Saturday, October 22, 2011

An Amazing Concert

We heard Duane Funderburk and Alex Russell, The Los Angeles Collaboration, last night.   Oh, it was glorious!

Duane Funderburkis a graduate of Seattle Pacific University, and he was in Seattle to honor his former piano teacher, Marcile Mack.  She certainly taught him well!  He went on to study at Boston University and at USC.  His piano artistry and his thoughtful, powerful arrangements, full of life and grace, were very moving.

Alex Russell transports you to another place with his delicate, compelling violin playing.  He glides effortlessly to the highest possible notes on the violin, creating a lovely contrast to the lower notes drawn with a full, steady bow.

I couldn't suppress my joy as I listened to these two gifted musicians. They have played together across the country and around the world, yet last night's performance seemed as fresh and exciting to them as it was to the audience.  After the performance they chatted with concert-goers and were personable and appreciative of the many positive responses they received.

The concert consisted of classical pieces, hymns, and a couple of Gershwin numbers.  They were joined by an 18-piece orchestra for the second half of the concert.  Some of the orchestra members were current or past SPU students, a few were faculty members.  Others were friends of Patrice Weed Shearer, SPU alumnus and concertmaster of the Everett Philharmonic Orchestra. And a contingent -- students from Central Washington University in Ellensburg  -- arrived at 6:00, just in time for the only rehearsal.  You would have thought they had spent weeks in preparation for the concert but a few had never seen the music before!  Such accomplished musicians.

Indeed, the entire concert was a tangible expression of the name, The Los Angeles Collaboration.  Many thanks to all who worked together to bring such a fine concert to the area.

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They will be in the Northwest through Monday evening.  If you missed the concert and would still like to hear The Los Angeles Collaboration, or if you'd like to order a CD, check out their website.

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