The Upper School Strings Ensemble was confronted with a challenge once the stay-at-home order was put into place. Since Zoom only allows for one audio stream, it was difficult to put together any sort of coordinated performance. The students could only record their solo parts. Strings Instructors David Doherty and Erin Hamill made the pivot that many teachers have done in distance learning, and also had students study the professionals.
“The students were asked to give presentations of their favorite strings concertos, exploring the histories of the pieces and composers as well as their personal connection to these works,” said Doherty.
The time at home has also provided the opportunity for students to develop technique–focusing on scales, arpeggios and other exercises–to further build their repertoire in the hope that they can perform together in the fall.
That fall performance will be missing some important members, however. Lucy Zhao ’20 and Asha Dundoo ’20 are both founding members and participated in Strings in 9th and 10th grade when it was only an activities club. They both performed in the many concerts in School, out in the community and in the busking sessions in Founder’s Court. The ensemble will also graduate violinist Lauren Ferguson ’20, and double bass player Shibashis Mandal ’20.
“The ensemble will continue to grow next year, and we very much look forward to playing in the same room again in the future,” said Mr. Doherty.
Until then, enjoy this virtual performance of the US Strings Ensemble performing Shine You No More by the Danish String Quartet.