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Victoria Bach Festival kicks off with New Young Artists performance

By Bianca Montes
June 4, 2013 at 1:04 a.m.

Faith DeBow, on piano, and Jennifer Berg, on oboe, play during the New Young Artists Concert at First United Methodist Church for the Bach Festival in Victoria.

Mina Hegaard said that when she was a child her mother would drag her to classical music concerts.

She hated it.

As an adult, Hegaard said, she learned to enjoy the depth and beauty of the music, and she now drags her daughter along.

"I want her to appreciate music," she said. "After all, she was born to Bach's cello suite."

Instead of the old, boring concerts that Hegaard went to as a child, she said she's able to take her daughter to something more entertaining.

Victoria Bach Festival kicked off its first noon concert of the week Tuesday to an engaged crowd at First United Methodist Church.

The New Young Artist concert highlighted the work of oboist Jennifer Berg and baroque cellist Jane Leggiero. This year was a first for both women.

The two played separately and joined forces with New Young Artist Coordinator Faith DeBow, who performed on the piano and harpsichord.

"It was all just fascinating," Hegaard said. "The combination was really special."

Particularly, Hegaard said she enjoyed the rarity of Leggiero's viola da gamba performance.

Leggiero, a 29-year-old from Austin, played a Sonata by Carl Friedrich Abel and one by Georg Philipp Telemann using the viola da gamba, an earlier ancestor to the cello and violin family, during the showcase.

"You don't see that often," Hegaard said.

The finale of the concert brought all performers to the stage, including violinist Susan Doering, for a group performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's Allegro Adagio. The performance left the crowd breathless.

Cora Jo Hummel, of Victoria, said she loved the togetherness of the final performance.

Hummel has been attending the Bach Festival since its early days and was almost lost for words when asked to describe her emotion about Tuesday's finale.

"They were excited, and we were excited," she said.

That excitement is the exact purpose of the New Young Artists concert, DeBow said.

"Just the energy and the passion that people have for the music," she said. "It's a good picture of how people who are so different can work together."

DeBow said while the young artists were selected on their musical merit, they also were chosen because they have a strong ability to connect with the audience once they are off the stage.

During the week, the young artists will lead three interactive performances, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the Victoria Public Library and again Friday at 10:30 a.m. at the Children's Discovery Museum.

The young artists will end their week at 2:30 p.m. Friday at Twin Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.



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