Concert Truck Transports Classical Music to New Audiences

2018-06-07

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1
  • Classical music is sometimes thought of as high art, performed in beautiful music centers to serious and wealthy crowds, wearing fine clothes.
  • 2
  • But two young musicians are working hard to make this kind of music more available to new audiences.
  • 3
  • Nick Luby and Susan Zhang do this with the help of the Concert Truck, a vehicle that carries almost everything needed for a musical performance.
  • 4
  • Practicing piano is something Zhang does everyday.
  • 5
  • "Ideally, I'd like to get about four hours of practicing each day."
  • 6
  • Luby does the same, especially on the days when the two musicians are to perform.
  • 7
  • After getting their piano ready, Zhang and Luby get into the Concert Truck.
  • 8
  • The two drive the truck to a farmers market in the city of Baltimore Maryland.
  • 9
  • The 5-meter long vehicle has audio equipment and lights.
  • 10
  • It takes a few minutes to change the truck into a stage.
  • 11
  • Then Luby and Zhang begin to perform.
  • 12
  • Luby says people can listen to music almost anywhere because of wireless electronics and devices that connect directly to the ears.
  • 13
  • But that experience is very different from attending a performance, he says.
  • 14
  • "There is something about live music that is essentially human and connecting. When you listen to live music, there is energy that you just can't get from a recording. It brings people together. For me, it makes life worth living."
  • 15
  • Zhang says the concert truck idea was Luby's.
  • 16
  • "When he came to me with this idea, I thought he was a little crazy, but then I watched this movie, Chef. It's about a chef who has a food truck and he travels across the country and I thought that that kind of life would be so cool, so I decided to go in on this with him."
  • 17
  • Performing on a truck in a city with the noise of traffic and crowds is very different from playing in a concert hall.
  • 18
  • "Usually when we perform in a concert hall, everything is very controlled, everybody is very quiet, and the lighting has to be just right. But, in a place like this, anything could really happen."
  • 19
  • The artists say they do not take it as an insult when people do not stop to listen.
  • 20
  • "When people walk by and listen for a second and keep going, you definitely notice, but the fact that someone will stop even for a minute is a nice thing to be able to share that moment with people."
  • 21
  • Reba Cornman was shopping at the farmers' market when she shared one of those moments with the two performers.
  • 22
  • "...all of a sudden I heard Prokofiev's Cinderella being performed on piano. It was extraordinary. I know they're trying to reach out to all kinds of audiences and being on a truck is such a remarkable way to do that."
  • 23
  • The Concert Truck has brought music to schools, children's homes and homeless shelters.
  • 24
  • And it has traveled to many places in the United States.
  • 25
  • "The dream is to create a platform that allows musicians, not just us, but many musicians, to share their craft and their art broadly."
  • 26
  • That dream is what keeps Luby and Zhang energized and on the road, bringing the Concert Truck and classical music to new audiences.
  • 27
  • I'm Caty Weaver.
  • 1
  • Classical music is sometimes thought of as high art, performed in beautiful music centers to serious and wealthy crowds, wearing fine clothes.
  • 2
  • But two young musicians are working hard to make this kind of music more available to new audiences.
  • 3
  • Nick Luby and Susan Zhang do this with the help of the Concert Truck, a vehicle that carries almost everything needed for a musical performance.
  • 4
  • Practicing piano is something Zhang does everyday.
  • 5
  • "Ideally, I'd like to get about four hours of practicing each day."
  • 6
  • Luby does the same, especially on the days when the two musicians are to perform.
  • 7
  • After getting their piano ready, Zhang and Luby get into the Concert Truck. The two drive the truck to a farmers market in the city of Baltimore Maryland.The 5-meter long vehicle has audio equipment and lights.
  • 8
  • It takes a few minutes to change the truck into a stage. Then Luby and Zhang begin to perform.
  • 9
  • Luby says people can listen to music almost anywhere because of wireless electronics and devices that connect directly to the ears. But that experience is very different from attending a performance, he says.
  • 10
  • "There is something about live music that is essentially human and connecting. When you listen to live music, there is energy that you just can't get from a recording. It brings people together. For me, it makes life worth living."
  • 11
  • Zhang says the concert truck idea was Luby's.
  • 12
  • "When he came to me with this idea, I thought he was a little crazy, but then I watched this movie, Chef. It's about a chef who has a food truck and he travels across the country and I thought that that kind of life would be so cool, so I decided to go in on this with him."
  • 13
  • Performing on a truck in a city with the noise of traffic and crowds is very different from playing in a concert hall.
  • 14
  • "Usually when we perform in a concert hall, everything is very controlled, everybody is very quiet, and the lighting has to be just right. But, in a place like this, anything could really happen."
  • 15
  • The artists say they do not take it as an insult when people do not stop to listen.
  • 16
  • "When people walk by and listen for a second and keep going, you definitely notice, but the fact that someone will stop even for a minute is a nice thing to be able to share that moment with people."
  • 17
  • Reba Cornman was shopping at the farmers' market when she shared one of those moments with the two performers.
  • 18
  • "...all of a sudden I heard Prokofiev's Cinderella being performed on piano. It was extraordinary. I know they're trying to reach out to all kinds of audiences and being on a truck is such a remarkable way to do that."
  • 19
  • The Concert Truck has brought music to schools, children's homes and homeless shelters. And it has traveled to many places in the United States.
  • 20
  • "The dream is to create a platform that allows musicians, not just us, but many musicians, to share their craft and their art broadly."
  • 21
  • That dream is what keeps Luby and Zhang energized and on the road, bringing the Concert Truck and classical music to new audiences.
  • 22
  • I'm Caty Weaver.
  • 23
  • Faiza Elmasry reported this story for VOA News. Caty Weaver it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
  • 24
  • _____________________________________________________________
  • 25
  • Words in This Story
  • 26
  • classical - adj. related to music in a European tradition that includes opera and symphony
  • 27
  • audience - n. people gathered together to listen to a performance
  • 28
  • audio -adj. related to sound
  • 29
  • stage -n. a raised structure where performers stand
  • 30
  • remarkable - adj. likely to be noticed
  • 31
  • allow - v. to permit, to let happen
  • 32
  • craft - n. a job or activity that requires a special skill