Faculty Music Concert Inspires

Photo courtesy of Ross Mortensen

Violin teacher Ms. Artemis T. Simerson performed a beautiful violin solo during the concert last Sunday.


sic faculty serenaded the community during their afternoon recital held at the Chapel. It was an afternoon of diverse music, fervent passion, and lots of soulful playing.

The recital began with an original piece by violinist Mr. Netta Hadari, who was recently appointed as the new conductor of the Choate Rosemary Hall String Orchestra. His piece, “A Haunting and Tango,” was a spellbinding musical discovery that played around with dissonance, contrasting dynamics and rhythms. Following Mr. Hadari’s solemn performance came a more light-hearted jazz rendition of the classic Disney song,“When You Wish Upon A Star,” by guitar instructor Mr. Brian Hartley.

After a handful of solo performances came a magnificent array of chamber pieces ranging from classic staples like Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 and Faure’s Morceau de Concours to modern pieces like Bela Kováck’s “After You, Mr Gershwin!” The Faure piece, played by Ms. Elizabeth Kitson-Arnold on the flute and Ms. Julie Levene on the piano, was interpreted elegantly and warmed the hearts of many audience members. The slow pace took a shift as Ms. Susan Cheng and Ms. Levene stepped up onstage to perform a jazzy and rhythmically demanding piece by Bela Kováck. As an audience member, it was fun to listen to the syncopated beats and refreshing musical exchanges between piano and clarinet. The recital concluded with a sonorous interpretation of the Second Movement from Mendelssohn’s “Piano Trio No. 1.” The beautiful melodic lines passed on from piano to cello to violin were handled deftly and soared across the chapel. Ms. Cheng, a piano teacher at Choate who performed at the recital, compared the pieces she played, “The piano part to the Mendelssohn Trio is more challenging to learn, prepare, and perform. The ensemble work between piano and clarinet for the Kováck is harder to coordinate. The Kováck piece is fun to hear and play, but I really love the Mendelssohn Trio. This particular Mendelssohn Trio is one of my favorite chamber pieces. It has a great piano part, and I love how all three instruments have pretty equal parts in the music. The writing for each instrument is great and the parts are wonderfully put together to create a cohesive whole. The second movement of the Mendelssohn has always been a favorite of mine for its beautiful melody. Therefore, it was no surprise that I wanted to play it with my wonderful colleagues.”

The recital was met with the enthusiastic applause of an audience filled with students and teachers all with a love for music. Isabelle So ’20 gushed, “It was extremely inspirational watching faculty members playing instruments with so much passion, and the fact that they had so many unique styles of playing really made the whole recital entertaining to watch.”

Ms. Cheng added, “I always enjoy preparing and performing chamber music with fellow music faculty members. It’s a time for us to catch up with each other and do something fun and something that we all love to do.” The recital was a testament to the great musical talent among the Choate community that left the audience in awe and served as a reminder of the many ways music can enrich our lives.

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