Online Exclusive: Musicians shine at annual chamber concert

A group from last year’s chamber concert at rehearsal in the white box (Photo by Daniel Krane)

Those tiring Z-block rehearsals have paid off for the Orchestra. It has grown significantly this year, accepting kids who have played their instruments since early childhood, as well as those who have only recently started playing.

Their range of skill was on display at An Evening of Chamber Music, which took place Thursday, Feb. 16. in the Black Box.

An Evening of Chamber Music was true to its name: small groups of two to seven students performed individual concertos, movements and popular songs. Groups differed in size, instrumentation and skill level, which kept the concert engaging despite its hour-long length.
The evening began with duets for two doublebasses performed by junior August Ramos and sophomore Fred Metzger. The dark, rich sound of the interweaving doublebasses was lovely and had good intonation. Though the timing seemed rushed at the beginning, the two soon fell into an even rhythm, and ended each piece in perfect synchronization.

Next came Telemann’s “Trio Sonata in C Minor,” performed by sophomore Tal Scully on flute, sophomore Jonah Pearl on oboe and sophomore Isaac Liu on piano. This piece had a light, refined sound, with particularly nice precision. Everyone listened to what the others were doing, and even when playing fast or difficult spots, the group stayed together. The light airiness of the flute and the reedier sound of the oboe complimented each other, and the piano flowed along with them.

“A Wonderful World” featured vocals from sophomore Emy Metzger, with junior Andrea Kim on violin, sophomore Sam Friedman on piano, sophomore Pearl Choi on cello, sophomores Janice Lee and Agnes Park on ukulele and sophomore Katharine Silva, who arranged the ensemble, on trumpet. This was one of the concert’s most original pieces, not to mention impressive, for arranging such a large group takes skill. Metzger provided the main melody, but it was hard to hear her over all of the other instruments, and the ukuleles were not at all audible. The sound seemed a bit jumbled and unbalanced in terms of volume. However, it was a risk worth taking and well-received by the audience.

Freshman Nicholas Gallitano (first violin), freshman Katie Hong (violin), freshman So Eun Park (piano), freshman Judy Liu (cello), and freshman Gabrielle Guttorm. (viola) performed a piece from the film Howl’s Moving Castle. The rich, haunting melody was brought to life beautifully by this group.

Again, each player listened carefully to each other, keeping the piece synchronized. Everyone played expressively on their instrument, giving the piece texture. For a group of mostly freshmen, it was an especially impressive performance.

The string trio of junior Grace Moon on cello and juniors Eliana von Krusenstiern and Jack Ruske on violin was very polished. Each member of the group played with lots of expression, enthusiasm and dynamics that gave the overall sound a professional quality. The intonation was flawless through the dark striking chords to the happy, dancing melody later on.

As a whole, the evening of chamber music conveyed the orchestra’s many talents.

Olivia Shiffman can be contacted at [email protected]