Monday, December 14, 2015

A Review: Sacramento State String Project Winter Concert

By Steven Masone

      The CSUS String Project is the flagship program of this kind in the West and a member of the National String Project Consortium. They provide carefully structured group lessons in violin and cello for children in the fourth grade and up. 

      The lessons are taught by the dedicated and talented CSUS School of Music undergraduate and graduate teachers and supervised by experienced teachers. Lessons are available at affordable prices due to the generous support of The Sacramento State Associated Students, The Heller Foundation, String Letter Publishing,

       Associated Students Inc. (ASI), the Robla School District, Twin Rivers School District and the National String Project Consortium. The Teichert Foundation has given support in previous years.

I could not attend the 2015 Winter Concert in person, but I watched the live streaming Music@Sacramento State in 

Widescreen HD. I was surprised at the quality broadcast of 

both video and audio. The beginning students in the String Project are fourth through 8th graders from schools in the Sacramento area. During their first year, these students learn the basics of string playing in a heterogeneous or homogeneous class of approximately fifteen to fifty students. 

2nd year and up Students are grouped in a heterogeneous group to create an orchestral experience. Occasionally some students are taken out of the large orchestra to work in a smaller chamber orchestra setting. 

Proud mother Nina Chobu-Linskiy (bottom right) of  Milana, Sasha  and Alik Linskiy, three students performing in concert.

      Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass were the main instruments accompanied by piano for the 2015 Winter Concert. College students and teachers are all involved with conducting the different  pieces.

      I was very impressed with how well the concert was produced and performed! Usually, whether it is a string trio, string quartet, to string orchestra, if there are off key instruments or mistakes in rhythm and timing, it is not a pretty sound. However, these children were excellent! 

      Out of all the pieces, "Christmas Bells" was my favorite as it was fairly complex in both monophonic and homophonic textures. Beginning in monophonic, it was built up using the first theme of favorite Christmas "Bell" songs, bringing in it's development in contrasting key and with great dynamics. The future of many of these well disciplined and focused children may very well be in music. However, all will be enriched forever by musical appreciation and experiences that The String Project makes available to our community.

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