Sunday, March 25, 2012
Ohio Suzuki Tour Group in Cusco!
Back in September our director gave me the task of setting up a joint concert that would include our students and students from an Ohio Suzuki school. After a fair amount of emails between myself and the tour agent, the day of the concert arrived. A group of 19 students between the ages of 9 and 18 years old arrived on March 20th and played that evening at the San Pedro Hogar de las Niñas, an orphanage for girls in Cusco. 9 of our more advanced students played alongside the group at the end during the Suzuki repertoire.
After meeting Susan and Douglas Locke, the directors, I was excited to learn that they know Dr. Andy Carlson, who was the music dept. chair at Denison University where I studied. I played bluegrass under his direction. What a small world!
The tour group played a wonderful set list that was a good mix of romantic, classical and fiddle music! One piece that was quite stunning was the rendition of Brahms String Quartet No. 1 Finale. The violinist were so animated and played excellently. I also thoroughly enjoyed the Danza de la Hacienda. It was obvious that it the favorite piece for many of the students. All of them were smiling and enthusiastic. I hope some of that rubbed off on our students. Sometimes they play and look so bored. I always say, if you look bored, the audience will be bored.
The group also played a set of fiddle tunes which made me happy since I haven't heard any live bluegrass music since college. We were going to do an Andean music set but there wasn't enough time to get it together and practice beforehand. Either way it was a great concert and I am so happy that our students had the opportunity to see what possibilities are out there if they just put in a little more time and dedication to their instruments.
One of my favorite parts was seeing the kids interact and try and communicate with each other. One of the wonderful things about Suzuki method is that no matter where you are in the world, if the Suzuki method is being taught, there will always be a common repertoire no matter what the difference in spoken language may be.
This concert took place in an orphanage and many little girls were able to enjoy this concert. Afterward the girls sang for the group and expressed their gratitude for them coming to give them a private concert. It was really cute. I wonder if Qantu has given any concerts to orphanages. I will have to look into that.
Overall, is was a wonderful night and and excellent experience for all involved.