January 16, 2019
Writer: Virginia Henry

Thursday, Jan. 17 the Idaho Falls Symphony will host a unique musical performance. This show will be unlike any other you have attended before. The title of this show is “An Evening of Chamber Music: Project Percussion.”

“All of the things that are usually in the back of the orchestra that people can hear but they can’t always see up close, we’re basically bringing that out to the front of the stage so you can actually see what’s going on,” said Idaho Falls Symphony executive director Alekzandria Peugh in an interview with BYU-Idaho

That means the drums and keyboard instruments will be front and center. Not only that, but this concert is one of the chamber music sessions, which is a unique genre.

“Chamber music was developed sort of for the wealthy people who wanted to sit around in their living rooms and listen to music,” Peugh explained. “That’s where the word chamber comes from. It was literally music performed in a chamber.”

It was more popular in the Classical and Romantic Periods, but lots of musicians like to perform this genre.

Due to the close quarters a full orchestra doesn’t perform.

“It was smaller groups usually between 3 and 6 musicians,” Peugh said.

The concert tomorrow night will be hosted in the Carr Gallery in Idaho Falls. This will provide a more intimate setting, just like how this kind of music used to be performed.

“It’s considered more of a conversational genre,” Peugh said.

Audience members will be able to ask the musicians questions in-between numbers or talk to the people next to them. Not only that, but there will also be a dessert buffet and a no host bar. Attendees can snack while they listen!

This concert is special, not just because it is chamber music, but also because it is all percussion instruments.

“It’s a very rich family of instruments,” Peugh said.

There will be snare drums, triangles, shakers, key board instruments, a vibraphone, and even a flute soloist.

“The things that they can do with sounds and time is amazingly complicated,” Peugh said. “It’s a very different sound than the ones you get from string quartets.”

The pieces the group will be playing are also different from what audiences are used to hearing.

“The compositions … are all newer, they’re usually written in at least the 1900s,” Peugh said. “A lot of these composers are living, which is so new. There’s one piece that’s written by a living woman and that’s so uncommon.”

Hosting chamber music concerts has increased in popularity. The first year they only had one performance of this nature. Last year they had two and this year they will have four. The one on Jan. 17 is the second.

"It’s a completely different experience from what they will expect,” Peugh said.