One of the benefits of working at a University is you get easy access to the performing arts series many of them host. Granted, we’re not Harvard or Cornell or Duke that we can afford to “big names,” but we still get some great performing artists here. I tend to get the series because you can pay for it through payroll deduction (so I don’t have to somehow find $250 all at once, because I won’t) but more importantly, because I need to get out of the house and see something different occasionally. I don’t get enough of something different these days. As I said, I don’t know art, I just know what I like and the more I’m exposed to something different, the better.

Last night we hosted these guys

…in what had to be the single most eclectic musical program I have ever attended.

“Selection from Renaissance Dances”

…which was my favorite part until the end.

“Muy Linda

Galliard Battaglia

Little Fuge in G Minor

Selections from Carnival

Penny Lane

A selection of jazz from Fats Waller.

Amazing Grace, Air on a G-String

Killer Tango

Selections from Brahms

Suite from Carmen”

And played surprisingly well, even pulling off pieces you think could not possibly be played solely by brass instruments.

They closed with a ten minute selection of themes from Carmen, which, while playing, they acted out. With props. The result was a musical analog the Reduced Shakespeare Company. (Which I had the pleasure of seeing at the Southern California Renaissance Faire in the 1980’s before they became an institution. Oh, Hamlet running up the aisle of hay bales yelling, “Alas poor Yorick!” and spiking a rubber skull. ANyway…) Everyone loved it, and from the reaction of many in the audience, there were more in-jokes for those more familiar with the opera.

I wasn’t transported, but it was an entertaining evening.

P.S. I did not realize musicians were switching from sheet music to iPads, but it makes a lot of sense.

P.P.S. The trumpeters and trombonist are hot.


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