On Valentine’s Day weekend, audience members flooded the Crowne Centre carrying small gifts they had received from friends and dates to commemorate the evening. Soon, they would be dazzled by the musical talents of the Dover Quartet and the Brooklyn Duo as they performed their first Fine Arts concert at PCC. KaLyn Collins (Jr., IA), who is studying music education, was excited to hear from these groups. “I’ve heard of Brooklyn Duo before. They’re well-known enough that people in the music realm are very familiar with them,” she said.
The lights in the Crowne Centre dimmed and the performance began with the traditional Lord’s Prayer. As the Dover Quartet made their way to the set in the semi-darkness, a hush covered the audience as they waited for the Grammy-nominated group to play. Named among the greatest string quartets in the last 100 years (BBC Music Magazine), they started the concert with “Presto” by Vivaldi. The stringed instruments enchanted the audience as they played classics from Mendelssohn, Ravel, and Dvořák.
The concert then transitioned to classical musicians and YouTube celebrities, the Brooklyn Duo. Marnie and Patrick Laird founded the group in 2014 and were quickly established as one of today’s most successful classical crossover ensembles. The couple entertained the audience with various music, including classics such as Pachelbel’s Canon in D and modern pieces such as “What a Wonderful World” by Thiele.
Both groups joined together to close the concert with some familiar movie scores. Because one musician was recovering from Covid-19, they all wore face masks as they performed together. Prior to their final number, “Married Life from Up” by Giacchino, Dr. Dale Adkins, PCC’s Student Care director, presented the musicians with colorful balloons reminiscent of the film’s paradise-searching abode. “I thought you guys could use this,” he said before heading offstage.
The concert ended with a standing ovation. The excellent musicianship of the two groups moved the audience to applaud their gratitude. This led to Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” as an encore performance. Students appreciated how master musicians showcased their talents. “I’m a really musical person,” said Alvin Chapman (Jr., MD). “Getting a chance to see these professionals play at the highest level possible was definitely a phenomenal experience.”
The Fine Arts Series introduces students to performances that engage the mind and entertain. It also allows students to practice proper etiquette on formal social occasions. “For me, personally, I wasn’t exposed to a lot of different things like this,” said Lucas Whiteside (Jr., IL). “So, it teaches [students] how to behave in a formal setting, while giving us a time of relaxation and just more culture.”
With a variety of musical arrangements, this Violins and Virtuosos Fine Arts had something for everyone—a masterful and sensational experience to cherish, reflect on, and expand one’s appreciation of music.