The most recent assemblies at Junior School have been more musical than usual, as both the Grades 4 and 5 strings ensembles have treated their younger schoolmates to concerts. The students played for their friends, family members and staff. Both ensembles demonstrated that rehearsals have sharpened their skills and prepared them for many performances to come.
“All SMUS Junior School strings players are to be congratulated for the attention that they have applied to their musical studies during first term,” says instructor Mary Smith.
This past Monday, the Grade 4 musicians played their debut concert with all the excitement expected of first-time performers. The 36 players on violin, viola, cello and double bass gave a small demonstration that briefly outlined the logical steps of the creation of string music, from sounds to songs, which culminated in several ensemble pieces including “Ode to Joy.”
“The enthusiastic response to this concert allowed these young musicians to become aware of the significant steps that have already been made in their musical journey at SMUS,” says Mrs. Smith.
The week before, the Grade 5 strings ensemble performed five selections from their fall repertoire for an appreciative audience. The 42 musicians prepared a variety of fully harmonized pieces that highlighted the steady progress they had made during their first year of musical training, as well as how their string-playing experience has broadened over the past months. A favourite piece was a short selection, newly entitled “Hogwarts March” that was arranged from a score found and re-orchestrated by Mrs. Smith to suit to the talents of the Grade 5 students. As a finale to their performance the students played “Dragon Dances,” a challenging piece with an oriental flavour, written in a minor key.
The next performance by the Grade 5 ensemble will be on December 10, when they visit Oak Bay Lodge to play their instruments and sing as a choir for the residents.