September 25, 2020

BY WESLEY BUTLERWBquartetWEB

To help welcome the spring season, the Licorice Allsorts played classical music and recited poetry at the Spring into Spring concert at the Cambridge Libraries on March 17.

People of all ages were treated to classical music such as Camberwell Green by Felix Mendelssohn and The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi, as well as several poems about the transition between winter and spring.

“We want to show people that spring isn’t just another season,” said Barbara Hankins, who plays clarinet in the Licorice Allsorts. “It’s a time in peoples’ lives when they feel rejuvenated, so our goal is to inspire them as much as we can.”

The quartet, which also consists of Lynne Milnes, Carla Perrota and Cathy Erskine, formed in 1980 when all four women studied music in Toronto. Toward the end of their program, one of their instructors assigned students to different groups and told them each group had to perform a song. The four women ended up in the same group. Each of them had an immediate chemistry with the others, and they knew they wanted to perform together permanently.

This is the second year the Licorice Allsorts has held the Spring into Spring concert, which was organized by Karen Murray-Hopf, the cultural and special events planner at the Cambridge Libraries.

“This quartet is very powerful,” said Murray-Hopf. “I made sure they performed at the library because they have a way of connecting with people, which I think is very important.”

The Licorice Allsorts want people to walk away feeling optimistic about their future after hearing classical music pieces about springtime, and being told stories about what the season truly means.

Typical performances by the quartet usually consist of one theme, or one story and song that are played all the way through.

“The winter can be a long season for some people, so our quartet wants to make the transition to spring happy and cheerful,” said Milnes, who also plays the clarinet in the Licorice Allsorts. “It can be really hard to shake off those cobwebs, and we want to make it a lot easier for people to do so.”