Review: Chamber Music Concert 2020



Orchestra students perform an arrangement of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” during the chamber music showcase on Feb. 12.

Smooth notes and complex melodies flowed through the air, as strings let out mesmerizing notes and piano keys tapped along the melody.

Student chamber groups were given the opportunity to perform in the Black Box on Feb. 12. From the moment the concert began, it was visible how hard each member of the orchestra had worked. Pride emanated from the orchestra conductor Nina Bishop.

Many performances stood out, but the one that I was most moved by was the final one, the String Quartet no. 12 op. 96 performed by senior Julie Koo, sophomore Isla Chasin, senior Anna Dong and junior Kaiji Uno. The music was multi-layered, but the various parts came together beautifully to form a cohesive harmony. The upper voices played shorter, slurred phrases, which gave the piece a gentle feel; however, sudden changes in dymanics kept the performance exciting and unpredictable. The variations in intensity and volume, as well as the delicate intricacy, were what captivated me. And although the music was generally bright and upbeat, it was laced through with a sense of nostalgia, which made the performance complex and multifaceted.

Another piece that I thought was especially great was the Merry Go Round of Life, performed by juniors Claire Choi and Sol Heo. There were only two people on stage, but the energy and stage presence made it seem like hundreds. The duo’s long, slurred phrases were fluid, melodic, and almost mesmerizing. Later in the same piece, the short, staccato notes played by Choi gave the piece an energetic, upbeat feel. The contrasting tones of the piece presented a balance of wistfulness and optimism, despite having no words. When I was younger, I was fascinated by how music became a story in my head if I listened closely enough. This reminded me of that.

Isla Chasin, a violinist, spoke about her pride and satisfaction with the concert.

“I really enjoyed the concert. I especially liked seeing all of the new students who joined the orchestra this year and are passionate about chamber music and about playing with their peers,” Chasin said. “I’m very lucky to have worked with the students I played with, and I’m happy to see that everyone’s hard work paid off.”

During the concert, smiles spread throughout the audience, doting parents took videos and offstage members of the orchestra supported those performing. Overall, it was a great experience and everyone’s dedication to music became clear as the night progressed.