Barrage to perform, instruct at Bexley High School

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Often described as Riverdance with fiddles, Barrage has played its way to fame for the last decade.

Next Wednesday, the musical group, which blends classical music, dance and theatre, will visit Bexley High School to lead a workshop for orchestra students and give an evening performance in the school's Schottenstein Theatre.

Dean Marshall, the music director and co-founder of Barrage, said the group tries to rev up young musicians by getting them involved with Barrage's performances.

The high school Symphonia musicians will play alongside Barrage for one piece.

"We get them pumped up about string playing," he said. "We take the violin where it has never gone before."

Marshall, who previously taught at Mount Royal College Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta, said Barrage has traveled all around the world, including five stops in China and a recent tour of Europe.

Like other traveling groups of this kind, Marshall said members usually stick with Barrage for two to five years. He said many of the young musicians are fresh out of college.

"It's a great job for people who are up and coming and want to travel the world and get paid for it," he said.

Marshall said one of the most important aspects of the group is the educational component.

"I send the music out to (the high school director) ahead of time," he said. "I work with them -- we really work on style and performance. It's a performance mode of thinking."

Ann Brennan, a member of the Bexley High School Music Parents group, is helping to promote the concert, which will also act as a fundraiser to send orchestra students to Chicago next school year.

"There is an aspect of it that will support the orchestra," she said. "That night, we will be selling tickets at the door and helping with concessions, merchandise and programs."

Those interested can purchase tickets at the Cassingham Complex front desk, Flavors Eatery on East Main Street or by contacting the music parent organization.

Brennan said other local schools are interested in Barrage's visit, too.

Music program directors in both Dublin City Schools and the Olentangy Local School District have purchased blocks of tickets.

Brennan said she thinks the performers will appeal to both young and old as a world-renowned group.

"I'm looking forward to seeing them," Brennan said. "I haven't seen Barrage, but people have said that they are incredibly talented."