Barrage 8 attaches strings to Schwartz Center

Canadian-based Barrage 8 performs its high-octane show at Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts Saturday night at 7:30. Barrage 8 features all the instruments in the modern string family. The “8” in the name represents a re-imagining of the string octet: 5 violins, viola, cello and double bass. (Submitted photo)

Canadian-based Barrage 8 performs its high-octane show at Dover’s Schwartz Center for the Arts Saturday night at 7:30. Barrage 8 features all the instruments in the modern string family. The “8” in the name represents a re-imagining of the string octet: 5 violins, viola, cello and double bass. (Submitted photo)

DOVER –– Barrage 8, an unconventional Canadian string orchestra, is bringing its energetic performance to the Schwartz Center for the Arts Saturday.

“I guess you could say we were just a group of three orchestra geeks looking to have some fun,” said Anthony Moore, co-creator and producer of Barrage 8.

Mr. Moore founded the original Barrage with two other violinists and classmates at the United Conservatory of Music in Calgary back in 1996 after playing as an amateur group for a decade.

“In addition to classical we were allowed to play fiddle at school too and we found some like-minded students who were also into alternative strings music and went from there,” he said.

This isn’t a typical group of string musicians playing non-classical music at a recital hall. They perform high-energy shows featuring

Barrage 8 has performed in countries all over the world.

Barrage 8 has performed in countries all over the world.

synchronized lights and even dancing.

But after nearly a decade as a successful professional group playing more than 3,000 concerts in 27 countries, Mr. Moore and his fellow musicians decided it was time to take a break

Barrage came back in 2015, after a three-year hiatus as an octet, putting the 8 on its name.

“We expanded to include not only violins, but violas, cello and bass,” Mr. Moore said.

“Before 2015, the group fluctuated in size but now we’ve set a standard based on the classical octet.”

And the eight musicians aren’t your typical string players. Every Barrage 8 performer has graduated with a university degree with a musical focus.

“All of the players have been classically trained. So in a way, being in the group is an additional type of training,” Mr. Moore said.

“They’re learning some new techniques and learning what it’s like to be a professional touring musician rather than a training musician.”

It’s a rigorous schedule. Over the week leading up to Saturday’s performance at the Schwartz Center, the group will have done shows in Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania, sometimes driving overnight to get to a show in time.

That’s just an example of one week in America.

The Canadian-based group frequently performs in Europe and Asia as well and has been featured on TV and in shows before royal families.

“We’ve always had an international focus,” Mr. Moore said.

“Our members usually only stay for a few years at a time so this is great exposure to help them decide if this is the kind of path they’d like to follow with their career or not.”

Tickets for the 7:30 show are $16 for children 12 and under, $26 for students and military, $29 for seniors (62 and up) and $32 for adults.

They can be purchased by visiting schwartzcenter.com, calling 678-5152 or at the theater at 226 S. State St., Dover.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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