The Strings Concert

Post date: Oct 31, 2015 3:45:33 AM

By McKynzie Perry

There aren't many events you can attend at Central where you hear the Alphabet song, then hear the theme from Psycho 30 minutes later. However, on Thursday October 29th, the entire strings program treated us to a diverse and incredible program. Let's look at the play by play.

The concert kicked off with the beginning strings. These are kids who have been holding violins, violas, cellos, and basses for only 9 weeks. 9 weeks. And while my expectations were reasonable, I was completely blown away by how talented these new musicians are. They played 5 short, sweet pieces that showed off their skills. The future of the strings program is bright with these talented musicians.

Next up was the intermediate middle school strings. They opened with Creatures by Brian Balmages, which was a creepy, yet incredibly fun piece that was the embodiment of Halloween. They finished with Dramatic Essay by Mark Williams. While I hadn't heard it before, it was an entrancing piece that showed off the musicianship of the ensemble. I was once again blown away by how wonderfully they performed their pieces, and Ms. Nelson told the crowd that they played Dramatic Essay the best they've ever played it. Congrats on a 100% performance, intermediate middle school strings.

After the Intermediate Middle School Strings, the Intermediate High School Strings took the stage, leaving me to wonder how much difference there would be between groups with the same name. However, they really showed how just a couple more years of experience only adds to the talent of the musicians. The intermediate high school strings played two classics, and one piece that was new to me. After a program change, they opened their portion of the program with the majestic Jupiter from Holst's The Planets, and they perfectly captured the essence of the king of the Roman gods. The middle piece, Toccata by Frescobaldi, was new to my ear, but definitely had the makings of a great baroque piece.They finished with Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Brahms, which is one of those pieces that you don't know that you know until you hear it. The musicians really showed off their technique during the faster portions of the Brahms, and was a great way to end their portion of the concert.

The grand finale group, advanced strings, lived up to their name, with 5 pieces that were performed impeccably. Some standouts for me were the Theme from Psycho (which was as awesome as it sounds), Moldau by Smetana, which featured sweeping, beautiful melody that I immediately recognized, and Iditarod. As someone who frequents the Nashville Symphony, I wasn't expecting anything great from a high school strings ensemble, in the same way you don't expect a high school sports team to be on the level of the pros. However, the advanced string were completely beyond all of my expectations, and really immersed me into the music. I can't even pick out individual details easily, because the music was so powerful.

Speaking of advanced strings, they're teaming up with the Wind Ensemble from the band program to create a full symphony orchestra, which will be the first symphony orchestra outside of graduation. If you missed this concert, I HIGHLY recommend attending the full symphony concert on December 10th.

That's all from the classical nerd. See you December 10th.