The eyes and ears of orchestra students fixated for an hour on the stage featuring four professional musicians drawing their bows across taut strings and creating a captivating sound.
“It was very beautiful,” said Juan Martinez, a freshmen at Harlingen High School. “I didn’t want them to stop playing. I could have listened to them all day.”
The music department at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District hosted a performance by the Wyeth String Quartet for all HCISD orchestra students on Sept. 24. This is the third year the HCISD music department has brought in a performance for students.
“We want to expose our students to semi-professional performances they might not come in contact with in their educational or personal life,” said Dr. Sabrina Quintana, director of music education. “We want them to know what the possibilities for their future are. To show them that it is possible to have a career in the arts.”
The Wyeth String Quartet played a variety of different songs, ranging from Coldplay to Beethoven. When the performance was completed, they answered any questions the students may have.
“We were extremely impressed with the passion we saw and the quality of questions we received today,” said Leda Lawson, cellist for the Wyeth String Quartet. “Usually the questions are very basic, but the ones the students asked today were incredibly insightful. It showed their true musical knowledge.”
Watching their performance and listening to the answers the quartet provided some students with a new outlook on their participation in Orchestra, said Samantha Daily, an eighth grade student at Gutierrez Middle School.
“You can see the passion when they play. I play the cello, and watching them play makes me want to practice more,” Daily said. “I know they’ve been playing for a long time. I want to be able to play like that.”
Quintana hopes in the future that HCISD will be able to open these types of performances up to more students, she said.
“When we open the Performing Arts Center, we hope to have more enrichment programs, not just for music students but for all students,” she said.
The Wyeth String Quartet will perform at University of Texas at Brownsville on Sept. 25.