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Fellow Spotlight- Clara Davison

December 5, 2017 by Staff

The first Classical Music Rave in North America occurred at Trism last week, and the event was put on by BLF Class of 19’s very own Clara Davison and her student organization, CELLOHIO. The rave, known as ‘Party Arty’, was DJed by Mr. Van Walsh who traveled all the way from Amsterdam. It also consisted of performances by CELLOHIO, Sweet Tooth and Xioma. Mr. Van Walsh takes classical music and transforms it in arty settings, allowing for a relaxed structure in comparison to a traditional classical music concert. The rave projects classical music infused with dance music and EDM for all to enjoy. Mr. Van Walsh has been arranging raves internationally since 2013 in locations including Australia, Brazil, Belgium and Turkey with audiences of up to 1,500. 

Clara first was inspired to initiate the Classical Music Rave in North America last summer. She explains, “Last summer, I was an Arts Administration Fellow at the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival outside of Charlottesville, VA. During the final performance of Brahms’ First Symphony, all of the fellows and I decided to dance in the back of this gorgeous pavilion in the Blue Ridge Mountains to make the musicians onstage laugh. As we were messing around, I realized that dancing to classical music would be a perfect event for CELLOHIO, the cello studio ensemble. I serve as executive director for CELLOHIO, and our mission is to bring compelling performances to dynamic spaces.”

Clara began engaging in research for the topic of integrating classical music into a party setting. She then stumbled across the Classical Music Rave online. She reached out via email, and Brendan Jan Walsh replied. After their initial conversation in September, Clara met with TRISM, who generously allowed them to experiment in their space. She then had to raise the funds to enable Brendan Jan Walsh to join CELLOHIO from Amsterdam, which she stated was the most challenging part of the event planning. The Barnett Center for Integrated Arts & Enterprise and Puffin Foundation West were willing to support the venture, which Clara was very grateful for. Throughout the process, Clara enjoyed collaborating with Sam Johnson, the Artistic Director for CELLOHIO, and Sarah Troeller, the Social Chair, to work through the flow and the details of the night- which was a huge hit!

The future of the classical music infusion is bright and exciting. Looking forward, Clara states, “I know CELLOHIO will continue to do fascinating work on the cutting edge of the indieclassical movement– breaking down barriers between genres and bringing the classical perspective to all music.” We look forward to the continued work of CELLOHIO. Congratulations on the success of your event, Clara! You are truly leading with edge. 

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