Singer Joelle Lurie, left, and violinist Sarah Whitney are featured in Beyond the Notes’ May 17 concert. Courtesy photo

Beyond the Notes pushes boundaries with immersive concert experience

May 14, 2024

By Laurie O’NeillCorrespondent

Have you ever attended a concert and wanted to ask a performer a question?

Audience members can do that with Beyond the Notes, an immersive Concord concert series, by submitting written questions that performers answer on stage. 

Beyond the Notes’ next concert is on May 17 at First Parish Church, featuring violinist and Concord native Sarah Whitney and vocalist, voiceover artist, and bandleader Joelle Lurie. 

They will present a “tapestry of solos and duos for violin and voice” representing a fusion of violin, loop pedal, and voice, and will “push musical boundaries.” 

The program will include works by Vaughan Williams, Louis Armstrong, Aaron Copland, and the Beatles.

Prelude music will be offered by students of the Concord Conservatory of Music starting at 7:20 p.m., and Acton’s Powers Gallery will provide stage artwork. 

Whitney, who’s been praised for her violin acrobatics and musical versatility, started the Beyond the Notes series nine years ago. 

“I wanted to bring a unique experience to the Concord community,” she says. “Beyond the Notes deepens the connection between the audience and the performers, which changes the audience’s experience.”

Whitney has performed worldwide and is a former founding member of a New York City-based string quartet Sybarite5, which had three albums reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Charts and was the first string quartet to win the Concert Artists Guild Competition. The group performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and many other acclaimed venues.   

Lurie has had a longtime residency at Tavern on the Green in NYC and has performed on stages at Lincoln Center, The Rainbow Room, Lollapalooza, and Birdland Jazz Club, among others. She grew up in Weston.

The program is supported in part by grants from the Concord Local Cultural Council and Acton-Boxborough Cultural Council. 

Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert, to be held in the Parish Hall at First Church, 20 Lexington Road, are $30 and $15 for students if purchased in advance, and $35/$15 at the door, cash or check only. Ten percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to support its climate change disaster relief.