Utah Symphony musicians plan a nightclub gig fundraiser at O.P. Rockwell
Funds wil help Haitian musicians
- Schubert’s “Quintet Movement 4: Allegretto”
- Bach’s “Suite 2: Prelude”
- Piazzolla’s “Tango”Set 2
- Bach’s “Suite 1: Prelude”
- Schumann’s “Machenbilder Movement 1 and 2”
- Gaubert’s “Par un clair matin”Set 3
- Bach’s “Partita in a minor”
- Schubert’s “Quintet Movement 3: Scherzo”
- Messiaen’s Regard de l’Esprit de joieSet 4
- Schumann’s “Marchenbilder mvt 3,4”
- Bach’s “Partita in a minor”
- Piazzolla’s “Summer”
Members of the Utah Symphony want to invite the public to enjoy a beer with Bach.
While that may sound strange, the musicians mean it and would enjoy performing for a packed house at one of Park City’s nightclubs, O.P. Rockwell.
The event, a fundraiser for BLUME Haiti, will feature an evening of classical music and start at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 3, said violinist David Porter.
“BLUME stands for Building Leaders Using Music Education and many of us will pay our way down to Haiti,” Porter said during a Park Record interview. “We’re taking musical instruments, sheet music and other equipment with us to give to the young Haitian musicians.”
The money raised at O.P. Rockwell, including the $5 entry fee, will go toward everything except the tickets and housing costs for the Utah Symphony musicians.
“If anyone wants to donate more than the $5, they are welcome to do so,” Porter said.
Even the O.P. Rockwell mixologists will help raise funds.
“They will create a special cocktail called the Haitian that will cost a little more than the other cocktails,” Porter said. “The money brought in above and beyond the average drink price will go to the Haitian musicians.”
While the Utah Symphony musicians are in Haiti, they will teach the students and mentor their teachers.
Even the symphony’s Music Director, Thierry Fischer, is going on his own dime, Porter said.
“We go on March 25, so it’s coming up really soon,” he added.
Friday’s program will feature four sets of various performances by 10 Utah Symphony musicians: flutist Mercedes Smith, pianists Jason Hardink and Kimi Kawashima, violists Elizabeth Beilman and Roberta Zalkind, violinists Claude Halter, Yuki MacQueen and Porter, cellists Anne Lee and John Eckstein.
They will perform works by composers such as Schubert, Bach, Schumann and Piazzola, to name a few.
“We have large ensemble pieces, solo pieces and modern pieces,” Porter said. “We will play a lot of Piazzola, which are easy for audiences to connect with, so there is something for everyone.
“What’s fun about these events is that often our preconceptions of what the audiences might like are turned totally on their heads. Some 21st century piece will be the one that really grabs people’s attention that another quartet may not.”
The idea to perform the concert at O.P. Rockwell was something Porter has wanted to do for a while.
“It’s because we have such a loyal following there, especially when the Utah Symphony plays the Deer Valley Music Festival in the summer,” he said. “I wanted to offer something in the wintertime for those fans as well as for other locals and people who are in town skiing who are looking for something new to do in the evening.”
Porter asked friends for venue ideas.
“I visited several of them and O.P. Rockwell was perfectly suited for what we do,” he said. “It has a stage in a large room. It has a great bar and a great atmosphere to it. Plus everyone was also very gung ho and have been great collaborators.”
Presenting a classical concert in a nightclub is also different because audience members aren’t obliged to dress in their Sunday best.
“They can also interact with the musicians during the breaks in between sets and they can whoop and holler if they love something we play,” Porter said. “Our only request is that people see the music as a center point of the evening. We want people to come and listen to what we do, but have a good time doing it with friends and a drink or two.”
Porter’s desire to perform classical concerts in nightclubs bloomed three years ago when he attended an event for former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker at O’Shucks Downtown.
“It was during the time the new Eccles Center on Main Street was being built and O’Shucks and other businesses were having a hard time and losing clientele because of the construction,” Porter said. “I thought I could help a local business and experiment with a different model in sharing classical music.”
The idea fit with the his idea of raising funds for other nonprofits such as BLUME Haiti.
“It’s a fun way to do this and we are looking forward to coming to Park City to perform,” Porter said.
Members of the Utah Symphony (MOTUS) will perform a fundraiser, MOTUS After Dark, for BLUME Haiti at 9 p.m. on Friday, March 3, at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. Admission is $5. The money raised will benefit young musicians and music teachers in Haiti. For information, visit www.motusafterdark.com.
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