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For those new to the art form, classical music often inspires a false sense of reverie - pomp and circumstance. By subscribing to this false narrative, we're building a Trumpian wall around classical music - forcing an unnecessary impediment to its accessibility. It's impossible to show respect to the art form by stripping its humanity and creating a cushion between the music and its consumers. There's a quiet hum of disturbance on the Upper West Side, though. The Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players' Monday concerts are that hum and they are bringing classical music to the people of the neighborhood in a powerful way.

I recently attended their Touched by Mozart performance and was enchanted with the delightful, charming programming and ensemble's accomplished playing. But what impressed even more than the virtuosic piano of Stephen Beus, the lively brilliance of Francisco Fullana's violin, or the intricate, sexy swagger of Jordan Dodson's guitar was the sense of community I witnessed that night. For the first time since moving to New York, I felt like I was attending an event filled with the warm comradery of suburban America. The good parts of suburbia, anyway...

Most patrons seemed to know one another, and even if they weren't best of friends, they mingled as they took their seats, happy to see each other. Once the program began, the players gave short introductions to their pieces and the audience sat enraptured, excited to hear the musicians they'd grown to love and respect. At intermission, the community of patrons took their refreshments at the side of the venue, catching up since the last time they'd seen one another - which, I'm assuming, was at a Jupiter concert the previous Monday. It's this touching, personal interaction that's missing from classical music today. This sense of community was warm and beautiful. Everyone was there to enjoy the performance and the hall was brimming with joy.

It was a beautiful reminder that high quality classical music can and does exist in places you might not immediately expect. It doesn't have to have the biggest bang or the fanciest concert hall to have a meaningful impact. Sometimes it's the simplicity of presentation that serves as the perfect pick-me-up at the end of a hum-drum day. I know I am excited to spend many Mondays this summer becoming a part of the classical music community that supports the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. I hope I'll see you there.

More info on the ensemble and their upcoming concerts here.

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