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Barrage combines violins, vocals, dance to pack the house

POSTED: March 31, 2009 12:06 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Kristina Bauch performs on stage at the Georgia Mountains Center during Monday evening's performance by Barrage, an nine-member group that combines high-energy dance and music.

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World-renowned performance group Barrage wowed Gainesville residents with its unique mixture of violins, vocals and dance Monday evening.

The Arts Council made the Georgia Mountains Center a stop for the fancy fiddling group’s "High Strung" tour.

The group is made up of six violinists, a drummer, a guitarist and a bass player. The violinists stole the show, coordinating skillful playing and high-energy moves without missing a beat.

They played a variety of songs, including Irish folk, Calypso and even the Beatles.

Gladys Wyant, the council’s executive director, said there was a lot of interest in Barrage, especially with a barbecue dinner included with the ticket price.

"We had to set up extra tables," Wyant said. "Because people didn’t know the name Barrage we wanted to turn it into an event."

Though quite a crowd came out — Wyant estimated around 600 people — not everything went as planned.

She said the truck carrying all of Barrage’s instruments and equipment broke down in Chattanooga, Tenn., causing the show to start about 30 minutes late.

Luckily, Wyant had a plan. She called magician Bill Clary to save the day.

"Gladys has been my friend for 30 years," said Clary, who drove from South Carolina at the last minute to perform.

Clary returned to Gainesville after wrapping up a tour in China.

"It’s just another day in the arts," Wyant said.

Peggy Arrow came to the show with a group of friends from her Sunday school class at Lakewood Baptist Church.

"It looked just so inviting with the dancers and the musicians," she said.

Malia Bolt and her son Leyland, 9, were excited about the performance.

"We are big supporters of the Arts Council. And he is dying to see these guys jump up and down," Bolt said. "He’s also excited about the magician."

Wyant said she was proud to host the internationally acclaimed Barrage.

"That’s what the Arts Council does. We bring people from all over the world and bring the world to Gainesville," she said.



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