Aural indulgence from the Chamber: A concert of vocal and instrumental music

Bellevue College’s mute electronic crier stationed near the highway informed those who looked upon it on Thurs., Nov. 6 that there was a show called “Music From the Chamber” playing at 7:30 p.m. The doors of Carlson Theater opened and allowed entry to those fortunate enough to have the spare $3 and the good sense to spend it on a two-hour chamber concert. At less than a third the price of an average movie ticket, the right to sit in a sea of warm and living sound waves was quite the bargain for anyone seeking a relaxing end to their day.

The production was organic as the acts were given much leeway in their routines. When a performer took the stage they often informed the audience of a change to the program, but only one alteration was lamented: the unannounced halving of Valeri Lopez’s set. However, the unexpected alteration was predominantly positive and after a rousing drum-line, Kishan Patel announced that his second piece would not be another snare drum solo as the program indicated, but instead an improvised raaga sung along to a synthesized drone emanating from his phone. Realizing what was to come, Josh Brown, a music theory student in attendance, exclaimed, “this is so legit,” with the emphasis insisted upon by Brown personally and explicitly to be “italicized and bold,” included in the final product to accurately convey his words, while the drone began. The rest of the audience paralleled the emotions of Brown, and as the evening progressed the enthusiasm behind each applause grew.

Dr. Cobb stated that, “the goal of this concert is to have music be acoustic. So, acoustic doesn’t mean just classical; it could be acoustic jazz, or singing in a pop style, but it could also mean music of different cultures, not just western cultures.” The night showcased an eclectic array of talent and instruments: several solo guitar pieces, piano, violin, viola, cello and the Indian raaga as well as a duet between the ancient central Asian instruments, the robab and santoor. A melodeon made an appearance and after, a trombone and trumpet transformed the raspberries of their owners into a masterful accompaniment to an original number by Valeri Lopez. Rounding off the night came three songs from the Momma’s Boys, a resident barbershop quartet composed of the brothers Kelly, whose energy and talent saw a delightful end to the show. Each act exemplified the results of dedication to and passion for the practice of making “music,” they all demonstrated in their own way just what a varied art that is.

At least one performer in each group was enrolled in a music theory class or received private instruction through BC. Michael Obermeyer, a second-year theory student and featured guitarist was amazed
by the talent of his peers; “as a musician you come in and you think you’re something, and then you hear all these different cultures and capacities of music and it just blows me away.” Obermeyer went on to say that Dr. Cobb had invited him with the offer to “apply your trade,” indicating Cobb’s hope for his pupils and their successful
futures. The dedication of all those involved in production allowed the audience of “From the Chamber” to engage in receptive communion with the talent of Bellevue College’s diverse and booming music department.

Participation in the quarterly Chamber Music Concert Series is open to all BC music students, including music concentration students, general music students, private instruction students, international students and Running Start students engaged in the music program.

Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact Dr. Brian Cobb at to learn more about the proposal process and how to get involved.