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