The Hutchins Consort held its annual fundraising concert at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona del Mar on Sunday, Sept. 26—annual except for last year, when most in-person events were cancelled due to the pandemic.
But it was good to be back in person to experience The Hutchins Consort, a group of musicians that play on different sized violins – from a tiny treble violin to a large seven foot contrabass, all designed and built by the late luthier Dr. Carleen Hutchins. Her research into the acoustic properties of string instruments resulted in an innovative process called free-plate tuning—a precise method of refining the top and back plates of a violin before it is assembled to bring it to peak acoustic performance.
Hutchins Consort is known for its eclectic programming. Not content to merely play the classics, the group eschews formality and enjoys venturing into other genres, including blues, hence the theme of this year’s concert, Blues by the Bay.
More than 100 supporters – many appropriately wearing blue – attended the event, which began with a reception and silent auction featuring many unusual items including jewelry, pottery, wine, toys, and other fun items.
After the silent auction came the concert, featuring the Hutchins Concert with special guest Mara Kaye, a noted jazz vocalist who entertained the audience with a delightful selection of early blues music.
Kaye was an entrancing presence, counting off the intros and setting the tempo for each song. The Hutchins Consort became her classical-tinged backing jazz band, and somehow it all worked perfectly. Kaye is a captivating presence, but so too are the Hutchins Consort musicians, whose individual personalities and musicality combined to offer a fun and charming evening of music.
After the concert came dinner, and the chance to purchase the unique centerpieces, all of which had moving parts and a nautical theme.
Kudos to event co-chairs Barbara Woods and Julie Jenkins for organizing a splendid event, which raised more than $36,000 for the Hutchins Consort.
For more information, visit https://www.hutchinsconsort.org.