Spring Strings Fest 2015

Back in the day when we held school at Hope Creek Church, I decided that I would try to master the first Suzuki Book with my son, Chad, who was taking up the violin.  It was a humbling experience in many ways.  Despite my best efforts, I was never able to master the art of the bow hold, which my son seemed to get instinctively.  Every time I hear young students play the violin, I stand amazed and am grateful for their hard work and dedication.

When we were nearing the end of Book I, I decided to make an object lesson of my mediocre violin accomplishments.  I stood before the entire student body and played Bach's Minuet No. 3; then I asked Nancy Brooks, then on the board, to come up and play it.  The lessons were legion, and I made all I could of my humiliation.  Mostly I talked about excellence and the importance of practice in many things, not just the violin.

So you can imagine that I took a strange pleasure tonight in hearing our young strings group playing that same Bach piece.  I closed my eyes and listened with joy, glad that these students so young had already surpassed all that I had been able to do, hopeful that they would keep learning.  Here is the very last of that piece:

And here is a piece (Minek) played by the ensemble and danced by senior Alexandra Hall.

Our strings program continues to grow.  It was wonderful to see our younger players beside our most accomplished musicians.  Here is one of the several quartets that played tonight, this one performing Vivaldi's Concerto for Four Violins in B Minor.

Special congratulations to our seniors, Cammie Behnke, Anna LaDine, John Matthews, and Christopher Wu, whose modeling and leadership has helped to build this program.

Nancy Brooks and Carrie Engsberg Wiseman, our two directors, should be commended for a fine program and performance.

May it continue to grow, Non Nobis.


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