We were lucky enough to spend Wednesday evening at the Franco-American Heritage Center in downtown Lewiston for the annual Musicians’ Concert. All eight of the accompanists we have working at the festival were brought together for one evening of powerful music making. Many of our musicians have returned to us year after year to accompany classes, perform in the musicians’ concert, and teach classes on music.

Our musicians come from all around the country, and each bring unique styles, experiences and instruments to the festival. But their ability to collaborate with each other is what the musicians’ concert is all about. The evening is built so that each musician brings one composition or work that the ensemble can join. The first four pieces of the night showed the wide-ranging and unique talents of these music makers. From Peter Jones’ lush piano playing, to the incredible trumpet sounds that come out of Jesse Manno’s mouth, to the joy that Terrence Karn radiates while performing, we get to watch it unfold on stage.

The beautiful Franco-American Heritage Museum was our venue for the evening.

The beautiful Franco-American Heritage Center was our venue for the evening.

The immense respect that these men have for each other was absolutely apparent on stage that night. Nothing made this clearer than watching Rob Flax and Albert Mathias perform separately one after the other and both completely enjoy watching their friend kill it. Rob playing solo on his fiddle and Albert creating booming electronic sounds with his Zendrum was a beautiful juxtaposition.

The energy these musicians bring to the festival is incredible. Having their presence in classes, shows and dance parties is absolutely crucial to the atmosphere of this festival.  The beautiful understanding that they all bring to their art and accompaniment amazes me. We are so truly lucky to have them here. You can read more about these individuals and find there websites by reading their bios on the Bates Dance Festival webpage.

Shamou brought students up on stage to help him lead the audience in singing a few notes!

Shamou brought students up on stage to help him lead the audience in singing a few notes!

-Posted by Caroline Barna. Caroline is BDF’s Social Media Intern for the 2013 summer.

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