By Daniel Buckwalter

The moons and stars aligned Feb. 11 to create a dilemma I had not anticipated: Sit down with my beloved San Francisco 49ers for the Super Bowl or sit down with Chamber Music Amici at Wildish Theater in Springfield.

I was fortunate to get to do both. Amici’s One and Only concert, which repeats tonight, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m., is a sweet exploration of the one and only chamber works of Claude Debussy and Camille Saint-Saëns. If you go tonight, it will be the perfect capper to a pre-Valentine’s Day evening out.

And I got to see the second half and overtime of the Super Bowl — which I will regret another day.

Back to the concert, Debussy’s Piano Trio in G Major and Saint-Saëns’ Piano Quintet in A Minor are the two pieces performed. Debussy’s trio has Hal Grossman on violin, cellist Steven Pologe and Susan DeWitt Smith on piano. At times lively, this piece is striking mostly for its elegance. There’s almost a romantic thread to it.

It is the Saint-Saëns piano quintet — with violinist Colin Pip Dixon and violist Arnaud Ghillebaert added to the mix — that is the highlight of the roughly one-hour concert.

And it is DeWitt Smith on piano who shines.

The Portland native has performed across the United States, teaches at Lewis & Clark College, is a member of Portland’s Third Angle New Music Ensemble, and is masterful as the lead of the quintet.

It is a pleasure to both listen and watch her at work with the Saint-Saëns piano quintet, either as the principal in dashing uptempo phrases or as the accompaniment for the melodic baseline phrases that allow the string instruments to shine.

One and Only with Chamber Music Amici has just one performance left, and it is well worth the evening out.

One and Only with Chamber Music Amici

When: 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, 2024 (pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m.)

Where: Wildish Community Theater, 630 Main St., Springfield

Tickets: $32/$40/$42/$45; $5 each for students and their parents (except rows A and K), available in advance online at