Willy Street Chamber Players Take Classical Music to the Streets. And the Parks. And the Neighborhoods.

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“We go out to events like this because we’re interested in connecting with different audiences,” says Mark Bridges, one of two cellists with the Willy Street Chamber Players.  “This place in particular, the Union Terrace, is a really good place for us to do that. A really popular summer destination with a large diverse audience. Some people may not venture into the concert hall otherwise, so it’s a good place to connect with a new audience.”

The Willy Street Chamber Players can be found at the Yahara Waterfront Festival as easily as at Immanuel Lutheran Church, because building the audience for chamber music is their goal.

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Chamber music draws people in “because there’s so much going on,” says violinist Paran  Amirinazari, the group’s artistic director. “You can see the musicians communicating with over their music, through their sound, with their breath, with their feet, with their arms! In that way, communication is universal.”

“We create a sense of community by combining the arts and commerce,” says Rachel Hauser, who plays viola and violin and serves as the group’s development director. “We offer hour-long concerts where you can sit and enjoy yourself, then go off and enjoy the businesses the East Side has to offer.”

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The 2017 season begins at Immanuel Lutheran Church July 7 featuring the Brahms Sextet with guest violinist Suzanne Beia. July 21 will offer Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge, A Cycle of Six Songs with tenor Adam Shelton, tenor. July 28 includes Franz Schubert’s Quartettsatz in C minor, D. 703 and Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. Here’s the complete schedule.

And here’s a behind-the-scenes chat with the players themselves.

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