Chamber Music Evening Dazzles Audience

On Tuesday, musicians from the MICDS Strings and Orchestras program gave solo and small ensemble performances for our first-ever Chamber Music Evening. All songs were student-selected, covering the works of Jessie Montgomery, Tan Dun, Leonard Cohen, Pachelbel, Vivaldi, and more. Students from third grade all the way up to seniors played a broad range of music from classics like the Saint-Saens cello concerto, Chopin’s Black-Key Etude, and music from film and anime to pop hits like Hallelujah and Can’t Help Falling in Love.

The concert in Brauer Auditorium was free to all who wanted to be transported by the talented, young musicians.

Ava Janes ’23 took the time to describe the three pieces she performed. “I performed Tango Por Una Cabeza by Carlos Gardel, a duet arrangement for two violins, with Emma Shao ’23. Emma and I wanted to do a duet that was short and sweet. This piece was incredibly fun and almost satirical in a sense. We loved playing together in this beautifully-done arrangement and had great fun!

“I also performed Rhapsody No. 1 by Jessie Montgomery, a solo violin piece. Montgomery is an African American female composer who worked to create six rhapsodies inspired by different composers. We must continue celebrating diversity in the classical music industry and supporting incredible musicians from all life backgrounds. Rhapsody No.1 is a journey and an environment. It exists in echos, steals the breath from you, and demands the attention of anyone nearby. The piece is intimate and near personal, as if I am talking to myself onstage but others empathize with me. It is an incredibly magical piece.

“Lastly, I performed Passacaglia by Handel/Halvorsen, a duet for violin and cello, with Ellie Chen ’26. This piece is ridiculous! However, playing it is enjoyable and feels like a battle for showmanship. It is a dance between two instrumentalists that demand more attention than the other. I loved working with Ellie on this piece, which took time and effort. Not only that, but it was fun to play! Ellie and I were laughing at each other while playing and having the time of our lives,” said Janes.

Eighth-grader Isha Bogachenchu ’27 shared about playing Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen. “It was amazing, joyful, thrilling, and an experience full of hard work! The journey to playing it took a lot of dedication and effort, but it was worth it! This opportunity was very fun to do because it gave us a chance to explore and participate in a leadership-like activity. My favorite part of the performance was performing in Brauer Hall and listening to the various beautiful pieces that people of different skill levels played. Lastly, playing the violin was an amazing opportunity that I was given, so if you ever get the opportunity to play a string instrument, I recommend that you go for it!”

Dr. Jo Nardolillo, JK-12 Arts Department Chair and String Orchestra Instructor, added, “This concert represented student initiative as interested students chose the music they wished to play, and the work preparing for this has largely been done outside of class time.” She shared how wonderful it was to see the students shine with their love of music. “I am blown away by the artistry and passion of these students! I cannot think of a more fun way to spend an evening.”

Janes reflected on the performance and future of the orchestra program. “This concert was an incredible experience, and I enjoyed witnessing students extend themselves and dive into the pool of music. Students took risks, educated each other, were driven by passion, and had fun. I hope that we continue to work on supporting our orchestra program, as we have already grown so much. It is crucial that MICDS assists in our developing program for all future musicians!”

Check out the full program for the Chamber Music Evening here.

Thank you for the beautiful evening of strings and orchestra music, musicians!