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The Concert Truck

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The Concert Truck

VOA News
8 June 2018 (12:35PM)



Download The Concert Truck in MP4 format - 101.3MB - 4:45
If music were a constant in your daily life, would it activate your imagination? We look at two classical musicians who travel the United States - wherever the road takes them - to connect with a live audience. Faiza Elmasry, Camera: Mike Burke, Adapted By: Bronwyn Benito


((PKG)) CONCERT TRUCK
((Banner: Music on Wheels))
((Reporter:
Faiza Elmasry))
((Camera:
Mike Burke))
((Adapted by:
Bronwyn Benito))
((Map:
Baltimore, Maryland))
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))

The dream is to create a platform that allows musicians, not just us, but many musicians to share their craft and their art broadly.
((SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
Nick was actually the person who originally came up with the idea.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
I was traveling with my grandfather.
((SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
When they would dock, they would go to certain churches where he could practice. And while he was practicing, people would gather, drawn to his playing.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
And in the evenings we’d go to these town squares and people were all around, but there was no music.
((SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
After that he started thinking ‘Oh, wouldn’t it be cool if we could make some kind of traveling venue.’
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
Why not a truck that can go anywhere in the country?
((SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
When he came to me with this idea, I thought he was a little crazy. But people think it’s just really cool. A little bit insane.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
We started by winning a creativity in music award from our university in South Carolina and that was matched by The Performing Arts Consortium. They provide some financing for artists to perform. We also had a South Carolina Arts Commission grant. We’ve been to Columbia, Dayton, Ohio, Baltimore, D.C. And in Minnesota, we’ve been to Alexandria, Fargo, St. Paul, Duluth.
((SUSAN ZHANG, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
So we’ve been in a few schools. We’ve been to a children’s home. We go to restaurants, open squares, pretty much anywhere you can park a truck. We’ve probably done it, so far. Ideally I like to get about four hours of practice in each day. And then we also will rehearse an additional hour or two. I think there’s definitely a kind of endurance that you gain from playing on the truck. There’s so many distractions that are around and for you to be able to tune out and just really glue into the music is, I think, a huge skill. Sometimes the weather is not ideal. Like today it was very windy, so it was hard to keep our music on the stand. Sometimes you get rained out. There’s lots of noise, lots of distraction. Usually when we perform in the concert hall, everything is very controlled. Everybody is very quiet, and the lighting is just right. But in a place like this, anything could really happen.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
It’s an amazing time we live in because people can listen to music anywhere they are on their earphones with MP3 players. But, there’s something about live music that is essentially human and connecting.
((REBA CORNMAN, PASSERBY))
I was walking to the market, and all of a sudden I heard Prokofiev’s Cinderella being performed on piano. It was extraordinary. I love Prokofiev and I love Cinderella and it was just very magical for me.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
We think classical music tells stories that are universal, and we try and share little pieces of information that might help a listener clue in to the things that we feel when we’re performing it.
((JILL CIOTTA, FARMERS MARKET MANAGER))
And, because they gave a description of the music before they played it, what the scene would be, I think it really got people’s imaginations into it and they could really feel the music a little bit better.
((REBA CORNMAN, PASSERBY))
I felt the emotion behind their playing just reached to everybody here.
((NICK LUBY, CO-DIRECTOR, THE CONCERT TRUCK))
When you listen to live music, there’s an energy that you just can’t get from a recording. It brings people together, and for me, makes life worth living. We want it to be easier for people to share music. Classical musicians, but also we hope to collaborate with musicians of all kinds.

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