Jewish Journal


by Joy Bennett

August 19, 2013 | 2:34 am

MUSE/IQUE Concert, Pasadena, August 17, 2013 photo by Joy Bennett

Last Saturday night I had the pleasure of attending the MUSE/IQUE Concert called "Lose Your Senses with Ellis Hall" conducted by MUSE/IQUE Artistic Director Rachael Worby.  The concert was held at Caltech's Beckman Mall in Pasadena, a wonderful setting. I had never heard of MUSE/IQUE until recently, but this looked intriguing so off I went.

It was well worth the drive from Santa Monica out to Pasadena.  First, the setting is very special and appropriate for what Ms. Worby's creative vision entails.  Second, the music was consistently performed with spirit and technical prowess.  Third, the eclectic but endearing musical program was quite refreshing, a perfect late-summer evening.  

I am someone who will soon fall asleep at your typical classical musical concert, hence I tend to avoid them, unless it's someone really special or the 4th of July where there will be fireworks to keep me entertained.  No such worries of being bored around Ms. Worby's orchestra and special guests. It was a great show, an eclectic grab bag of musical genres, and Ms. Worby led us all through it with unfailing enthusiasm, musical taste, grace and confidence.

The setting was also lovely, especially as the sun set and the lights dimmed, revealing the jumbo screens and lighting put out by the concert organizers, which was most appropriate and enjoyable.  Unlike some, I am a big fan of jumbo screens, and don't have a problem with them at all.

The concert was outdoors, and you were welcome to bring your own food and beverages, but a catered meal was available if you called to arrange it beforehand.  I did, and the food proved to be very nice.  The nearby parking is free, which is always appreciated.

The MUSE/IQUE orchestra is absolutely top-notch, of note was the violin soloist during the Beethoven piece.  It nearly brought tears to my eyes.  The orchestra played with brilliance and power throughout, it was awesome.

Ms. Worby often jumps, waves, and even strolls through the audience in her enthusiasm, and the Motown medley led by special musical guest Ellis Hall, the wonderful, five-octave range musician who really rocked out, got many of us dancing in the aisles, myself included.

After the concert, the audience was invited to a special champagne reception to meet the orchestra, with cookies, treats, and coffee for those of us who had to drive home.  The audience to a person were very friendly, the facilities were very comfortable, and they deserved, and received, a very large, appreciative audience.  I can highly recommend a concert by MUSE/IQUE, visit their website www.muse-ique.com for more information and tickets for upcoming events.

I am also continually impressed by the City of Pasadena for its cultural resources, beauty of its city, and kindness of its inhabitants.

Thank you to the MUSE/IQUE staff for inviting me, it was a most pleasant evening!

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Joy Bennett is a writer living in Santa Monica, California.  She is the author of Under a Quarter Moon, a poetry and short story collection; and is a contributor to the...

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