Friends of Music Concerts Offers Local Schools Free Master Class
Sponsors 1-Day Residencies With Musicians
Through its grant-funded Partnership in Education program, Friends of Music Concerts, Inc., has worked with several Westchester County schools during the 2021-22 season in order to enhance their music programs by providing one-day residencies for young professional ensembles that perform and then conduct master classes to the schools’ music students.
The series began in November with the Tesla Quartet at White Plains High School. It continued in March with the Aizuri Quartet at Hendrick Hudson High School in Montrose, in April with The Balourdet Quartet at Sleepy Hollow High School, and in May with the PUBLIQuartet at Purchase College.
At the March residency, violinists Emma Frucht and Miho Saegusa, violist Ayane Kozasa, and cellist Karen Ouzounian of the Aizuri Quartet spent the day with the up-and-coming musicians of Hen Hud’s Orchestral Director Lauren Morabito’s Chamber Orchestra. As the quartet performed works by Gershwin, Ravel, and Rhiannon Giddens, the students’ rapt attention was evidence of their awe of the quartet’s artistry and technical prowess. The four visiting musicians assisted the students through guided listening, highlighting the composers’ backgrounds and explaining the different music genres. According to Rosella Ranno, Friends of Music Concerts’ Program and Education chair, the quartet “provided a key to understanding the depth of the music, particularly that of the Giddens.” She added, “The students’ enthusiasm, attention, and participation were wonderful, as were their questions and comments.”
In April at Sleepy Hollow High School, The Balourdet Quartet worked with students from the high school’s senior orchestra and from student musicians from the middle school. Small ensembles and quartets received intense master classes in which the visiting musicians advised students on bowing style, expression, and timing. In its performance for the students, the Balourdet played works by Brahms, Debussy, and Haydn.
During its more than 30 years of existence, the Friends of Music Concerts’ Partnership in Education program not only has enriched the music programs of many school districts at no cost to any of them, but also has helped create future generations of classical music lovers and life-long supporters of the arts.
This fall, applications to participate in the 2022-23 Partnership in Education program will be mailed to nearly 40 public school districts in Westchester and some private schools as well. The application also is available on line at www.friendsofmusicconcerts.org/partnership-education-grant-application. Please contact Rosella Ranno (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.