Music In The Shade, Bird Watching And A Sculpted Chamber Performance: Your Weekend Is Here | Texas Public Radio

Music In The Shade, Bird Watching And A Sculpted Chamber Performance: Your Weekend Is Here

Mar 6, 2020

Enjoy some live music under the shade of huge pecan trees. Take a walk and learn why birds sing their songs. Then explore a local group’s collaborative relationship between chamber music and sculpture. Your weekend is here and we've got some great ideas for how you should spend it.


Spring is in the air, and so is music. First off Friday: Mitchell Webb said there’s great live music happening in Southtown.

“First Friday, downtown in the King William area. It's at the Beethoven Maennerchor, a beautiful little beer garden down there,” he said.

Mitchell Webb and the Swindles will be giving Beethoven Maennerchor a fun musical twist. He said Swindles music honors those who came before them.

Craponne, France at Festival Country Rendez-Vous
Credit Daumy Foto

"It's a very San Antonio-centric band. A lot like the Texas Tornadoes, Sir Douglas Quintet stuff," he said. 

As to where they’re playing, there is a massive courtyard shaded by towering pecan trees and picnic tables. The Swindles are playing from 8 p.m. to 11 but the music actually starts earlier.

“I believe they're going to have a full band, an oompah band, which is totally fun,” Webb said. “It's a big garden, kids are welcome. It's a beautiful place to hang out. And it looks like the weather is going to be fantastic."

Fantastico album cover, designed by Michael Karshis

Multi-instrumentalist and Raul Malo band-member Michael Guerra will be playing the squeezebox.

"He makes anybody, any band or any person better when he gets onstage and starts playing with them. He's a very well-versed musician," Webb said.

IF YOU GO

What: Mitch Webb and the Swindles

Where: Beethoven Maennerchor

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Cost:  $5

Then Saturday morning: How many times have you woken up to birds chirping and thought: “I wonder what kind of bird that is?” The Mitchell Lake Audubon's Angel Poe might just have a fix for that.

"We have a Beginner Bird Walk this Saturday at the Green Line Park at Brooks City Base. It goes from 8 a.m. 'til 10 a.m. Saturday," she said.

Snowy Egrets flying over water.
Credit Rob Michaelson

If you come along, she recommended you really only need one thing:

"If people come they should come with their sense of wonder, because we never know what we're going to see,” Poe said. “Sometimes we see just really common birds that you'll see in your back yard. And then other times we have some great surprises we see in one of the ponds."

We humans think of birds as chirping for our amusement, but there's a reason they sing.

“Birds communicate with each other via sound, just like humans do.  They may be making a territorial display. They may be saying “Hey, I'm looking for a mate right now.”

Or in a more San Antonio sense they’re saying, “Hey, baby — que paso?”

Golden Cheeked Warbler
Credit Steve Baranoff

The bird walk is probably less than a mile long and is on a concrete path so it's accessible by all. And there's this:

"It is absolutely free. It is the best deal in town,” she said."

IF YOU GO

What: Beginner Bird Walk

Where: Green Line Park, Brooks City Base

When: 8 a.m. Saturday

Cost:  free

Also on Saturday, head to the University of the Incarnate Word where the chamber group Agarita is at it again. Here's violist Marisa Bushman:

"This concert, titled Synergy: Music and Sculpture, is a collaboration with Danville Chadbourne."

The group is known for collaborating with artists from other media in projects highlighting both. Danville Chadbourne is an internationally known sculptor.

Artistic Director of the Agarita chamber Daniel Anastasio.
Credit Natalia Sun

“He describes his sculptures as primitive and very mathematically-calculated,” said Bushman. “Very similar to a lot of the music that we'll be playing in our concert. Playing music by Berg, Webern, Shostokovich, Bartok — it's a really fun program."

Concert's not 'til 7:30 p.m., but at 6:45 there’s a pre-concert talk with Danville and Artistic Director Daniel Anastasio.

Their opening number is one that requires outside help, help that Symphony fans will know well.

"It's for a string quartet so actually we're bringing in violinist Eric Gratz for this concert," said Bushman.

Gratz starts and closes the free concert, and there's a reception afterwards.  

IF YOU GO

What: Agarita Concert

Where: UIW Performance Hall

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Cost:  free

Jack Morgan can be reached at Jack@TPR.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii.