The weather was incredibly cold outside. Everyone was bundled up in massive winter coats, but January 23rd was warm and toasty inside Callaway Auditorium. The PoPs concert with the Gary Motley Trio and the LSO Chamber Orchestra was the perfect thing to attend. It was like a hot toddy to bring your spirits up and was especially enjoyable on a wintry weekend.
First of all, the stage was set up perfectly where the three instruments of the trio were acoustically featured and blended very well with the large number of musicians in the Chamber Orchestra. This can be difficult because even though it was not a full orchestra, numerous stringed instruments together can produce quite a volume. However, neither the trio nor the orchestra overpowered but rather they complemented each other. Fine musicians, good planning, technical savvy and a knowing maestro are to be appreciated here. Gary also commented on what a terrific venue we have in Callaway Auditorium and how nice it was to play in such a beautiful and acoustically rich facility.
It was apparent that the bass, one of the instruments in the trio, had a lot of miles on it as it had some extensive travel wear. For a Jazz enthusiast, that is quite a good sign that the music will be terrific and it certainly was. Feet were tapping and heads were keeping time with the grooves all across the auditorium.
Gary Motley, of course, was on the piano.
Neal Starkey was on bass,
and Emrah Kotan was on drums.
Joining the trio on a few numbers was Veronica Motley, singer and composer. She has an unbelievable vocal range and is the beautiful wife of Gary Motley.
Our own Maestro, Richard Prior, corroborated with the Gary Motley Trio and perfectly blended in the LaGrange Symphony Chamber Orchestra.
Several of the numbers were original compositions by Gary and his wife or original interpretations by the trio. In between numbers, Gary talked about the music to give us a better understanding of from where the piece came and what made it special enough for him to include in the line-up. This extra insight made the concert that much more delicious.
We heard songs about love, dreams, stars and one lyric stated, “You won’t forget me… wait and see.” When the concert ended, the audience gave a standing ovation and insisted on one last encore performance.
Too soon it was again time to get bundled up and brave the weather. We had forgotten about the cold temperature outside, but we won’t forget the PoPs concert with the Gary Motley Trio and the LaGrange Symphony Chamber Orchestra.
Here are a few photos from the fabulous reception afterwards.