It was Saturday night and I was psyched. I held in my hand tickets to a presentation by Baltimore Classical Guitar Society (http://www.bcgs.org/) on the campus of Towson University in the Baltimore County seat. Never mind that the mild, 80-degree evening was about to be transformed into a thunderous torrent as a cold front brought high winds and much needed rainfall to the mid-Atlantic region of the east coast. I was ready to settle in for a spectacular two hours of classical guitar playing at its finest, provided by Yamandu Costa, said to be "one of the greatest geniuses of Brazilian guitar music" ever heard.
I chose my outfit carefully. It was warm now, but would be blustery later. The venue was a college campus, so I wanted something a little "far out", more exotic looking than just a skirt or slacks and a sweater. A glance through my wardrobe brought me to this, a mocha-colored maxi from Morocco with a most unusual feature – droppable sleeves that can either hang at the sides as another layer of the gown, or can be pulled up through armholes to drape from the shoulders into looping folds front and back. Worn with the fabric hanging down, the sleeveless shift is a cool summer frock. Pull the sleeves up over the shoulders and the relatively heavyweight cotton/rayon fabric confers warmth and coverage over bare arms. It would be perfect for the changeable weather ahead.
This unusual garment was a gift from my dear friend, Jan, who brought the gown back from one of her many travels to far-flung points across the globe. With its neutral coloring and lack of any adornment save for the weird sleeves, my gown cried out for some statement jewelry. A big, chunky, pendant necklace and some ornate earrings would have been ideal. But I don’t own any big, chunky pendant necklaces. Instead, I chose a copper-beaded chandelier necklace from Fire & Ice Jewelers of Baltimore (http://www.fireandice.com/) and matching chandelier earrings. I added some chunky bracelets, some taupe and cream spectator pumps with stacked wooden heels from Aldo, and a taupe and cream Dea Dread for my hair by Thea Osata of Baltimore (http://deadreads.etsy.com/).
The Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall was packed with appreciative fans, like me, including such notable classical guitar virtuosos as Meng Su and Yameng Wang, known as the Bejing Guitar Duo, who gave their own concert for the BCGS last October, and Manuel Barrueco, who signed a CD for me following his concert at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall a few years back. They knew, as I did, that this young artist was not to be missed. We were not disappointed.
A virtuosic player, composer and arranger, the 29-year-old Costa’s explosive performance "switched between samba, choro and tango with blistering dexterity", as noted in the evening’s program. He received three well-deserved standing ovations and thanked his appreciative audience with two encore performances. It was a thrilling concert.
Later, over aged sharp cheddar-lager fondue and a bottle of Louis Martini Cabernet at the Melting Pot fondue restaurant near campus, I savored the memory of Costa’s splendid musicianship and his mesmerizing technique. Wow.