Three sixth grade student musicians — violinist Katelyn, cellist Julia, and pianist Hepsiba — can't wait to share the stage at Carnegie Hall this Saturday for our annual global concert entitled, "Music of the Seasons."
Three sixth grade student musicians — violinist Katelyn, cellist Julia, and pianist Hepsiba — can't wait to share the stage at Carnegie Hall this Saturday for our annual global concert entitled, "Music of the Seasons." They've been practicing for weeks to evoke the moody, swaying sound of Argentine tango and chamber piece, "Oblivion," composed by Astor Piazzolla and arranged by José Bragato.
The piece demands a great deal of communication and unity among the trio, who are collaborating for the first time. Hepsiba explains, "In chamber music, you can't be focused on yourself — you have to focus on everyone else, too. Especially with 'Oblivion,' we have to be working together or there's no meaning and no sound."
Hepsiba sets the pace and rhythm for the piece on the piano. Katelyn and Julia take on the challenge of precisely matching Hebsiba's speed while harmonizing with each other. The light, bright voice of the violin represents the woman in a dancing couple, while the rich, deep sound of the cello represents the man. Through their coordinated phrasing, feeling, and bowing, Katelyn and Julia hope to conjure the sound of a couple tangoing in tandem.
Katelyn says that requires a lot of visual cueing. "We have to look at each other a lot, to make eye contact," she explains, "There's chemistry in the music."
Each of the girls has been playing her respective instrument for at least five years. Hepsiba says that piano is her spark of genius. She enjoys other subjects too, like math and English, and loves to paint. But when it comes to playing piano and performing, Hepsiba says, "This is my life!"
Katelyn has a similar passion for her instrument, the violin. She says, "I like everything about it!"
Julia loves playing the cello, but feels that her spark of genius lies in another artistic pursuit. "My favorite thing in the world to do is lighting in the theater," she explains, and she looks forward to learning more about that in our own Dwight Commons. Julia participates in Dwight School's chamber music ensemble after-school program, led by Music Director Alistair Hamilton. She says she has a lot of fun learning music from Mr. Hamilton, and she's looking forward to performing on Zankel Stage for the first time.
Julia was familiar with "Oblivion," long before the performance was arranged, and the piece carries a special meaning for her. She shares, "My mom loves it, so whenever I play it, I think of her."
We look forward to watching the girls shine individually and as a team on Saturday. Can't wait until then? Watch this clip of the trio rehearsing for Middle School students during morning meeting:
- Carnegie Hall Concert