Highline Quartet Candlelight Concert Lights Up Poughkeepsie

Throughout the next few months, the Highline Quartet will be performing at the Living Water Church in Poughkeepsie. The Quartet will be playing classical renditions of songs from modern musical icons such as Taylor Swift and Adele, in venues lit entirely with candlelight. The Quartet, which features four talented string musicians, has already performed on a string of candlelight concerts in Poughkeepsie and New York City. The most recent being on March 15, when the quartet performed two concerts, a tribute to Queen at 6 p.m. and a tribute to Adele at 7:30 p.m.

The tribute to Queen was a 65-minute set that started with “Don’t Stop Me Now.” While the quartet played, hundreds of electric candles decorated the stage and floor, illuminating the Quartet, who sat in the middle with a dim glow as they played. The high-arched ceiling of the church, along with the dark, wooden interior, reverberated the sound and created an incredible atmosphere to observe and listen to the Quartet. The church was nearly sold out, and people packed into the pews to watch the performance.

Throughout the concert, the Quartet took breaks from playing Queen and sprinkled in songs from classical composers such as Puccini and Mozart. According to Jeff Wang, founder of the Highline Chamber Ensemble and violinist for the Quartet, the selection of these classic opera songs was specifically chosen to enhance the listening experience of Queen. 

“We’re going to intersperse some opera favorites, ones that I am sure Freddie liked himself and that inspired him, and pair them with Queen songs that they pair nicely with. We can compare their melodies and how beautiful they are, even without words,” said Wang. 

The Quartet would go on to play many more classics from Queen and classical composers: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “We Are The Champions,” were just a few of the popular Queen anthems that saw classical, candlelit renditions. There was also a mini set within the concert that played Queen’s most popular songs about love and the playing of “Queen of the Night Aria” by Mozart, with violinist David Marks stealing the show as he played the difficult song with ease. 

Eventually the set ended, but with cheers from the crowd, the group decided to give an encore before closing down the show, which was happily accepted by the audience who had been active and involved in the performance all night. “We do really consider this a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Wang when reflecting on the show. “You just don’t know what it means to us to fill a gorgeous room with some soundwaves.” The concert was truly gorgeous, and the curation of such well-known, popular songs, performed in this beautiful and unique way was an incredible experience. As the concert ended, Wang passionately thanked the crowd for being so involved in the performance and for supporting live music. 

The candlelight concerts performed by the Highline Quartet are part of a series of original events by Feverup. Feverup is a booking company whose goal is to help a person find and attend the best and most exciting events in their city. These candlelight concerts are exclusive to the platform. Currently, Feverup claims to have hosted Candlelight concerts in over 100 locations all over the world. The current locations where concerts are being held range from Bengaluru, India, to Barcelona, Spain to Poughkeepsie, New York. The company also states that they have had over 3 million attendees since launching. Nearly all of the concerts follow a similar structure to this one, involving a talented Quartet, electric candles, a beautiful venue and classical renditions of famous modern artists, mixed with some fitting classical pieces.

There are a variety of upcoming candlelight events near New Paltz. At the Living Water Church in Poughkeepsie, a tribute to Coldplay will take place on April 12, featuring well-known Coldplay classics such as “Paradise,” “Yellow” and “A Sky Full of Stars.” Shortly after, on May 3, an additional tribute to Queen will be performed. That same night, the Highline Quartet is also performing a tribute to Taylor Swift, playing some of her most famous songs such as “Enchanted,” “Love Story” and “All Too Well.” 

If one wants to travel further than Poughkeepsie, there are also tributes to artists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King, David Bowie, Dua Lipa, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran being performed at various venues in New York City by the Highline Quartet. Additionally, at the Kenmore Ballroom in Albany, the Listresso String Quartet will be performing classical renditions of popular neo-soul songs, featuring the works of artists such as Prince, Alicia Keys and Childish Gambino.  

One might think that performing modern music in these classical renditions is strange or out of place, but that common misconception about classical music is why the Highline String Quartet was formed. According to the group’s promotional material, the goal of the Quartet is “to shatter the stuffy perception of classical music by emphasizing the audience experience,” and “the merging of cultural preservation with contemporary society.” The group has been quite successful. Since their inception, they have curated hundreds of concerts, performed for tens of thousands of guests and have gained a prominent social media following.

 With this partnership with Candlelight Concerts and Feverup, Highline Quartet is broadening classical music even more, providing a gateway for new people of different ages and cultures to engage in music that might not have otherwise appealed to them at a price that is generally accessible. The “Highline Quartet is thrilled to bring alive the music of all genres — old, new, borrowed and blue — on strings in their distinct style, as committed artisans and friends, bonded in music.” 

To attend a Candlelight Concert, they can be found on Feverup, or go to Candlightexperience.com to purchase tickets. You can also find them on social media, @candlelight.concerts and be sure to follow the Highline String Quartet @highlinequartet on Instagram.

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