The first of several strings concerts took place this week, with the Grade 7/8 Strings class performing for parents, faculty, family members and friends. The students, conducted by Mary F. Smith, played six different selections to a full house, including the Grade 6 music students who will soon follow in their footsteps.
“These musicians from Grade 7 and 8 have just come from lessons in Science, French, Japanese and Mandarin,” jokes Mrs. Smith at the beginning of the concert. “Therefore, two fiddle tunes, to help them get readjusted.”
The students played a medley of “Flowers of Edinburgh” and “Bottom of the Punch Bowl,” two traditional Irish songs, before moving on to an arrangement from G.F. Handel, an 18th century Baroque composer who created Music for the Royal Fireworks.
Before joining her students for a trio performance on piano, violin and cello, Mrs. Smith thanked Mrs. Terry Harper for providing pianos for Schaffter Hall classrooms and the chapel. “There are many students at SMUS who spend much of their spare time playing the piano,” she says. “Every day, in our work areas, teachers are serenaded by music.”
After the trio performed a challenging piece of chamber music from Mozart, the students returned to the work of Handel and played a selection written for a small concertino with a full ensemble. They finished off the afternoon with J.S. Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, to vigorous applause.
Special guests included Anne Schaffter. Anne and her husband John, who was headmaster at SMUS from 1977 to 1988, were instrumental in the development of the school’s music programme. Schaffter Hall was named after the couple when it opened in 2004.
Junior and Middle School Strings Performances:
- Grade 5 strings at Junior School assembly, November 19 at 8:30 a.m.
- Grade 4 strings at Junior School assembly, November 26 at 8:30 a.m.
- Grade 6 strings and choir at Somerset House, December 11 at 1:00 p.m.
- Grade 7 strings at Highgate Lodge, December 12 at 1:00 p.m.