I help with the outreach of this group to Wausau, Wisconsin in the summer.
I must say that every year it gets better! One thing I have learned thoroughly is how important LIVE music is. It is something my former wife, a skilled pianist, said. (Too often - all the time? - she was right.)
From concerts by the South Beach Ensemble I have found pieces new to me that I added to my collection of downloaded music. Often that works very well, but not always. South Beach can put life into a piece that itself isn't all that great when played in a recording. The downloaded version might be "flawless" but it almost always lacks the presence and the excitement of people performing in front you in a real hall. I have found some new-to-me music through the South Beach Ensemble that was very satisfying to add to my collection of downloaded pieces but even then it isn't quite as fun or exciting as the live performance.
So I am VERY grateful to the South Beach Chamber Ensemble and hope to continue helping them out in their "Northern" outreach.
This review concerns the summer activity of the Ensemble in Wausau, Wisconsin. The programming there is under the name, "South Beach Up North." Every summer for the past ten summers, great music has been brought to Central Wisconsin.
This year I noted two things: First, the importance of live music. My former wife was a musician and she stressed the importance of live music. I took her at her word, but it is only over time that I have begun to see this for myself. Live music - real players performing in real time - brings life to music as nothing else can. I found this out in a backwards way when after one of their exquisite concerts I realized I had no recording of a certain 19th Century composer they had performed. Sadly I found that on a recording the pieces did not have the life that this group gave it; I am sure the performance by the professional group on the recording was very good. But live performance has a dimension that cannot be matched by recordings. So now I just take in the live music and get fired up and deeply appreciate the fact that is live! Secondly the range of what is programmed is fulfilling. Whether it is strictly classical or some mix with other styles I find going to program is having a full meal! And that is also very satisfying.
I would like to mention one other thing. In one of their performances the group always includes area high school musicians. This is not only enjoyable for the audience, but also it does wonders for young musicians and helps ensure a future in which we continue to have performing musicians.
I always get chills as I allow the cadence of the music come alive in beautiful spaces. Andrews, the artistic director always selects marvelous music for his grant funded program "Music in Beautiful Spaces. The collaborations with other local organizations are exciting and rewarding to us - the audience - and the cultural landscape of our town.
Their concerts are not to be missed for anyone who appreciates live music.
As an organization bringing art to the people of our beloved Magic City we always strive to break barriers and find that cutting edge where chamber music becomes accessible. We love to collaborate with other arts organizations and we love hearing back from our audience. We've been here for over 17 years and continue to grow and develop. We want you to come play with us - as volunteers, donors, general public, contributors (other organizations, performers, anything that creates an intra-disciplinary experience for our audience) and this is our mission: to bring the joy and beauty of music in all its forms into your life.
Summers are not usually a time for exceptional musical performances, but in Wausau, Wisconsin we have a unique opportunity when the South Beach Ensemble comes "up north". This is no mean feat, bringing musicians from around the country to show us their talents, but the results are always a treat and they certainly never play down to us. There is so much in the chamber repertoire that deserves to be played and the leader, Mike Andrews, always brings new works to the programs, which I particularly appreciate. Reward yourself. Come up north for South Beach.
It would take me far more than a minute or two to write about what a fantastic ensemble this is! I have experienced numerous concerts by these fine musicians and have appreciated every one. And, they've all been different! From traditional quartets, to puppet shows, to Rachmaninoff vocal music, they can do it all - they've even "popped up" at Whole Foods! One thing is for sure - you will never be bored when you experience South Beach Chamber Ensemble.
From classic quartets by Haydn, to pop music by Lady Gaga, this group has it all! I have been privileged to experience South Beach Chamber Ensemble's musicianship from the streets of steamy Miami to cool summer evenings in Central Wisconsin. With a vision of creating music to enrich the world, the insightful Michael Andrews, Director of SBCE, has successfully merged his traditional background in classical music with today's unconventional styles. The result of this melange is magical.
SBCE provides an artistic opportunity for all ages not only for the wonderful music you will hear but for the story behind the composers and the history of the times when the music was written. There are also numerous partnerships with other artist and community sponsors that bring enjoyment as diverse as poets, other musicians, puppeteers along with the SBCE. I have been to every outdoor concert in Wausau, WI and to several in Florida which continue to bring me much satisfaction, delight and peace. I especially enjoy the South Beach Up North pop concert and look forward to hearing them again next summer. You will not be disappointed!
Every year for the last four years, I have hosted a benefit concert of the South Beach Chamber Ensemble at my home. Each year, their appearance is more beautiful, inspiring, intimate, and wonderful than the year before...and I wonder how that can be possible. Friends, neighbors, and guests I've never met before fill my house in thrall. The variety of their programs, the musical pleasure and enthusiasm -- not to mention virtuosity -- they share has been a privilege to support, and I plan to continue in perpetuity.