The Schubert Club’s arts ambassador program, Theoroi (pronounced Theo-roy), is well underway for the 2015-2016 season. Now in it’s fifth year, the goal of the program is to cultivate the next generation of Twin Cities arts audiences. The 30 members of this group (all in their 20s and 30s) attend a “sampler package” of ten performing arts events across the Twin Cities to get a wide variety of cultural experiences. The group then uses social media to share their experiences with their own social network.
The 2015-2016 season started in September 2015 and will conclude in June 2016. The group attends one performance per month.
In November, the group went to Mu Performing Art’s performance of Taiko Groove. Here is what Kristina MacKenzie, a Theoroi member, had to say about this performance:
I should start by saying I LOVE Taiko, and it is at the top of my bucket list of instruments to learn. Yet somehow, I’d never attended one of Mu Daiko’s performances. Despite my love of Taiko, I was a little unsure what to expect from a full program of only percussion. Well, I shouldn’t have worried. The performers wove complex rhythms into entrancing melodies for an almost 3 hour program that played more like a rock concert than a classical music performance. The dynamic range and energy was so impressive – and while the music was often repetitive, the repetition was never stagnant and only served to build excitement and tension.
One element of Taiko that attracted me from the beginning is the almost dancelike quality of playing – both the movements and the music are expertly composed and choreographed, but within that precise artistry there is a wild and unrestrained energy and joy that explodes from the stage, from both instruments and instrumentalists. I’m so glad this performance was part of the Theoroi season, and in the future I am going to see Mu Daiko perform whenever possible!
Then, in December, the group went to the newly opened Vieux Carre for a jazz performance with Pat Donohue. This space just opened several months ago, and used to be the Artists’ Quarter. Here is what Theoroi member Alyssa Scott had to say about this event:
I’m not someone who would typically seek out a jazz performance, so I was both looking forward to and slightly dreading this performance. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who felt some trepidation at the prospect of spending an evening listening to jazz music. In theory, I love jazz culture because it’s been romanticized by literature, Hollywood and everyone else. But would a real-life experience live up to that?
It certainly did. Vieux Carré offered the perfect atmosphere–dark, hidden, elegant but comfortable. We were there to hear Pat Donohue, who lived up to the title of guitar genius. By his second song, I found myself hoping that people would get up and dance. And they did! There’s something magical about experiencing live music, and I found that throughout the night there was a perpetual smile on my face. I’m officially a jazz fan!
The 2015-2016 Theoroi season will continue through June with its current members, but if you are interested in getting involved, we’ll be recruiting new members this summer. Get in touch with us now to get your name on the interest list or learn more about Theoroi at schubert.org/theoroi.