a great deal of energy to the crowd with their upbeat drum solos and the crowd favorite, “I Got Rhythm.”

If you missed this one, it was a true loss, but there is always next year.


Photos and words by Monica Inglot.

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