Sorry, George Costanza, for the crude paraphrase, but I tend to get a bit giddy this time of year. You see, starting every second Saturday of August, is a musical event that has captivated audience members of Northwest Indiana for 13 years. The Michigan City Chamber Music Festival. I’ll be checking in over the next week, telling you about the great music that’s coming up, the incredible musicians you’ll be hearing, etc., but for NOW, I’m going to emphasize the Festival itself.
You see, we feel we’re just plain different. We’re on a mission. We’re impassioned. We are out to reintroduce and save the greatest music ever written!
I’m a professional concert violinist with over 25 years experience, but I did not come from a musical family. You see, mine was a blue collar background … Dad was a steel worker in the Ohio Valley, mom worked for the county. Little Nicky was a very lucky boy. My school system had a very active orchestra program, and I had two VERY supportive parents. They made sure I received good private teaching, drove me a long way for an excellent youth orchestra experience, and spent their meager salaries on adequate musical instruments.
I enjoyed all this very much, but I think I enjoyed watching my parents fall in love with great music more than anything. You see, I ALREADY loved it… That was a given. But I saw that ANYBODY can understand and LOVE great classical music. All they needed was EXPOSURE. Not pedigree, not special education; they just needed to hear it. This stayed with me….
As I left college and started my career, I saw my craft lose appeal in the general public. Many reasons for this, of course, but I noticed a continuing feeling of “separation” between the musicians and the audience. What to do?
Skip ahead a bit …. When the opportunity arose to start a chamber music festival, with the help of my lovely wife, and a few amazing, world class musicians, we all agreed upon the format. We HAD to create an emotional bond between the musicians and audience.
Our format has remained unchanged for over a decade, with outstanding success. We talk to the audience about the music. We tell them what to listen for, we give them musical examples, and, most importantly, we are accessible! We insist on post concert receptions where the musicians talk to the audience members. We answer questions, pose for pictures, and we’ve made lasting friendships. It is a festival for the people!
The result! Standing room only crowds, rave reviews, and a growing love of great music this area has never seen before! Audiences are routinely blown away at the intensity of the experience of seeing chamber music performed live by world-class musicians.
So, please, accept my humble invitation to join us, August 9-17, in beautiful Michigan City, IN for an experience you will NEVER forget! See www.mccmf.org for a complete schedule of events and venues. And remember, all events are FREE!
Viva la musica!