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.
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.
The Tempest Trio presented an outreach concert to a rapt audience of 250 at the Jewish Community Center on January 27. Audience members ranged in age from 6 months to long-time community members.
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
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.
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