Thoughts on the Porter Phelps Concert

The Classical Group performed Bach and Mozart at the Porter Phelps Huntington Museum in Hadley MA on Sunday, September 23, 2018.  Attending were Josh Bell on mandolin, Will Melton on mandola, Joe Blumenthal on bass, Barbara Blumenthal on mandolin, Keith Higginson on mandolin, Nancy Kida on mandolin and yours truly (Adam Sweet) on mandolin and mandocello.

The Classical Group and Josh Bell
The performance was held in the "corn barn" a section between the main house and the side house which is usually quite nice in the spring and fall, but very cold on Sunday.  We were not prepared with sweaters as we should have been.  It was a chilly performance.

The Corn Barn - Porter Phelps Museum
Usually the barn is packed to the gills, but the turnout was miserable.  We had perhaps a half-dozen in attendance, and most of them were students and family.  The Daily Hampshire Gazette, which usually is on the ball when we give them plenty of notice, forgot to post our announcement and picture, and apparently ignored the same press release from the Museum.  Susan Lisk, the manager, mentioned several times how disappointing it is that they failed to follow through on the publicity we required to notify the usual audience.

Will Melton Introducing the Music
The performance itself was mediocre.  In all honesty, the best part of it was Will Melton's introduction at the beginning and before the Mozart.  The instruments were tinny and quiet.  People came in at the wrong places and weren't playing together.  Nobody was listening to each other either.  I've never been more horrified of a public performance than I was on Sunday.  Perhaps it was the cold.  Who knows.  I must put on my thinking cap and revisit my plan for this ensemble.





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