Chocolate and the music of Belle Bulwinkle and Angela Koregelos greeted about 140 visitors to the Mills College Art Museum on Valentine’s Day.
“I’m really excited for students to come and hear music, mingle and see some incredible art. We have some of the best artists on display,” Assistant Museum Director Stacie Daniels said.
Love Notes: An Evening of Chocolate and Music featured Bulwinkle on pianoforte, Koregelos on flute and, of course, chocolate. Love Notes accented the current exhibit, Take 2, which features works by prominent female artists.
“I think it was fun with this wonderful exhibit,” Bulwinkle said. “It’s fun to bring music to people who aren’t expecting it. When you go to a museum you aren’t expecting music, especially live music.”
With the chocolate goodies, pink lemonade, sparkling water and wine were served to onlookers, many of whom hovered around the entrance to the middle of the museum where the musicians were playing (this was the “no food or beverage beyond this point” line).
Others wandered throughout the museum or sat on a few benches placed near the music to take it in.
“There are a lot of things that are very aesthetically pleasing, a lot of things that really make you think,” senior Maggie Reynolds said.
Both Bulwinkle and Koregelos teach at Mills, and Koregelos is a ’77 alumna. They performed nine duets and Bulwinkle played two solos.
“Any chance I have to play with her, I will,” Koregelos said.
Bulwinkle played the Mills pianoforte, a replica of a piano built in Vienna in 1790. She said all her students play it.
All the pieces were from when the piano was built, since they have to fit on the keyboard, which has 56 keys instead of the usual 88.
“It sounds very nice in this very live room,” Bulwinkle said.
Koregelos played an American made wooden flute that is around 100-years-old.
“It has a particularly sweet sound so it blends well with the pianoforte,” she said.
The inspiration for Love Notes came from Bulwinkle’s performance in the museum last October. Daniels brought the two departments together again this semester and invited Koregelos as well.
“In general these kinds of events are becoming more and more rare in the community so it was good to see the number of people who came,” Koregelos said. “There is a very different feeling when the performance is live. People were coming and watching; they don’t do that with a CD.”
The concert lasted an hour and a half, ending at 7:30 p.m.
“It was something you can come to and still do something later in the evening,” Bulwinkle said.
For her part, Bulwinkle said she was going to go home and collapse after teaching all day, while Koregelos left to pick up her son. As they said goodbye, the musicians hugged and exclaimed, “More! More!”