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Chamber Music Charleston (CMC) is known for their beautiful, intimate concerts, and Friday’s Prelude to Carnegie party at the South Carolina Aquarium was no exception. Partygoers stepped out in cocktail attire for an evening of drinks, savory bites, and a concert in celebration of the upcoming finale to the Chamber Music Charleston 2012-2013 season:  a debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

People milled about the aquarium sipping Prosecco and Perrier during the cocktail hour, chatting about upcoming concerts and Charleston’s art scene. The party was quite well attended, and event chair Barbara Campbell said, “We sold out tonight, and we feel really good about that.” 

The cocktail hour drew to a close and guests were invited in to take a seat before the large tank, where the evening’s pieces were to be performed. Board of Directors Chair Leo Fishman welcomed the crowd, and CMC President and Artistic Director Sandra Nikolajevs introduced the pieces and musicians. 

The first piece, Francois Borne’s Fantasie Brillante on Carmen, featured flutist Regina Helcher Yost and guest pianist Andrew Armstrong. The music captivated guests, and the epic view of marine life as a backdrop held everyone enthralled. The next piece was Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, featuring Armstrong with cellist Timothy O’Malley, and the concert wrapped up with Philippe Gaubert’s Three Watercolors. 

The musicians received an enthusiastic round of applause as the final strains faded away. Then everyone retired back into the main hall for hors d'oeuvres from Lee Bros. and Duvall Catering and a silent auction.

Chamber Music Charleston is an organization dedicated to developing the audience for classical music through chamber music concerts and educational performances of high artistic quality by musicians of the Lowcountry.