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Escher Quartet Outreach Event

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A most successful Sunday afternoon concert was followed by an enjoyable dinner for the Quartet and SACMS Patrons. The Quartet discussed their forthcoming performances in Amsterdam and Italy and also their instruments. Outreach had been scheduled for the following morning at the Monarch Academy, a school dedicated to the care of special needs students. Temperatures in the 30’s and a wind made for a cold early morning trip. A warm welcome at Monarch soon dispelled any lingering chills. The musicians set up their instruments and the students arrived with the staff of the school. There was a hum of anticipation as the students went through the programs from Sunday’s concert.

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The Quartet introduced themselves and played movements from Mendelssohn, Britten, Dutilleux and Ravel quartets. Each piece was preceded and followed by explanations. The students participated by describing their feelings in response to this very diverse music. Enthusiastic applause followed each musical offering. One student had a birthday and was serenaded by the quartet. This formed a fitting finale to a great outreach. The Escher arrived at the Airport energized and ready for their long trip to Amsterdam.

Modigliani Quartet Outreach Event

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Following the outreach concert, the quartet spoke with students en francais. Outside of the Keystone theatre, the directors of music and French joined arms with the quartet, who were astounded by the warm weather on November 18th.

“It was a treat to have you and the San Antonio Chamber Music Society bring such a wonderful gift to Keystone School. The Modligliani Quartet was superb and the content of their outreach program was wonderful.”

– Mr. Gabrieal Gonzales, Music Director, Keystone School

Miro Quartet Outreach Event

Following an unusual performance (the audience got to vote on some of the pieces performed) on the SACMS formal series, the Miro Quartet gave a stimulating outreach concert for orchestra students at Lanier High School. Orchestra Director Ruben Zepeda brought some of his string students from Tafolla Middle School. Individual students were asked to identify the instrument in the quartet that had the melody at any given time. During a Q&A session, Mr. Zepeda asked about practicing. The Miro agreed that private practice is a necessary part of excelling in music and that it is better to do a little every day rather than cramming into one lesson. The outreach finale (which had ended the formal series concert on Sunday) was the enthusiastically received Orange Blossom Special.

Chamber Orchestra Kremlin with pianist James Dick Outreach Events

Russian string ensemble performs at Brackenridge HS

Author: Ursula Pari, Anchor publish date October 15, 2012

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of high school students who have never heard a live classical chamber orchestra got a chance to experience one of the most famed ensembles to ever grace a stage when the Chamber Orchestra Kremlin played at Brackenridge High School Auditorium Monday morning.

The 17-piece string ensemble is on a Texas tour and only will stop at one other school in the state.

The San Antonio Chamber Music Society, which has been in existence for 70 years, made the arrangements for Misha Rachlevsky’s ensemble to make two stops in the city.

Red Priest Outreach Events

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SACMS was extremely fortunate to have Red Priest perform two outreach events on Monday following their performance on our series on Sunday March 4 at Temple Beth-El. The events took place at The Montessori School of San Antonio and at UTSA. The audience of 200 students at the Montessori school ranged in age from 6-14. The audience at UTSA was made up of orchestra students and faculty members.

It was fascinating to observe how well the Red Priest musicians interacted with the various ages of students. At the Montessori school violinist David Greenberg ducked behind the harpsichord where he secretly donned a red feathered mask, and then he jumped out with a yell and proceeded to prance around while playing a Vivaldi melody. Piers Adams, recorder player, and David demonstrated a baroque canon, which is like a round, by following each other while playing and winding up and down the aisles of children.

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At UTSA Red Priest set up on the recital hall stage. Students helped set up chairs for the audience to sit on stage so that the event could be intimate. I felt as though I was sitting in a music history class with the most fascinating and inspiring professor imaginable. The group began by explaining the origin of the word baroque, which means rough, as in rough like a pearl. Each musician spoke at some point, and they all told anecdotes about various baroque composers behaving in a rough and experimental manner. The explanations illuminated the character of the group’s wild and crazy performance style.

At the UTSA event I found myself wishing Red Priest would go on for hours. Both outreach concerts were of an unusually high standard. They were stimulating both in the sharing of the joy of making music, and in the motivating of learning about a specific era of “classical” music.

Submitted by: Allyson Dawkins

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