Symphony Sounds in Wicker Park: Hello Goodbye…musically and literally


Hello to Kyra Saltman and Dominic Johnson and goodbye to Ryan Loeckel and Julia Birnbaum


The Beatles' "Hello, goodbye," was the opening piece at the Symphony Sounds String Quartet concert in Wicker Park on Sunday. Sarah Marsh, who heads the organization, said that in fact, "It is also a hello, goodbye to members of the group."

It is goodbye to violinists Julia Birnbaum, who is moving to California and Ryan Loeckel, who is moving to Champaign-Urbana. It is hello to Kyra Saltman on cello and newish violist Dominic Johnson. 


Dogs and babies enjoyed the concert too

Unlike Birnbaum, Loeckel said, "I'll be back. It is only about two hours away." When asked, "Why Champaign?" He said, "Downtown Champaign is vibrant. There are independent coffee shops, stores and restaurants. And the cost of living is less than here!"


Sarah Marsh captured images

The other performer note is that Marsh, in celebration of her first wedding anniversary, will be in Barcelona in September and is unsure whether she will be at their last concert in Wicker Park on September 13. Regardless of her presence, four Symphony Sounds musicians will be on hand for the season's "goodbye" performance and so will an appreciative Wicker Park audience. 


Good time for a family picnic

The concert was, as always, superb for the ear and the spirit. In addition Birnbaum provided a humorous story about Ravel and his Pavane for a Dead Princess

"It was written to be played very slowly, but some played it even slower," she explained. However, Ravel didn't want it to be played like a funeral march either. About one performance he said, "It is a pavane for a dead princess not a dead pavane for a princess!"

"And we will be playing it faster." And so they did...brilliantly! They closed their performance with McLean's 6 dances for a string quartet, which had everyone's toes tapping.


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