Future violinists have a chance to learn about and try the most prominent instrument in the orchestra when the Eastman Community Music School celebrates Violin Day on Saturday, Dec. 13.
Adults and children can enjoy recitals, watch classes, and try their hand at making music during a string instrument petting zoo. All the activities are free and open to the public.
The day opens with the string instrument petting zoo in the morning and continues through the afternoon:
- 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.: instrument petting zoo, Ray Wright Room (Room 120), Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St.( main building)
- 11:30 a.m. to noon: observe a beginning violin group class, Ray Wright Room
- 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.: Eastman Beginning Strings recital, Ray Wright Room
- 1:30 to 2 p.m.: reception, Ray Wright Room
- 2 to 3 p.m.: Chamber Music and Advanced Student Recital in Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman East Wing
- 3:30 to 5 p.m.: Advanced Student Master Class with Associate Professor of Violin Renée Jolles of the Eastman School of Music, Ray Wright Room
Instructors, interns, and staff from the Eastman Community School will be on hand to describe and answer questions about the school’s programming. The school currently has approximately 1,600 students, from babies in the early childhood programs to 90-somethings in the New Horizons ensembles. Like the collegiate-level Eastman School of Music, of which it is a part, the Eastman Community Music School was founded by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman and opened in 1921.
While it has ancient origins, the violin acquired most of its modern characteristics in 16th century Italy. It is played by musicians in a wide variety of genres, including classical, jazz, bluegrass, country, and folk music.
An orchestra can have up to 30 violinists. Famous solo violinists include Itzhak Perlman, who performed with the Eastman Philharmonia in February 2014, Midori, Joshua Bell, Anna-Sophie Mutter, Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, jazz violinists Stuff Smith, Joe Venuti, Stéphane Grappelli, and Regina Carter, and folk musician Jay Ungar, whose “Ashokan Farewell” was the main theme for Ken Burns’s The Civil War documentary series and is now considered a folk classic.
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