Sitting at rapt attention, more than 20 community members appreciated the musical stylings of violinist Bagus Wiswakarma and classical guitarist Larry Wilson on Thursday afternoon. The performance was part of Brightview Westminster Ridge's Third Thursday concert series.
Vibrant Living and transportation coordinator Larry Mann said the organization has held the concerts for at least three years.
"The original reason was to bring cultural awareness to the Westminster area," Mann said. "We wanted to bring in classical performers to put on concerts for the residents and the surrounding community."
Wiswakarma and Wilson are part of the local non-profit Opus Community Music School, formerly the Carroll County String Project. Mann said the school provides non-profit musical instruction programs for all ages. One of Brightview's residents, Peggy Ward, is one of the founders of the program.
"She was instrumental in starting the program here and finding the performers," Mann said.
Ward, a viola player, moved to Brightview in 2014 and said the activity director asked her what she could contribute.
"I said I could offer lessons and bring in professionals and students to show what they can do," Ward said. "I'm lucky enough to be associated with the finest musicians in Maryland."
Ward said she stopped playing professionally in 2002 after she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her left hand. During her career, Ward said she had "a lot of fun with famous names." She has performed as part of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
Ward said she recommended Brightview plan events ahead and she helped organize the concert series.
"It's fun because I love music and I want to share it with as many people as possible," Ward said.
During the show, Wiswakarma provided the audience with tidbits about each composer or arrangement. The duo played Robert Johnson's "Alman," Johann Sebastian Bach's "Siciliano," Maria Theresia von Paradies' "Sicilienne," Claude Debussy's "La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin," and Frederic Chopin's "Waltz in A Minor & Prelude in E Minor." Wilson also soloed with "Antigua."
Wiswakarma said the concert's main course was Astor Piazzolla's "History of the Tango." He said the composer's notes described "Bordello 1900" as high spirited and "Café 1930" as more romantic. He called the "Night Club 1960" a "revolution from the original tango forms." He also warned that "Modern Day Concert" was something "a little different."
The performance finished with Isaac Albeniz's "Tango" and the duo received resounding applause.
After the show, Wiswakarma said the pair put in a lot of work preparing for the performance.
"Music is something that is always personal," Wiswakarma explained. "It's a celebration. The more audience you get, the more energy. I can see how they respond and I can feel that."
Wilson, of Eldersburg, said he enjoys playing smaller spaces like Brightview.
"I don't like to amplify and people seem to listen in a smaller environment," Wilson said. "It's nice to have a local environment that's conducive to listening. They're attentive."
After the performance, resident Lou Howard said she "heard the music down the hallway and decided to find it."
"There was some music I knew and some I didn't," Howard said. "It was very entertaining."
Violinist Vince DiLorenzo, who has resided in Brightview for 7 1/2 years, called the performance "one of the finest exhibitions I've ever heard."
"I'm amazed by the quality of the instrument and how [Wiswakarma] was able to do it. It's just absolutely the best of the best I've heard," DiLorenzo said. "Any accolades they get, they deserve it. I can see why they're so in demand."
Daniel Young, of Westminster, brought his grandson Joseph Guerra, 5, to listen to the performance.
"I just want to expose him to the music," Young said. "They have lots of variations here. He grew up with Little Einstein and knows most of the instruments. We just enjoy it."
Brightview resident Felicia Geiter said she loved "everything" about the show.
"I loved the whole thing," Geiter said. "I love having them come here. I just wish my grandsons could have seen it. They love music."
New friends Bette Thompson and Doris Ernest, who recently became Brightview residents, attended the performance together.
"I liked it. I wasn't sure I was going to," Thompson said. "I was watching the violinist's fingering and bowing. I was amazed at the way the violin hit the high notes. I thought the music was comforting and enjoyable."
Added Ernest: "I admire that they're so accomplished. I enjoyed every bit of it. I'll definitely come back."
If you go
Brightview Westminster Ridge's Third Thursday Concerts: Cellist Maxim Kozlov
Where: 505 High Acre Dr., Westminster
When: Noon, Thursday, Oct. 20
For more information: Call 410-871-2225