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Bel Canto Duo

Visions of Love

Sunday, February 16, 2025 @ 3:00 p.m.

Lifelines collide – brought together by friends, a shooting star & an open mic night, Bel Canto Duo was founded in 2016 by looping artist and cellist, David Downing and English horn specialist, Darci Griffith Gamerl. Bel Canto’s mission is to create meaningful connections by providing world-class classical crossover music in an entertaining and engaging format. The group combines their classical roots with minimalist, cross-genre compositions and healing music modalities.

‘Your music speaks to my soul’ – Reviewers have described Darci and David’s performances as ‘magical’, ‘the best sermon in town’, ‘a unique and emotive sound’ with ‘electric chemistry’. 

Past clients & commissioners include KANEKO, Lincoln Arts, the International Double Reed Society, the National Music Museum, the National Willa Cather Center & the Durham Museum.

BCD’s first album, Angel’s Share, features original works with a focus on research-based healing music modalities, and their work for film. Sacred Waters was commissioned for the documentary, Nebraska Flatwater and the Four Cather Tableaux for Willa Cather, (release date spring 2024). 

Darci and David’s focus on community building continues with their Summer Concert Series. They have partnered with St. Paul Benson to continue offering free concerts with a focus on accessibility, developing community and support for those experiencing stress and isolation.

Members of the Nebraska Arts Council Touring Artist Roster, the pair received Outstanding New Artist (2023) by the Omaha Entertainment Awards, Best Wedding Music by Nebraska Wedding Day (2023) with finalist placement for the American Prize in composition, and the Ernst Bacon Prize for the performance of American music (2023).

Four Cather Tableaux was commissioned by the National Willa Cather Center in celebration of the great American author, Willa Cather. Now available as an immersive suite, the suite features selected texts from A Lost Lady, April Twilights & Other Poems, One of Ours and Nebraska: The End of the First Cycle. The performance pairs music with the author’s work,  paired with powerful imagery of the Great Plains that inspired so much of the notable author’s work.

Learn more about Darci and David below!

Darci Griffith Gamerl, english horn

 A musician of great sensitivity and dynamic stage presence” – Lawrence Barnabo, Darci Gamerl’s groundbreaking, collaborative work has redefined the definition of a successful career in classical music.

 A frequent soloist, Gamerl has premiered works by James Lee III, Jonathan Leshnoff, Kelly Hale, Robert K. Mueller & Fabio Mengozzi. Gamerl’s holds a handful of regional orchestral positions throughout the Midwest.

Ms. Gamerl collaborates with cellist & looping artist, David Downing in Bel Canto Duo. BCD was awarded Outstanding New Artist by the Omaha Entertainment Awards (2023) with their album, Angel’s Share receiving a nomination for Album of the Year.

Bel Canto Duo has been commissioned by the National Willa Cather Center (Four Cather Tableaux) & Gallery 1516’s documentary, Nebraska Flatwater.  They are currently scoring a new documentary, Willa Cather.

As a composer, Gamerl’s The Seven Directions received a semi-finalist award with BCD’s Sacred Waters garnering a finalist placement (American Prize) in 2023. View Darci’s website here:

David Downing, cello

Grammy-nominated cellist, David Downing studied classical performance at the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Harid Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. After extensive studies, David walked away from the classical orchestral world – and the cello. Thanks to loving, supportive family and friends, and his passion for creating music, David started performing again – and never looked back. Downing’s work spans a number of musical styles from world, folk, bluegrass, and hip-hop to classical crossover. As a recording artist, David has worked with Nas, Little Brazil, Flowers Forever, as well as the Omaha-based Americana band, Ragged Company, recording several albums. David’s work has also been featured on NET’s The Nature of Stories, and in several other film productions. Downing’s depth of classical experience ranges from regular solo appearances to orchestral and chamber performances. His self-titled CD has won critical acclaim for his ability to use space and near-silence to his advantage” and his creation of “a colorful universe.” David is a Nebraska Touring Artist & member of the Bel Canto Duo, recently nominated for OEAA’s Outstanding New Artist (2022). Recently, David performed for the Broadway touring production, Hadestown, Dressing the Abbey at The Durham Museum and Bright Star at OCP. His newest commissions include Nebraska Flatwater for Gallery 1516. All albums are available for purchase at and on all major streaming platforms.