Impromptu performances please

Random Acts of Culture concerts relaunch this semester.

Chak+Hee+Lo%2FTHE+CHIMES
Back to Article
Back to Article

Impromptu performances please

Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES

Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES

Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES

Chak Hee Lo/THE CHIMES

Jessica Goddard, Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






While walking through campus on Monday, students could hear a soft melody as musicians ran bows across their instruments’ strings. They could see a string quartet posed in the center of the Decalogue Chapel near Fluor Fountain. Lovely and gentle could describe the scene, or perhaps, random would serve as a better adjective.

power to transform

The Conservatory of Music has relaunched Random Acts of Culture, a series of surprise mini concerts they host throughout the campus, and they thought the Decalogue Chapel would serve as the perfect stage for their first performance.

“It’s something that is a good element to have on campus to just have that uplifting through music at random times when we least expect, and so that’s why we have decided to relaunch it,” said Cassandra Nevarez, student leader of the project and junior music education major. “It’s very exciting to be a big part of that.”

Head of chamber music, coordinator for the string department and associate professor of violin Elizabeth Larson plans the Random Acts of Culture, and Nevarez has taken the student leadership role in promoting it. This activity will consist of around 10 impromptu performances by musicians from the Conservatory each month, with music ranging from a multitude of different styles.

“Well, I think that music has the power to transform even a moment in your life. We don’t know who’s walking by and what they may need in that moment, and so our hope is that it would just transform your day into something uplifting and maybe peace or some feeling of just being transported for a moment out of your daily mundane life and encountering art,” Larson said.

The Project’s Purpose

The project on Monday involved both the music department and the art department since it showcased musicians in the context of the Decalogue Chapel art exhibit. The performers enjoyed the experience playing in an unconventional setting. However, they also experienced the inconveniences that go along with such a performance, such as 96 degree weather.

“I enjoy it because it’s a performance that is incredibly low pressure. We’re playing for whoever wants to listen. And you’re playing because you want to,” said Alicia Starrett, violinist at the Monday performance and senior music education major. “By having it in a different place, different time[s] throughout the week, you never know who you’re going to get. You never know who God’s going say, ‘You need to hear this right now.’ It’s really fun.”

Multiple reasons stand behind the purpose for Random Acts of Culture. In one sense, it can bless students as they walk through the campus on any given day. In another sense it can prepare music students for larger scale performances.

“I feel like Random Acts of Culture just really gives us that opportunity to see what God can do on the spot with just a random performance and to really ease people in stressful times,” Nevarez said. “Just bringing culture to this campus through music and to also promote the Conservatory and what we have coming up. That way people can enjoy music even more for our concerts.”