Tea and Symphony

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photo by Rick Palsgrove
A string duo from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra performed on the Groveport Town Hall stage during an “Afternoon Tea Tasting with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra” event on May 14. The duo consisted of full time professional musicians Jessica Pasternak (right) on viola and Yi Chieh Anita Chiu (left) on violin.

Tasty tea and beautiful music go well together.

Approximately 50 people enjoyed both by attending the “Afternoon Tea Tasting with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra” on May 14 at Groveport Town Hall.

Participants young and old sat at beautifully decorated tables and tasted a wide variety of teas from Japan, Great Britain, the Middle East, Germany, and Africa provided by the Zen Cha Tea Salon of Columbus. In addition they feasted on great food including cookies, cheeses, nuts, sandwiches, and of course, macaroons!

While enjoying the tasty treats and each other’s company, the participants also listened to wonderful music that enhanced the atmosphere of the event.

The music was provided by a string duo from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra who performed on the Town Hall stage. The duo, which consisted of full time professional musicians Jessica Pasternak on viola and Yi Chieh Anita Chiu on violin, played a mixture of pop tunes (including lilting version of the Beatles’ “Across the Universe”) and classical music.

“Anything they play sounds beautiful,” said Savannah Gonsoulin, community engagement and operations manager for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, of the musicians.
Gonsoulin added that Groveport Town Hall, which was built in 1876, is a fine venue for acoustic string music.

“This ballroom is very acoustic friendly,” said Gonsoulin. “It was built for this.”
Gonsoulin said the Columbus Symphony Orchestra likes to bring small ensembles out to communities to share the joy of music.

“We like to share music with people who may not have the access, the finances, or who live too far away to attend Columbus Symphony Orchestra performances,” said Gonsoulin. “It’s part of our larger outreach efforts.”

To hear more music from the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Gonsoulin encourages people to attend the orchestra’s upcoming events such as the Nationwide Picnic With the Pops in Columbus from June 18 to July 31; the Nationwide Popcorn Pops on June 24 and July 22; the Summer Concert Series; and more. For information on upcoming Columbus Symphony Orchestra performances visit columbussymphony.com.

Though it is the 21st century – as the tea was poured, the cookies munched, and the music played – the “Afternoon Tea Tasting with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra” was also reminiscent of similar events that were held at Town Hall in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The event was a nice link between the past and the present.

Most of all, it was a good time, as expressed by a participant who was overheard stating, “What a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon!”

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