As our 2016-17 season nears its end, we have been thinking about some of the best Chopin moments from the past 12 months.
Each of us in D5 has a different favorite Chopin memory!
We have performed the Chopin Preludes quite a few times this past year, and each performance is so different. That is incredibly exciting in a concert. One of my favorite experiences was one of our earlier performances of the Preludes at the Riverdale Town Center Market. It was outdoors, people were drinking beer, and it was such a relaxed atmosphere. There were times—just like in a concert hall—where you could feel the energy of the audience engaged and really listening to the music.
My favorite Chopin memory was when we first performed the preludes in their entirety last October for the Little Flower Concert Series. As we prepared for this performance, rehearsals were understandably a bit more tense and urgent. We all knew this was a huge undertaking. When we were finally backstage before the performance, however, there was a different energy in the air. Our doubts and worries weren't completely gone, but to me, they felt insignificant compared the eagerness and excitement to finally share this great transcription of these amazing pieces.
District5 + David Plylar at Little Flower Concert Series - Oct 2016
It’s hard to pick a favorite Chopin memory from this past season with District5. I’ll bend the rules and say it’s a tie between Little Flower in Bethesda and St. Mark’s out in Chesapeake. I distinctly remember after both of these performances, audience members coming up to me and sharing little pieces of their lives with me. I think District5 must be doing something right—and doing justice to this great music—in order for this to happen. What else could inspire perfect strangers to pull out a photo book of their grandchildren (not iPhone photos, mind you, a very real and physical photo book!), or reminisce on a childhood summer memory after noticing my Cape Cod sweatshirt, or otherwise seek small ways to connect? It felt like these Chopin performances had unlocked something in the listeners—removed the space between previous strangers and myself—and I felt my heart vibrate with this new, vulnerable energy. I hope it doesn't sound too cheesy, but it’s often these moments after a performance that are so special to me. It’s what fuels me as a musician.
My favorite Chopin moment was discovering how perfect this music sounds on a cold night inside the beautiful Millstone Cellars. The Preludes really come alive outside of the concert hall! That evening was also my first introduction to craft ciders, an incredible discovery!
Laura B and Alison at Millstone Cellars - Dec 2016
My favorite performance of the preludes has to be when we performed all 26 preludes at the Kosciuszko Foundation. I had only been in the quintet for four months at this point, so it was my first time performing more than just a small set of the preludes. But that performance was so powerful. It was such a physical and emotional experience; I felt like I truly left my blood, sweat, and tears on the stage after it was over!
District5 at the DC Kosciuszko Foundation
We are looking forward to all the great Chopin memories to come!
It's exciting that District5's first album after 4 years together (!) will be of the complete Chopin preludes. This music is so special. We hope that recording an album will help this stunning wind quintet transcription have a much wider reach and a longer-lasting impact!
You can help us reach our fundraising goal here.
Thank you + much love,
P.S. To our concert-goers: we'd love to hear what your favorite Chopin memories are!