Having only heard the sounds of oboes played by 14-year-olds in eighth grade band class, I was more than a bit leery to attend Gary Moody's "From Russia With Love" concert Monday night at the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall.
After hearing butchered performances emanating from the should-be graceful instrument, I went to the performance with my ears primed for plenty of squeaks and squeals.
Instead, my ears were pleasantly surprised at the treat they received. Moody broke the hideous stereotypes and apprehensions engrained in my mind and replaced them with beautiful and fond memories of the oboe.
Despite the expansiveness of the concert hall, Moody's performance felt as intimate as if in any of the trendiest coffee shops. With his soft black loafers tapping and rocking casually on the ground as his finger confidently danced along the keys, Moody knew how to make the crowd feel right at home.
Although he was quiet in between most pieces, there was never an awkward silence between him and audience members. You felt more like you were peeking at the performer through a practice room door rather than putting him on the spot.
Some of the pieces performed at "From Russia With Love" included the gracefully done "Romance" by Gyorgy Sviridov, and the brilliantly executed "Variations on a Theme of Beethoven" by Theodor Leschetizky. While I praise Moody for his performance, it wouldn't be fair to ignore his wonderful accompanist Bobbie Mielke. Mielke was the frosting on the cake. Without her timing and intuition of where Moody was going with a song, the evening's music would have suffered greatly.
However, sitting in my comfy chair enjoying the music and feeling more cultured, I couldn't get one nagging thought out of my head – where was CSU? In a concert hall that easily holds a couple hundred people, only 20 to 30 were present at the performance. It saddens me that 10,000 students will show up to a football game, but not even 10 will show up for a cultural event such as this. Most of the attendees were not students but faculty and community members. Rather than simply ignoring signs for art events, students should take note and try something different for an evening. You never know when it might spark a new interest or turn out to be something you really enjoy.
That held true for me with Moody's performance. I went prepared with earmuffs to drown out squeaks of the oboe that I was so accustomed to from junior high band yet went away with awe and a new appreciation for Moody and his oboe.
I give it: 4/5 stars