Jennifer Wooden had bad news and good news to tell a group of talented performers, the Divisi Strings, that she had wanted to perform at The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble.
The bad news? The Bender is closed for the foreseeable future because of COVID-19.
The good news? How about performing in the great outdoors at Uptown Park on Main Street in Historic Downtown Humble Saturday, June 27, at 7 p.m.?
“We perform at lots of outdoor venues, including weddings, holiday services, even Discovery Green in Downtown Houston, so we’re accustomed to it,” said Tony Sanville, who co-founded the group and has been playing the violin since he was 10 years old. “Performing at Uptown Park is a great idea.”
The idea came from Wooden, who was faced with canceling some exceptionally talented performers.
“I knew when I saw them on Instagram that Lake Houston would love them,” said Wooden, director of The Bender and The Humble Civic Center. “I was working on my Bender performance calendar and I saw their video doing an Afrobeat song. I was so disappointed to have to cancel their Bender performance, so I threw out the idea of them performing at The Uptown. They loved the idea.”
This is the first time Divisi Strings has performed at the Uptown but not their first time performing in Humble.
“We were the ‘resident strings’ at Humble First Baptist Church, performing several times a month,” said Sanville, “so Humble is familiar to us and we’re so looking forward to returning.”
He described Divisi Strings as a collection of classically trained musicians performing at live events.
“We started out as four friends studying music performance at the University of Houston,” Sanville said. “Fourteen years later, we have a roster of 60-plus of some of the best musicians in Houston hailing from prestigious schools throughout the United States.”
These collaborations led Sanville and co-founder Shelli Mathews to develop Divisi Entertainment, which includes a diverse mixture of musical instruments plus DJs and emcees depending on the mood and wishes of their audience.
At the Uptown, the Lake Houston audience can expect to hear the classics — classic rock, that is.
“The first half of our show will be acoustic; our string quartet featuring two violins, a viola and cello,” said Sanville. “We’ll bring in our DJ for the second half. He is as much of a musician as we are. The Humble crowd will get to hear a lot of improvising between us and the DJ. We will play the Beatles, Elton John, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, something for the adults and for the kids.”
“Divisi,” he said, is an Italian word meaning “divided.” It is a common musical term describing performers.
“Divisi describes how we come from different backgrounds and upbringings, dividing the various parts of the music, recreating pop music as a string quartet,” Sanville said. “Different backgrounds but one sound. That’s Divisi.”
Hear what Wooden heard by going to their webpage, divisistrings.com, and clicking onto their classical and pop sections. Then make plans to visit The Uptown Park on Main Street in Historic Downtown Humble Saturday, June 27 at 7 p.m. for a free outdoor and memorable Divisi Strings concert presented by the City of Humble and The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center.
Keep current with what’s going on at The Charles Bender Performing Arts Center by visiting humblepac.com or on Facebook at charlesbenderpac or by calling 281-446-4140.