1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Internationally acclaimed Barrage string ensemble performs at Transylvania with student participation

Members of contemporary string ensemble Barrage rehearse for their performance at Transylvania.

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Called a high-octane fiddle-fest, world famous contemporary string ensemble Barrage recently performed at Transylvania for an audience of Transylvania music students and middle and high school orchestra students and parents from the Lexington community.

At Transylvania, Barrage presented their integrated program to educate, motivate and inspire string students. Eleven Transylvania music students and 120 Fayette County middle and high school orchestra students participated in the concert, the high schoolers and Transylvania students played two pieces with the musicians of Barrage and the middle school students played one. Barrage conducted a rehearsal/clinic with the students in the afternoon prior to the evening performance. Barrage conducts about 30 of these educational performances a year.

Ben Hawkins and Transy students at Barrage rehearsal.
Professor Ben Hawkins talks with Transylvania music students waiting to take the stage and rehearse with Barrage.

Formed in Canada in 1996, Barrage has been described as “Stomp” meets “Riverdance.” The talented cast, which includes six violin players, one drum kit player, one guitar player and one bass player, is made up of an international group of musicians that all contribute an impressive array of multi-instrumental talents. The players are chosen during intensive audition calls that occur year-round and around the world. New players must train for several months before they are able to step onto the stage as full members of the touring cast. The show is on the road for over 30 weeks a year.

The concert and clinic were supported in part through a grant from the Ernest Woodruff and Susan Mitchell Delcamp Fund.