Bringing Bach to You

Last week I was sad.

This week I am frustrated. There were the same number of people on stage last night for Orchestra Iowa’s “Bachtoberfest” concert as in the audience. In a college town. Well, the university that was voted the biggest binge drinking school in the country. But there was beer advertised in conjunction with this concert! (One of the trumpet players, Aren, has his own brewery and makes wonderful craft beers with names like “Symphony Stout.” Check them out!

We were up against a big high school football game, The Iowa City West vs City High Battle for the Boot. I just can’t help wondering how it would be if someday classical music could become part of family tradition and routine in the fall, just like football.

Tomorrow we have a “run-out” concert to Ottumwa. Although I feel a little grumpy about spending a lot of time in my Toyota on a beautiful Sunday when I should be doing a 10-mile run in preparation for my half-marathon next week, I know we need to do these types of concerts.

We need to bring music to people who might not hear it otherwise.

Ironcelloman, who I’ve mentioned before in this blog, has taken it to a new level. He’s started a very cool project called “Bach to Work.” Inspired by musicians like Matt Haimovitz who toured the country at the height of his performing career to play Bach in bars and coffee houses, and a viral video about Joshua Bell (super-famous violinist) who played in the subway and no one recognized him, he is bringing the beauty of Bach to unexpected places.

In other words, if you won’t come to us, we will come to you.arnone_dsc7799

Please take a minute and watch this great video of Tony bringing Bach to places like a dentist’s waiting room, the UI gym, and a popular deli. He is not paid or sponsored to do this. It grows out of his desire to help music endure, to educate, to proximate and to inspire.

Be surprised, be overblown by the passion in Bach’s music, but please come find us in the concert hall. Find a concert near you, and if you come to Orchestra Iowa ( or Quad City Symphony (, seek me out.


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