Saturday, April 05, 2008

Senza Nome String Ensemble

The nameless string ensemble is becoming something that needs a name. Last year I challenged the most advanced half dozen Suzuki violinists to learn the Pachelbel Canon in its original entirety by memory. They did a great job, polished it up very nicely, and it was one of two pieces our local Suzuki program contributed to a regional Suzuki Celebration Concert. They pulled it out to perform again a couple of times last spring and fall, and added another piece or two to their repertoire. Before Christmas, we had them learn a couple of movements from Vivaldi's "Winter" of "The Seasons" fame. As time went on, and the kids got gradually tighter and more versatile, we began thinking of this motley collection of more senior students as an ensemble.

There are seven of them. There's not a lot of music written for six violinists and violist, so we end up arranging music specifically for the group. If we choose the repertoire carefully the re-arranging is simple: we give the viola part to the 3rd violin stand, and the cello part to Noah to play on viola. Although he's alone on his part, he's learned how to power up and hold his own against the six violinists.

Next week they'll be performing three short pieces as an ensemble at the regional music festival. And then in May they have the distinct honour of being invited to share a concert with the Valhalla Community Choir. Locally speaking this means they've hit the big time! The local choir has high musical standards and they've never included another local group in their performances. Yes, we're big fish in a small pond, but it's a high-quality small pond!

We think the group should have a T-shirt or polo shirt uniform of some sort, and a name. I like "Summit Suzuki Strings", but the kids are not convinced. I also think that "Cadence Strings" is a lot of fun, because depending on the day they could be an imperfect cadence, a perfect cadence or (wait for it!) ... a deceptive cadence.


  1. I simply have to comment on the two children in their bare feet! I love it! Just cause I am mom to 2 kids who wish they could do their lessons in their bare feet too. Wait til I show them this pic :)

  2. LOL, Debbie, I've got beyond even noticing that. I cannot keep stuff on my kids' feet. I'm only amazed that one of the barefoot kids is not mine. Babelfish tells me that "Without Socks" is Senza Calzini. Perhaps that's a more apt name for this group.

  3. I vote then for "Senza Calzini" :)

    The kids in Em's quartet voted 3 years ago and they have been "The Trouble Clefs" ever since. The group went from 7 members, to the four who remain today. It's kind of a cute name but they may be outgrowing it.


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