Cellist Joel Becktell (Albuquerque) and pianist Carla McElhaney (Austin) formed REVEL – a multi-configuration classical band – to return the classical music experience to its radical roots, a place where musicians and their friends got together in intimate settings to let their hair down and revel in great music. The results have been inspiring. Classical music lovers have found in REVEL a new expression for their passion, and non-classical audiences have awakened to a genre and repertoire far more rich and inspired than they previously imagined.
Since their 2009 launch party at The Church House Recording Studio in East Austin, Revel has released a self-titled debut album of duo works for cello and piano, a trio album with violinist Cármelo de los Santos entitled “Magic Hour,” presented six full seasons of concert series in Austin, produced four chamber music festivals, and have collaborated in concert with dozens of favorite musicians, including violinist David Felberg, clarinetist James Shields, tenor JR Fralick, saxophonist Sunil Gadgil, baritone Ryan Heller, saxophonist and jazz vocalist Liz Love, harpist Elaine Barber, violist Matt Diekman, percussionist Graeme Francis, double bassist Pat Harris, the Bel Cuore Saxophone Quartet, and many more. They have appeared by invitation on a number of concert series including Albuquerque’s Sunday Chatter and Chatter Cabaret (formerly Church of Beethoven), the Albuquerque Chamber Soloists, the Blanco Performing Arts Series, Music from the Western Reserve in Hudson, Ohio, and Costa Rica’s Credomatic Music Festival.
Revel has performed for enthusiastic audiences at diverse venues such as Fuel Coffee House in Llano, Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Recording Studio in Wimberley, the Armstrong/Connelly Studio at Ballet Austin, New Mexico Tech in Socorro, Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, the Krotona School in Ojai, and private homes, inviting listeners everywhere to dispense with the standard protocol of the day, rebel against the straight-laced austerity of the modern concert hall, and “come as you are, clap when you feel like it, and revel in the music like no one is watching.”