The Skaneateles Music Guild happily brought the String Ensemble of former Syracuse Symphony Orchestra musicians to play for an attentive audience of children in both Waterman and State Street schools on two different days.
Cellist and Skaneateles resident Lindsay Groves introduced the other members of the quartet and talked to the children about each piece of the varied program. "Party Music" came first as small heads bobbed up and down to the beat of Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik."
State Street students are studying Beethoven, so the group played "Ode to Joy" for them. Lindsay had the listeners properly pronounce the name "Bach" before explaining that she and violist Wendy Richman would play the orchestra accompaniment to the violin duet of the "Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor."
Many children quietly became conductors in their seats, listening carefully. Musical terms ponticello, pizzicato and glissando, among others, were demonstrated before one of "a kind of scary piece" by Anton Webern was performed, followed by Leroy Anderson's cheerful "Plink, Plank, Plunk." Ms. Groves then invited her young audience to "listen to the next piece and tell me what it is."
The melody from the movie "Aladdin" was enthusiastically identified. The program ended with a rousing country tune turning the violins into "fiddles" and with musicians inspiring the children to clap in time to Calvin Custer's "Central Coach Special," a song he wrote to capture the spirit of the SSO musicians as they traveled together in the orchestra's bus.
The talented musicians communicated their love of music and the joy of playing to our students; they were repaid by vigorous, high pitched applause from small hands.