Concert Series Brings Classical Music to Unexpected Places

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A string quintet performing Mozart is certainly not something everyone expected to hear at Summit County Probate Court in the middle of February, but it was a welcome break for many employees and visitors to the courthouse. It’s part of a series called “Decompression Chamber” from Tuesday Musical in Akron.

“The Decompression Chamber is focused on taking high-class, classical music into high-stress work environments,” Jarrod Hartzler, Tuesday Musical’s artistic director, said. “The space is beautiful. We know that people are coming here for sometimes happy things, and sometimes challenging things, but that it would just be a perfect fit, so we were pleased and delighted to be here today.”

So far, they’ve visited the Akron Municipal Building and Akron General Hospital, which Hartzler says was a memorable experience.

“The chaplain stopped by and she said my whole day is walking from death and dying to more death and dying so to have just a few minutes to recharge and find something beautiful in the middle of the hall in the hospital was a really great benefit to her,” he said.

Numerous studies have been conducted about the benefits of classical music. Researchers from the University of California in San Diego found people who listen to classical music have lower blood pressure than people who don’t. And a 2006 study from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation shows a decrease in pain and depression from people who listen to any music.

That’s good news for the people in the audience, like Terre Vance, who works at the courthouse. She enjoyed the convenience of a lunchtime concert without having to go outside on a cold February day.

“It’s wonderful. It’s up close, it’s personal, it’s a nice little refreshing break,” Vance said. “Who doesn’t love classical music?”

Violinist Siwoo Kim says he enjoys performing for a casual, smaller crowd.

“This is really cool because it was intimate, and we were able to just talk casually to the audience, I think that's very important. I think this is a fantastic idea to bring the performance to a differnet venue, just to the people," Kim said. "I hope it brightened all their days, it certainly did for me.”

Kim thinks the smaller venue helps people connect with the music. He wants to shatter the notion that classical music can feel distant.

“It should be accessible to all and it shouldn’t feel foreign, I think, and that’s what a lot of us are working toward, trying to create a new culture appreciating classical music,” he said.

Hartzler, who helps organize and plan the concerts, says they don’t have another venue lined up yet, but they are open to suggestions.

“We’re looking for any kind of environment where an afternoon, 45 minutes of music would make the day better,” Hartzler said.

You can find contact information for staff to share your idea for their next concert by going to Tuesday Musical’s website.

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