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Douglas Hosler

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3 reviews

Review for South Beach Chamber Ensemble Inc, Miami Beach, FL, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

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.

Role:  Volunteer

Review for South Beach Chamber Ensemble Inc, Miami Beach, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

Role:  Donor

Review for South Beach Chamber Ensemble Inc, Miami Beach, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Every summer a number of us get to part of the support for an extension of South Beach Chamber Ensemble's work in Wausau, Wisconsin. Some of the members of the South Beach Chamber Ensemble come to Wausau each summer and gather a few other musicians from Wisconsin to perform under the name of "South Beach Up North." There are a series of sometimes three, sometimes four performances of chamber music. These are done in different spaces around the city and with different combinations of instruments. The effect is to brighten up the whole city and the area. Members of the group always appear with an interview and a performance on Wisconsin Public Radio and that enables their work is heard more widely in the state.

Wausau is basically the central city in Central Wisconsin. This summer activity has had huge influence and it is indeed bringing South Beach up north!

My gratitude is unending as is that of so many other residents who long for live music that shows classical music is very much alive and speaks to all. The concerts mix more popular things as well as more esoteric things. Together with the energy spent by the organizers and the musicians the response is easily high enough to sustain the return of "South Beach Up North" each summer.

This extension is a gift from South Beach to Central Wisconsin and reflects extremely well on South Beach. A number of us in Central Wisconsin wish we could pay South Beach back!

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Role:  Volunteer