A crowd gathered on evening the of Wednesday, Jan. 15 to witness a performance from Spencer and Traci Hoveskeland, a couple that perform as a duo on bass and cello. The Lakeview First Presbyterian Church provided space for the performance, which was organized by the Lake Arts Council.
Dramatic pronouncements accompanied each pause in the music as Spencer took the liberty of explaining that he and his wife like to perform classical music, without the pretenses usually associated with it. Spencer expressed himself humorously not only in his introduction to each piece, but also through his music and performance.
Spencer was able to utilize nearly the entire range of his instrument during the evening, at times plucking the strings with his fingers, at others using the traditional bow.
Some of the duo’s music was completely original, including a piece Spencer said was written for a festival in Spain. When they paused to tune their instruments, he would strike a pose and proclaim to the crowd a particular reason why they tuned. “We tune, because if I don’t, I get punished,” was one such reason given.
The tone, overall, was light-hearted, with popular musical themes interspersed among the more serious classical-style music. At one point, Spencer laid his guitar carefully aside and took up a ukulele.
He blamed his inability to play a full classical guitar on his wide palms, but said he would endeavor to play just like he’d seen many other guitar players perform. This apparently involved much hair-flipping, minor adjustments of posture and exaggerated swings of the arm as he played.
At the end of their performances, the Hoveskelands received a standing ovation from the gathered crowd, which was their cue for an encore. Afterward, members of the audience had the opportunity to talk to both members of the duo while enjoying refreshments in the back of the church.