The band TORCH to light up Highline

By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter

Light up your day with live chamber music on May 18 at 12:15 p.m.

The band TORCH performs contemporary chamber music ensembles. 

They specialize in adding their own style to 20th century works, as well as performing their own original works and compositions with influences from tango and jazz. 

TORCH is performing at Highline in Building 7 and admission is free.

The group consists of four members with Brian Chin on trumpet, Eric Likkel on clarinet, Stephen Schermer on the double bass, and Highline's music professor Dr. Ben Thomas on percussion and the bandoneon, a type of concertina instrument.

All four members contribute to writing original music for the chamber group. 

While the band formed in 2012, they had previously performed with each other.

"We played together before, but decided that we wanted a group where we consistently practice weekly and where all four members help write music," said Dr. Thomas.

The name TORCH references a quote by German novelist Thomas Mann, which says that "Art is the sacred torch that must shed its merciful light into all life's terrible depths."

"The quote is about what art is supposed to accomplish, we liked that idea," said Dr. Thomas. "Because life can be scary and terrifying sometimes, and art is one of those things that can bring stuff to life."

Unlike most chamber groups, not all of TORCH's music and performances are written out beforehand, improvisation is another added element in their shows. 

Audiences who attended TORCH's last concert at Highline can also expect something completely new. 

"We were here performing last year, this time around we're going to play completely different kinds of music. I think people can really look forward to this," said Dr. Thomas.

For more information on TORCH, visit

The band TORCH to light up Highline

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