As Rachel has said, the Portland Cello Project came to campus last night.  You should read her version of the performance here.

For me, this was only the second Norton Centre show I attended this school year.  I had been averaging at least 6 or 7 for the past three year, however; The Beach Boys, Four Tops, Temptations, Willy Nelson, Frankie Valley are just some of the ‘pop’ groups I’ve seen.  Iv’e made it to the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and numerous other lesser known quartets and string groups.  Last year I sat in the top row for the Blue Man Group.  For plays, I have seen Fiddler on the Roof, Altar Boyz, The Billy Joel Musical ‘Movin’ Out’, Camelot, and missed STOMP! by a week because I was overseas in London.

Pretty much, I’ve seen a lot of awesome stuff.  Unfortunately, when I looked at this years Norton Centre lineup, I was disappointed.

There weren’t many names I recognized, or acts that catered to me.  I was a person who wanted classic favorites that have come before.  Nothing too crazy, just shows I could appreciate, like when Pat Green came a few years ago.  This definitely didn’t happen.  Those who have followed the blog know from Andrew, Rachel and others about the cool pieces that have came through this year.  Unfortunately, for example, a Rock-funk orchestra didn’t appeal to me.  Looking back on a four year career at the Norton Centre, though, I have been more than blessed.  I can’t be mad about the lack of shows I was interested in this year, because the Norton Centre tried to expand my horizons- I was the one who didn’t let it happen

The goal of the PCP is to expand cello to music and places and people who haven’t experienced it before.  This has been the theme for the Norton Centre this year, and honestly it has been a genius marketing campaign.  Every act to come through the Norton Centre was new; they had never performed here before.  Reading the program, and the welcome by director Steve Hoffman, I can immediately see what he was trying to do.  Given the packed house last night, I have to say he succeeded.  At Centre, we are continually expanding horizons and pushing boundaries- even at the Norton Centre for the Arts.

The PCP was a little out of my comfort zone as well.  If it wasn’t for the above mashup by The Hood Internet, I wouldn’t have known about them at all.  However, a couple of my friends and I decided to give them a shot.  What do you know, we were in the first row.  Awesome. (As always, these tickets were free.)

They played a lot of ‘hip-hops greatest composer’ Kanye West, from the hit ‘All of the Lights’ to the PCP’s renamed big single ‘Ninjas in Paris‘.  The Lil’Wayne Lollipop concerto was also made for an interesting start to the night.  I didn’t quite get in the ‘tweet section’ like Rachel, but a few of my tweets made it on the big screen at intermission.  It was a pretty cool feeling.  As I left, I couldn’t help but reprimand myself.  If all the other acts that had come before were this good, what had I missed?

For all those coming to Centre next year, don’t let an entire year go by just because you are a little scared to think out of the box.  My experience with the PCP was awesome, and a great way to cap a four year whirlwind of culture, music, singing, dancing, and fun.

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