OMAHA, NE— On a beautiful warm, sunny Sunday afternoon in July, over 300 people turn out to hear an Omaha Chamber Music Society (OCMS) concert. With the frequent dire predictions in the popular media about the death of classical music and its audiences, this large turnout should be sending a different message. The genre is alive and well, and its audience remains robust. And it seems the OCMS is on to something.
The concert featured the piano duo of Jennifer Novak Haar and Christi Zuniga, known as “Christi and Jennifer.” Ms. Haar, an Oberlin graduate, performs frequently with orchestras and as a soloist throughout the plains states. Ms. Zuniga is a Curtis graduate and is the principal keyboardist of the Omaha Symphony. She is from Atlanta and attended Clayton State University, in Morrow, Georgia, where she obtained a degree in piano performance.
ATLANTA, GA— The American prairies seem endlessly long and mostly uninteresting to people who drive across the country’s vast mid-section. The big sky with the big sun makes sunglasses and air conditioning mandatory in the summer. In the winter the wind and the gray can be numbing. But to those who live there and have learned to their land, it is a landscape made up of small and beautiful miracles. The wildflowers, the stalks of wheat, the symmetry of the corn rows, and the windblown trees combine to make a breathtaking landscape.