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Les Amies Outreach Event

Les Amies Outreach at UTSA Recital Hall on February 26, 2017

On Feb. 26th Carol Wincenc, world renowned flutist of the Les Amies Trio, conducted a Master Class at the UTSA Recital Hall for UTSA and YOSA musicians. The class started with all the students (and audience) on stage. The musicians’ flutes became part of their bodies as Carol led us all through a series of stretching and breathing exercises. Everyone was now totally relaxed and completely involved in the Master Class.

Five students, 2 from YOSA and 3 from UTSA then played their pieces with the accompaniment of Mr. Joshua Pepper on the piano. Musicians all received gentle and invaluable advice. A young musician had just started her piece when Carol came onto the stage and proceeded to waltz around with her counting the beat. The musician restarted her piece, a waltz, now with impeccable timing. A student who had played the Saxophone earlier in his musical life had the niceties of the differences in breathing techniques needed for the flute explained to him.

After the musicians had finished all of us were again on the stage with Carol doing post playing breathing and muscle loosening exercises. Happy and excited conversations were heard from everyone. This was indeed a forerunner of the wonderful concert that was in store for the SACMS audience the next afternoon. Grateful thanks to Allyson Dawkins, SACMS Chair of Education and Outreach and to Rita Linard, UTSA Professor of Music for organizing this amazing Master Class.

Submitted by Kenneth Bloom 

Aeolus Quartet Outreach Event

Aeolus Quartet Outreach at Jackson Middle School on January 23, 2017

Bright and early on this Monday morning, the young musicians of the Aeolus Quartet started off with some Mozart (Adagio & Fugue K.546) before talking with the 200 or so students gathered in the Auditorium/Cafeteria. They established excellent rapport right away, introducing the audience to each of their instruments, with an explanation of their individual roles within a string quartet. The morning continued with more music by Schumann (String Quartet Op.41, No.3, 2nd Movt.), Copland (Rondino), and Barber (String Quartet in B-Major, Op.11, 2nd Movt.) before breaking into a very lively Q & A session: the students (and teachers!) asked and the Quartet answered a wide range of questions including – motivation for practicing;  breathing together when playing in ensemble; music as a viable career; music as a form of communication; and music serving as a balance in our modern-day tech-filled life.

After a brief pause, the Quartet spent more quality time with a smaller group of orchestra students – they played selections by Schumann (String Quartet Op.41, No.3, Finale) and Barber (String Quartet in B-Major, Op.11, 3rd Movt.), and in between the two pieces answered more  in-depth questions about the intricacies of bowing, synchronization, rhythmic control, and musical direction. Finally the musicians demonstrated to the rapt audience the importance of listening “through the silence”,  and its emotional impact.  At the end of the event, a shy and soft-spoken 7th-grader approached us and said “This is the best thing I’ve ever heard! I’m now motivated to work extra hard!”

Well, that made our day!

Submitted by Pauline Glickman

Brasil Guitar Duo Outreach Event

The outreach event of the Brasil Guitar Duo at the Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center on Monday was special for those of our Board members who came and a real treat for the detainees. The boys and girls, aged 12 to 17 years slouched in, arms folded behind them as ordered, and sat truculently in their chairs. The very watchful staff was behind and around them. About 60 people in all. The Duo started playing and then talked to the detainees who gradually relaxed, responded and were also freely involved in discussions with the musicians. By the end most were moving in time to the Samba. A most gratifying and worthwhile outreach.

Submitted by Kenneth Bloom 

Dover Quartet Outreach Event

Early on Monday morning, April 4, the Dover String Quartet headed out to Serna Elementary to play for Pre-K through 4th graders.  They were invited by SACMS board member, Joe Lamm, who volunteers to listen to children read at the school.  Hundreds of small children came into the auditorium and sat on the floor waiting eagerly, but quietly for their own private concert.  The quartet members interacted beautifully with the children fielding numerous questions.  The musicians also asked the children questions of their own which helped the students to focus and put on their thinking caps.

The quartet played 2 movements from the Dvořák American Quartet, which they also played in their formal concert on Sunday. They concluded with a lively movement from one of the Beethoven String Quartets.  Each movement was met with enthusiastic applause from the audience.

We are always grateful to our visiting artists for their generosity in sharing their talents throughout our community.  If you would like to make a contribution to the Ed Mandel Trust Fund which perpetuates our Outreach Events, please visit our website for more information.

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

The Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man Outreach Event

On Monday February 29 at noon, the Shanghai Quartet, along with pipa virtuoso Wu Man, performed an hour-long concert in the beautiful Holly Auditorium on the UTHSCSA main campus. After being introduced by Dean of the Medical School, Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano, quartet members talked with the audience about the music they were playing. All of the works were by Chinese composers. Additionally Wu Man spoke about the pipa, explaining that it has been around for over 2,000 years, and pointing out how much considerably older it is than the frequently antique (300 years) violins, violas, and cellos that are used in quartets and symphonies. Wu Man played a beautiful solo work for pipa. The performers ended the program with the masterful Ghost Opera by living Chinese composer, Tan Dun.

The large audience sprang to their feet in a spontaneous and enthusiastic standing ovation. Many physicians, researchers, and medical students were in attendance, as well as a group of high school health science interns. All were then treated to a nice lunch buffet put out by the Health Science Center. This was a new venue for SACMS outreach and we look forward to returning there in the future.

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

Wu Man and two members of the Shanghai Quartet with Dr. Francisco Gonzalez-Scarano.

Gryphon Trio Outreach Event

On January 25, 2016 the Gryphon Trio performed an Outreach Concert for SACMS at the Edgewood Fine Arts Academy for music students. The trio played in the beautiful auditorium. It was a pleasure to hear music in such a great acoustic space, and it was also wonderful to enjoy Edgewood Academy’s beautiful new Steinway grand piano.

The trio played some staples from the piano trio repertoire including a movement of the Ghost Trio by Beethoven. The students were quiet listeners, and very attentive. One student asked a very sophisticated question about how the musicians achieved their various articulations. When time was almost up, and the cellist asked how much time was left, one student yelled out “an hour”! Clearly the students could have sat listening all day.

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

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