Journalism Next from The Out-of-Door Academy: Ariel String Quartet plays for ODA students

String quartet impresses middle schoolers

Special to the HeraldMarch 11, 2013 

Sixth graders in Out-of-Door Academy's music class got a surprise when the Ariel String Quartet, world-renowned musicians, showed up to their classroom and played, mentored and laughed with them on Feb. 28.

The Ariel String Quartet is an Israeli string quartet. The quartet is made up of violinist Alexandra "Sasha" Kazovsky, cellist Amit Even-Tov, violist Jan Grüning, and violinist Gershon Gerchikov. They first began playing together after they were randomly selected by their school's music teacher to play as a quartet. They realized that they had potential and 13 years later, they are known internationally as one of the world's finest string quartets.

This visit marks their second visit to ODA since 2009. ODA is a member of Education Outreach Program created by The Perlman Music Program, which features the Ariel String Quartet.

The director, Merry Peckham, contacted the Out-of-Door Academy in 2009 to see if the school was interested in the Education Outreach Program. Music teachers at ODA recognized the opportunity for its students and had the quartet visit with middle school students.

During their master class with the sixth graders, the Ariel String Quartet sat in the pit with the students. They helped them out with tuning their instruments and helping them with technique. They mostly focused on music that the sixth graders are going to play during this year's Arts Day.

Adam Sholi says, "I liked how they gave us tips on on our music."

Adding to that, Ethan Marino says, "I thought they were very good. I loved their passion and how they were able to switch genres."

The sixth graders were pleased to have the musicians play with them and even joke with them. After 15 minutes of intense practice, they got to hang out, eat snacks and ask questions. Shortly after, the quartet played a private concert for them.

Nicole Porello, the upper school music teacher, was very pleased when she found out that they were coming back to visit this year. It was an amazing opportunity for the Out-of-Door Academy. We hope to see them again sometime soon.

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