Classical Music Lovers Summoned to Gather, Play, Listen

Jan 24, 2018
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

A classical music jam session is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Martin Hall at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Beach Haven, with a snow date of Feb. 10. The invite is open to everyone with a love of classical music to participate and/or attend. Bring an instrument (or voice), music to perform with an ensemble or the whole group, music stand(s) if convenient, and friends. Attendees are also welcome to bring food or wine to share in addition to the refreshments provided. The event is sponsored by the LBI Arts Council and Rock Solid Productions, with the support of Holy Innocents’ through use of the facility. The afternoon’s program will be determined by the musicians and music available.

The first two such sessions, held in February and August 2017, drew dozens of music lovers of all ages – organizers Halley Feaster, Barbara Wheeler and Barbara Bishop, and their networks of friends and students, as well as new friends.

The idea, Feaster explained, is to create a setting that promotes spontaneous collaborations, whereby the learning is tantamount to the performance; to cultivate a “jam” vibe rather than an open mic feel. Instead of bringing a piece of music to perform solo, musicians are asked to bring accompaniment if possible or copies of sheet music to share.

According to Feaster, the most rewarding part of the sessions – what “has been really fun to see” – is the intergenerational bonding experience. Players of all ages realize they have something in common they might not otherwise know.

“By the second hour it feels much more relaxed,” Feaster said. “I really do look forward to these events. Each time, we meet someone new, and we get to hear and learn what their musical journey has been. And each time, we also get to see the progress and development in the people who’ve attended all the jam sessions.

“Another thing I look forward to with these jam sessions is the opportunity for my students to practice not only performing, but also playing in an ensemble setting. When you take private lessons, a lot of time is spent practicing on your own, which for some people is not as much fun as going out and playing in a group.”  —V.F.

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