I went to this art party. It was 20% Boston and the rest were Brooklyn oh' Brooklynites. The place was grungy, with a black-lit smoking room, half inflated, half-painted balloons stuck between army boots and crumpled up business cards. When I noticed the elevated corner stage, I gasped a sigh of relief, something to do besides feign appreciation for bloody collaged art. The bands were expected; mostly metal, experimental, banging on trashcans with chicken drumsticks (yes, really). I was about to peace out of there, maybe by jumping off the roof, when I noticed the next band consisted of more than two people, actually, more than five people, there seemed to be about fifteen of them. More interestingly, they were lugging around real instruments. Cellos, violins, saxophones, a tuba, needless to say, I decided to stay a moment longer and see what all this could mean.
They were set up, squished on the corner stage, in what I can assume could be a small orchestra formation. The leader of them was a scrappy, but quite dashing young fellow, who wore circular sunglasses and a slung guitar. They started off, with a bit of an introductory jam, and who shall step in from the side, but the diva of all divas if there ever were to be no divas. She was fragile blonde and slender, but her voice was booming. The band, or rather, orchestral varietal, played their choreographed numbers, most of which had a polka feel with a classical dengue fever. The maestro pointed to soloists, with a sloppy guitar neck jut, the diva bopped along with a solo cup of god knows what, and they all played together, smoothly, organically, like they had done it a thousand times. I quite enjoyed them, and I have never experienced that kind of performance before.
Afterwards, I approached the frontman to get the scoop. Turns out they were students from the New England Conservatory, hence the obviously borrowed NEC music stands. Their orchestra was an attempt to bring classical music or rather a classical setting of music, to a different venue and audience. So far, they seem to be successful as they have been gaining recognition all over. I told him, somewhat in jest, that I would be interested in auditioning, and he politely informed me that I must attend the school to join the band. Wah-wah, we trade one barrier for the other. Still, I am grateful to have been present for that modern-classical performance in the pit of artistic despair.