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Playing a Side-by-Side with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra

Shauna Kaske

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Published: September 23, 2014 at 12:04 AM [UTC]

Going to class on a Friday as a college student is at best, mediocre, but this Friday when I went to sight-read the Holberg suite by Grieg, I was invigorated by one of the greatest- if not greatest- chamber orchestras in the world. The world-renowned East Coast Chamber Orchestra (also known as ECCO), not only swept me away musically, but their personalities are among the most pleasing and energizing that I have ever witnessed. Nick Kendall, Tai Murray, and Susie Park were just a few among the pool of immense talent. Friendly and engaging, these musicians breathe and move together like no other group I have watched. I remember seeing them two years ago and falling in love with their obvious passion for music. With their parts basically memorized, the interaction between stand partners left me- while I hate to admit- for the first time in a long while, not constantly checking my watch.

ECCO at the IVCI Classical Finals - Photo by Denis Kelly

Going into the side-by-side rehearsal, the wonderful Tai Murray hooked her arm around me and pulled me up to lead the group. I can’t say I remember the last time I was so nervous, especially during the solo in the last movement. Sight-reading in front of such a distinguished group is anything but calming, but their positivity gave me a newfound confidence.

I feel like a lot of orchestra rehearsals are spent on the negatives, but whenever us Butler students did something they favored, a unison of “Nice!” or “Awh yeah!” came from the ECCO members, even as we were playing. We ran through the music first, just enjoying the sounds rather than being critical. After the run through, ECCO members asked our opinions while also voicing theirs, making for a group effort of musicality. To be surrounded by such a healthy, encouraging environment made me inwardly pout when the two hours came to a close.

ECCO was in town to perform for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and I can’t wait for them to come back again.

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