The second and most important day for us was on Friday. For me, the day started at 3:30am local time and after taking in some of the local atmosphere and of course…Starbucks coffee, Mark, Leon, Mike and myself headed to Whitman College. We rehearsed, checked our sound and got prepared for our workshop that we would offer the college students.
The group clicked immediately and I got the clear sense the music was going to be very nice. The workshop was great with an engaging crowd that wanted to know about the instruments, history and our experiences playing the music. We had a number of adults there as well. (I guess not everyone does wine tasting all the time in Walla Walla!)
That night was certainly an experience for all of us. The auditorium was filled and it was standing room only. I am not bragging, its just a tad uncommon for us to constantly have such an audience for this type of event. We performed Armenian folk material mainly with music from per-Genocide in Turkey. After the first song, the crowd was very appreciative and we knew as a musical group we were in for a good time that night.
The night ended in an eruption of applause and standing ovation and as Mark put it “the energy they provided us was exhilarating!”
I am not writing this to talk about how well we were received as much as how energetic a group of musicians can be when the crowd is “into the music”. As Leon would call us “a community of musicians”, he is so right about that description. Where can you find an abundant amount of musicians that can come together virtually from around the world and with little rehearsal – play great music…without sheet? Perhaps this could be argued by musicians, but I think when it comes to ethnic music, you cant compare them to other genres.
Thank you Elyse and Whitman College and most of all Walla Walla for showing a small bundle of Armenian musicians a great time!