A stillness settled over the community hall at West Central Episcopal Mission Wednesday night as rich notes drifted from the strings of a 1693 Matteo Gofriller Cello, and settled on the ears of Dinner Table guests and volunteers.
Zuill Bailey, artistic director of the Northwest Bach Festival and world-renowned cellist, strummed some of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous compositions as Dinner Tables guests — members of Spokane’s low-income and homeless community — strolled into the mission center for their weekly, free meal.
Music, Bailey said, should be like a warm hug, and should be so captivating that it stops people in their tracks.
“I just wanted to say thank you and bring you a little of that today,” he said to the guests.
Bailey is currently performing as part of the Northwest Bach Festival, which concludes this weekend.
He donated his time on Ash Wednesday to play at Dinner Table because, he said, “Music isn’t just for the concert hall.”
He said music is a source of friendship, life and peace and all people should have the opportunity to enjoy it. He said it quiets people, and helps them reflect and feel their inner emotions, which is why he wanted to give a solo concert to the guests.
Darrel Douglas, a regular Dinner Table guest, said listening to Zuill reminded him of when he was a young boy, studying music.
“It brought back good memories,” he said. “It was a very nice treat.”
The Rev. Kris Christensen, vicar and urban missioner of West Central Episcopal Mission Center, said it was unusual to see the dining hall so quiet.
“It was really interesting to me to see how engaged they were and how deeply drawn in,” she said.
Bailey will perform at the Mission Center again this weekend as part of the Twilight Tour of Bach Suites in Historic Landmarks.
The performance will be at Trinity Chapel,1832 W. Dean Ave., on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Tickets to Saturday’s concert at Holy Trinity are $20 and can be purchased at www.ticketswest.com (keyword Bach) or by calling 800-325-SEAT
More photos of this event are available on our Facebook page.
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