For anyone who thinks classical music is slow and mundane, the Grand County Classical Series concert on Feb. 10 was the one to prove them wrong.
The Zodiac Trio stepped up the tempo. But before performing the concert, they reached out to the children and students of our community.
The Zodiac Trio - clarinet player Kliment Krylovskiy, piano player Riko Higuma, and violin player Vanessa Mollard, arrived in Grand County on Thursday, Feb. 9, conducting assemblies for Grand County students.
Their goal: to expose students to classical music.
"Children are open," said clarinet player Kliment Krylovskiy. "Children don't know the difference between different types of music. Classical music exposes them to new and different sounds and instruments."
The response of the local school children was enthusiastic.
Third-grader Ryann Bielawski said: "It's new. You get to see people from different countries play their instruments. It was fancy music."
Krylovskiy said they visit school children whenever they can, "to expose the children when they are young, to build an audience for classical music in 30 years."
"I've been there (at the grade school) for three years. I've never seen any bands play classical music before and I thought it was pretty cool," said second grader, Maya Ellis.
"The children energized us; they caught on quickly, "said Higuma.
The children were then invited to the second installment of the Grand County Concert Series at the Church of the Eternal Hills.
The children continued to take it all in. Some fell asleep in their parents lap due to the hour of the night, another never missing a beat, waving her pencil in the air directing the group while she listened.
The trio kept the music lively with selected pieces that included Eastern European dance music by Paul Schoenfield and an Argentinean tango that blended classical and folk music. Krylovskiy called it, "A crazed dance."
Their third selection was written by the Zodiac Trio themselves, collaborating with a fellow student from the Manhattan School of Music.
Meeting at the school, each musician desired to be a part of a trio. They agreed to play together, and also agreed to the sacrifice it would take to make it as professional musicians.
After graduating from the Manhattan school, they all lived together in Paris for six years, practicing and exposing themselves to different music in Europe. Klimensky and Mollard now call Paris their home, while Higuma resides in New York.
Currently on a tour throughout the United States, The Zodiac Trio travels internationally playing in Canada, Japan, parts of Europe and China.
Their encore choice to end the concert was upbeat and was played for the children at the assembly. The children were asked to listen and guess what it reminded them of. Some were able to hear the sounds and identify it correctly - The Sprinkler.
Higuma related how she was exposed to classical music through her mother. "My mother wanted me to be a disciplined child, she pushed me to play. I hated it at first, now I love what I do."
Mollard's parents loved classical music, "They took me to violin concerts when I was very young. I have been playing since I was 4 years old. We try to reach out to everyone that we can."