April 13, 2005


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Bach in a box
Bring your juice box and sandwiches to music concerts
By Richie Victorino  rvictorino@hippopress.com

While some might spend their lunch hour hunched over their work desks, staring at computer screens, others take a more relaxing approach to their breaks.

They spend their lunch hour inside a church. But it’s not a sermon from a priest they’re listening to. They’re listening to Bach and jazz guitarist Jim Hall.

Twice a month the Concord Community Music School hosts the Bach’s Lunch series. People come, with boxed lunch in hand, and listen to live (did I mention free?) concerts and lectures on music, varying from folk to jazz and classical. All the while these folks are picking at sandwiches, sipping on coffee and taking a break from the day.

Use it or lose it
For about four years the Concord Community Music School didn’t have a recital hall of its own. Instead, the school held concerts in local churches and theaters. But in 1998 they bought the building they currently reside in, and turned the sanctuary into a concert hall. Since then the school has put its new room to good use, hosing faculty performances as well as its first-ever concert season in 1998. The Bach’s Lunch series was a way to bring folks to the school mid-day. The audience varies from senior citizens to home-schooled students to folks on lunch break.

Mid-day lessons
On the second Thursday of each month various performers take the stage at the sanctuary/recital hall, while the audience fills the pews. Most of these music performances fill the room. Yet the school doesn’t only offer free concerts; it offers free lectures on music. These lectures take place on the first Thursday of every month. Usually the lecture and music performance of each month share a common theme.

“These lectures started when we got people who wanted a music appreciation course taught,” said school president Peggy Senter.

There are regulars who come to the lunch series no matter what lesson is taught. “They’ve learned to trust us,” Senter said.

Last Thursday Michael Annicchiarico was the guest lecturer. With a small radio in hand he gave a 40-minute lecture on the dynamic between bass and guitar duos in jazz.

“All they have at their disposal is 10 strings,” Annicchiarico said, before playing a song performed by Jim Hall and Ron Carter. “It’s like one person throws out an idea, and the other person comments. Then they throw out another idea and comment on it.”

On April 13, guitarist David Tonkin and bassist Don Williams will show, firsthand, how 10 strings (six on the guitar and four on the bass) can make a full-blown conversation.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

The Bach’s Lunch series takes place on the first Thursday of every month (lecture) and second Thursday of every month (concert) at the Concord Community Music School. Lectures and concerts always begin at 12:10 and run until 12:50 p.m. The school is located at 23 Wall St., Concord, 228-1196.

The next Bach’s Lunch lecture, “Our Man from Havana: A Composer’s Perspective” featuring speaker Jose Lezcano, is on May 4. The next Bach’s Lunch concert, “Music of the Americas,” on May 11, features flutist Jennifer Yeaton-Parris, oboist Stefani Burke and guitarist Jose Lezcano.
For more on the school go to www.ccmusicschool.org.