By Julia Burnett
Twelve student chamber groups entertained a crowded Orchestra Room on January 31 at this year’s Winter Chamber Concert. Each ensemble featured two to four musicians matched by personality and skill level who met to rehearse once a week during free blocks leading up to the event, according to Interim Orchestra Director Adrian Slywotzky ’98, who prepared the groups throughout the first trimester.
“The trick with putting together chamber groups is to ensure that they are going to be well matched in their skills and personalities,” Mr. Slywotzky said. “I tried to choose pieces based on the students in each group.”
According to Chabelis Byamana ’16, who plays viola for both the orchestra and chamber programs, Mr. Slywotzky was a helpful resource in general and in preparing specifically for the event. “He tries to show us what we can do to make our piece flourish. He really wants us to succeed,” Chabelis added.
Each performer’s hard work was clear in his or her performance, according to several spectators.
“I thought all of the pieces were very good,” said Erica Pandey ’13, who attended the concert. “I especially enjoyed the flutists. The other pieces had a few different instruments, so the flute piece was interesting because the performers were all using the same instrument but making different sounds.”
According to Mr. Slywotzky, the concert was very well attended and an overall success. “We had a lot more people than expected,” he said. “We could barely fit them all in the performing space.”
Erica added, “There really was a good turnout. The attendees included faculty, parents, and students, all supporting the performers. I noted a stronger student turnout than I’ve seen at other school concerts and performances.”
Yumi Chan ’14, who played violin in Chabelis’ group, said that this year’s concert posed an exciting musical challenge for her and her group members.
“I think it was pretty good overall,” she said. “It was a lot of material, and for my group especially, we took on a piece that was more complex than what we would normally take on, but I think we did a pretty good job and so did all of the other groups.”
The chamber music program will hold another formal concert this spring and will continue to practice weekly to prepare. Throughout the term, groups will host a few informal concerts—called Studio Classes—in Renaissance Hall during various X blocks.