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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

Zemlinsky String Quartet Outreach Event

Bright and early, on a chamber of commerce perfect November morning, we set off with the Zemlinsky Quartet members to escort them to their Outreach performances.  First we headed to Clark High School where three classes of eager high school orchestra students awaited us.  The “Zemlinsky Boys” (as they cheerfully refer to themselves) lead the students on a lively tour of quartet music.   They played examples of music from the classical, romantic, and twentieth-century eras.  The students listened in rapt attention to the beautiful slow movement from Beethoven’s Opus 18, Quartet No. 1.  I saw no cell phones out and in use.  It was a refreshing and heartwarming inward listen to one of the most beautiful works in the classical music repertoire.

In the afternoon we had a completely different kind of musical experience as the Quartet visited the Sunshine Cottage School for the Deaf.  Almost all of the students at Sunshine Cottage have cochlear implants.  And all of the students have some sort of access to sound.  The children (K-5th grade) were completely engaged and lively throughout the concert, and had many questions for the musicians.  Board member Polly Spencer sprang to her feet at one point and volunteered insight as to how the instruments made sounds in a similar fashion to the vibration of our vocal chords when we speak.  We truly enjoyed our visit to the beautiful Sunshine Cottage and look forward to sharing the gift of music with their students again in the future.

Submitted by Allyson Dawkins

More Outreach Event Pictures

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