OGDEN – Locals will have a chance to hear a new twist on classical music when NEXT Ensemble performs at Alleged, 201 25th St., at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 30. The newly formed ensemble just had its first performance a few weeks ago.
Susan Campbell is one of the creators of the group of classical musicians. “NEXT Ensemble is working to challenge people’s conceptions of what a classical music concert can be. Everyone is welcome: there is no dress code, no rules about clapping, and in fact the only requirement is to relax and enjoy the performance,” Campbell said.
An important part to the group is the fact they are committed to supporting charitable organizations and each season will pick a charity to affiliate with and help. This season’s beneficiary is One Heart World-Wide, an organization that helps mothers in places ravaged by war or natural disaster be able to give birth in a safe, sterile environment. For the Jan. 30 concert, $10 of every $15 ticket will be donated to One Heart World-Wide.
“Our mission is to enlighten, inspire, and engage our community through the transformative power of music,” Campbell said.
The performers are musicians from northern Utah, primarily Ogden and the surrounding area. Campbell said they want to showcase local talent and will eventually bring in musicians from other regions of the state.
NEXT Ensemble is a 501c3 nonprofit with a board of directors and two staff members. Campbell is the executive director. While the group is not affiliated with Weber State University there are many faculty, staff, alumni and even students participating in the series of shows, which will be performed at Alleged this winter and spring season.
The performers describe the format as classical music with a twist – people can eat while the performance is going on and can dress however they want – something not usually acceptable with classical musical performances. Campbell said they want to widen the audience that enjoys and appreciates the classical music genre.
“We know there are people who believe a classical concert is stuffy and boring and NEXT is working to show that classical music is exciting by presenting the music in a different way,” Campbell said.
The Jan. 30 concert will feature a string quartet performing music about the night. The concert is titled “A Little Night Music,” and numbers include Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,” along with other string music associated with the “mysteries” of the evening hours.
Campbell and other members of NEXT Ensemble are excited to bring their music to a place where it’s been missing. “Where else in Ogden can you find chamber music in a night club?” Campbell asked.
The group is focused on instrumental music, but is interested in performing pieces featuring vocalists as well. This week, Gabriel Gordon and Andrea Peterson on violin, Helen Watts on viola and Austin Packer on cello will perform. On Feb. 13, Rob Landes, a classically trained violinist, will perform.