I expected this afternoon's affair to be quite nice... it totally exceeded my expectations. When I let myself into Ivy Hall, I just stood in the foyer in absolute awe. The old Peters' House/Mansion (now Ivy Hall) was restored magnificently... magnificently. As a life-long student of art and architecture, my day would have been made if I had done nothing else the rest of the afternoon. Alas, I proceeded up the the winding, deep-tread, dark-stained, carved wood stairs to the second floor. Chairs were arranged in about five short rows and the members of the quartet were tuning up.
They opened with a piece from Hayden and continued with short works by Benjamin Franklin (surprise!), Charles Ives, Giacomo Puccini (surprise, again), Mozart referencing Hayden, and Hayden leaving us with his "Joke." These selections were chosen because of their nicknames or because they are a novelty. Members of the quartet gave interesting introductions to each piece. And although I may suggest that the performance was lighthearted, these musicians were by no means light-weights... they were so articulate, so deft, so clearly interpretive and so much enjoying what they were doing.
From where I was sitting, I was looking onto Jun-Ching Lin's sheet music and following along as he led his peers Carolyn Hancock, Daniel Laufer and Paul Murphy. It was a beautiful setting with beautiful music performed by some of Atlanta's top musicians from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. And it was an unbelievably casual, accessible, intimate and enjoyable experience. You get it, I'm gaga about the whole event.
I just want you to know how exquisite this was because it captures the essence of GOArts. Right here in our own backyard we have such talented musicians, some beautiful architecture, clever comedians, innovative artists & dancers and astute Shakespearean actors. I've seen all this and I have only been to four events--two of those being free and the other two costing less than $10 each with a discounted ticket from AtlanTIX... all this for less than $20. And it is not so much the cost that I really want to emphasize, but rather the quality of the experience and the friendship that ensued in discussions with the artists and curators and audience members---arts & cultural experiences are so enriching.
Please join me this month and go out and do a few cultural things that enrich your life. Take friends or family members along and share these quality experiences---have fun, laugh, reflect, discover, enjoy. Then try to make it a habit.
[For those of you tracking the gastronomic facet of this month-long adventure... after touring the house, my friends & I went about 10 blocks to Noodle for early dinner and then we swung back by Krispy Kreme to have a hot donut for posterity.]