A Musical Feast
Art comes in many different forms. For some, painting and drawing is art. For others, music, dancing and writing is art. For area resident Akal Dev Sharonne, playing chamber music is art.
On June 15 at 3 p.m., A Musical Feast will give the concluding concert of its first season at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Boone. The group will be performing works by Mozart, Beethoven and others.
Chamber music provides the opportunity for voices to be heard, for individual sounds to be crafted. It differs from an orchestra, performing artist Margaret Bragg said.
“When you play in an orchestra, what you do is important but no one really hears it,” Bragg said. “With chamber music you really have a voice, I would say.” Bragg recently retired from 40 years with the Houston Symphony and spends about six months out of the year in Boone, usually during the summer, to escape the overbearing Texas sun. Bragg plays chamber music at home in Texas and said she looked around for other players in Boone because of her love for the easygoing group.
“Oh, it’s great fun,” Bragg said. “It’s really, really fun.”
Sharonne, artistic director and founder of A Musical Feast, said she got a very enthusiastic response from people she originally invited to join the group.
“What happened is that, in the last several years, it seemed that all of a sudden there was this influx of terrific classical musicians into our area and, for the most part, people who, generally, are not often heard in concert because of having independent affiliations,” Sharonne said. “And so I got this idea to bring us all together, so that we can do what we love so much, which is playing chamber music.”
Sharonne said Bragg’s performance on the violin will be highlighted at Sunday’s concert; however, several other musicians will be performing, as well. The lineup includes flutists Kay Borkowski and Sharonne herself, Jessica Warner on oboe and English horn, violinist and pianist Laura Coston, guest violinist Eric Koontz, soprano Linda Larson and pianist Melissa Lesbines.
Sharonne said educating people about the importance of professional artists in the community is something she strives to do on a day-to-day basis.
“Paying artists is one of my missions in life, and educating people about the importance of compensating our artists for their professional service is one of my personal missions in life,” Sharonne said.
Sharonne said there has been some change in personality in the group because of the fluidity of people coming and going due to necessities of life, such as moving, sick family members and other life changes.
“There have been some changes in that regard and, you know, I think that’s probably to be expected, and it’s OK,” Sharonne said.
Though “A Musical Feast” continues to evolve and change, Sharonne expects big things to come in the fall when the group opens its second season in September. The group has been invited to give a benefit concert for the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge Sept. 14. The fund seeks to raise money for women in need, and Sharonne said she hopes to create a program focused solely on female composers.
As Sharonne looks to future concerts with hope and enthusiasm, she said there is still much work to be done in preparation. “There are a lot of different pieces to the puzzle, a lot of parts to the chess game,” she said.
General admission to Sunday’s performance is $15 or $10 for full-time students who show valid ID cards. Following the performance, Bare Essentials Natural Market will host a reception.
In order to honor fathers in the audience, as Father’s Day is June 15, fathers will be allowed to enter a drawing for a free ticket to one of A Musical Feast’s next season concerts. Winners will be announced following intermission. For reservations, call (828) 264-1384. St. Luke’s is located at 170 Councill St. in Boone.