By Nick Nunn staff writer
Last Saturday, a troupe of more than 20 young bike riders lined up in front of the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center (MMCC), awaiting the beginning of the annual bike parade. Afterward, nearly 100 audience members enjoyed a free performance by Brooklyn Rider String Quartet. The concert, themed “Classical Music that Rocks” is part of MMCC’s 2014 Chamber Music Festival, which will be in full swing starting the first week of June. Bike parade participants were encouraged to decorate their rides according to the parade’s general theme. Rebecca Bonas, performance director at MMCC, said that the theme for the bike parade this year was “Most Musical.” Victoria Fraiser, whose bike was covered with sheet music, won first place in the Most Musical competition, and Emma Wisenbaker came in close second.
Each received a free CD from Brooklyn Rider before the concert began. John Garrett State Farm provided bike parade participants with water bottles before the race began and gave a short bike safety speech. After the parade, parade participants, their parents, and a group of Boys & Girls Club members made their way to the MMCC auditorium for a concert by Brooklyn Rider String Quartet. The concert was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A, Inc. “The kids really enjoyed the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, especially a new piece they played called ‘Five Legged Cat,’” said Bonas. “This piece by Venezuelan composer Gonzalo Grau was a commissioned work for the Amelia Island and Madison Chamber Music Festivals this year. Satruday’s performance was only the second time it’s been performed publicly.”
Brooklyn Rider also performed a movement from Schubert’s String Quartet in C minor and “Love Potion, Expired” by Lev Zhurbin. After the concert, free ice cream, which was donated by The Caboose, was available for the audience members. The next event in the 2014 Chamber Music Festival series is entitled “Virtuoso Romantics II,” and will take place at Bonar Hall on Friday, June 7. For a full listing of Chamber Music Festival events, visit MMCC’s website at http://www.mmcc-arts.org.