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Youth Orchestraaaaaaaa

Gina: I want to welcome you to A Little Lunch Music. This has been going on for several months here at WHQR. Have any of you been here before to Little Lunch Music? It's a lot of fun and it's a relaxed way to spend your lunch time after a terrible week of bad news and hard work and all that. You just come here, listen to some music, forget about it all. And we always have some treats and a little something to drink. This happens every first Friday of the month. First Fridays of the month at noon. And it's free and come on over. We Facebook Live it. So we're on Facebook right now. Do we have people watching? We have two people watching? Hi two people! Now we're going to have thousands of watchers. This is going to be viral. You won't believe it.

All right so what we have today for A Little Lunch Music is the Coastal Quartet. And these are performers from the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra and they have been working with Beverly Andrews and actually, since we're starting with talk- I usually like start with music- but we're starting with talk so let's just go ahead and do this. Beverly Andrews come on up here. She's the concertmaster of the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. And Beverly, first tell us all- what does it mean to be the concertmaster?

Beverly: Well, it's very cool. A concertmaster is the liaison between the audience and the conductor and the orchestra. The audience knows me most as the one who comes out and bows and accepts the applause. The applause is not for me, actually, it's for the entire symphony. And we can't have everybody standing up and bowing, so it's one person.

Gina: So you take it and then you distribute it in some way to the rest?

Beverly: I make a gesture to the orchestra because it's because of all of them that we're up there.

Gina: And you get to do that because you're the first violin?

Beverly: Yes. I play violin and there's a whole section of fine violinists and I just happen to have that seat that interprets what the conductor says and gives it back to my section. Although the section usually knows what he means. But there has to be one person, like a lynch pin.

Gina: OK, she's lying right now. She says she “just happens to” have that seat. It was just a toss of a coin. Not true.

Beverly: I practiced since fourth grade. And I'm older.

Gina: So you work, you work with the Youth Orchestra?

Beverly: I do. That's one of the perks of this job. I get to coach quartets from the Youth Symphony. And these are the ones this year. And actually last year, too. They're a talented group of musicians. I'm so pleased to be able to work with them and they came in as very good at their instrument already, but it's a whole different animal to work together and to be a group that has a conversation with their instruments and that's what they have learned to do.

Gina: So with the quartet, they don't have a conductor. They have they have to like be their own conductor. Together. Right?

Beverly: Yes, they have to learn how to breathe together, how to look at each other and know what's happening in somebody else's part. And that is difficult.

Gina: Without argument.

Beverly: Yes.

Gina: So we're going to hear from each one of these performers this afternoon. And each one of them is going to tell us about the music that we're going to hear. The first one is Meg.

Meg: First we're going to play Mozart's first movement of The Hunt. And this name actually wasn't given by Mozart but the nickname encompasses the spirit of the piece because the opening gives the image of a fresh aired optimistic pursuit with sounds of chirping birds and hunting horns. And this light easy sound leaves the listener with an entertaining vision of adventure.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: Wow. I'm curious, when you listen to that do you imagine a hunt happening? Like, while you're playing?

Meg: A little bit. There's little trills in there where it seems like birds chirping and little accents that seem like gunshots. And whatever else happens on a hunt.

Gina: What about you?

Camden: Yeah I agree with that.

Gina: Anybody? You want to say anything about that? Do either of you think that something gets killed and skinned in that piece?

C.J.: In the middle section. I can hear it. But that's kind of crazy, though. 

Camden: Yeah, towards the middle gets crazy but mostly in the beginning it's looking for and then you skin it.

Gina: That was lovely. And what is the next piece and who is going to be talking about it? C.J.? And we'll also be hearing about the upcoming performance by the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra and in a bit. C.J., stand up and tell us about the next piece.

C.J.: I'll briefly just go over this because Meg pretty much summed it up. But the next movement we'll be playing will be the Allegra Assai and it means- it can be translated to “fast enough.” So we’ve got to play it fast enough. Guys, we can do that. And then it's just the fourth movement of The Hunt. The one we just played was the first movement and this would be the fourth.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: It's great. I want to give a shout out to my sister, Lara, who's watching from Illinois. Watching you guys play. Hey Lara! And Phil Stein, our former board member is watching on Facebook Live. Do we know anyone else? I want to say hi to everyone who's watching on Facebook Live. Rhonda, hello, thank you for watching. Bruce. Kevin. So whenever we do this, if you can't be here, if you're sick in bed or something, you can also watch on Facebook Live and I will say hello to you. How cool is that? That was, that was lovely. I'm wondering, before I move on to the next piece and the next speaker, if you could- how long have you been playing, Meg?

Meg: Since I was in kindergarten.

Gina: And what got you started?

Meg: Well, my brother played viola and I also wanted to play, but I had to pick a different instrument, so I picked violin.

Gina: And when did you decide, hey I really like this I'm actually going to put a lot of time into it?

Meg: It was probably working up. Just as I got better, I enjoyed it more. So it goes hand-in-hand.

Gina: And C.J., what about you? How long have you been playing and what led you to decide that it was something more interesting than, say, being on Facebook or Instagram or whatever those things are?

C.J.: I actually started playing piano when I was two. And then I went into my middle school at Myrtle Grove and I saw my orchestra teacher playing a cello and I was like, That's really cool. She was playing the Bach Suite, which is the really famous one. I was like, Oh my gosh, it's so cool. Then I started playing and then I switched to percussion, actually, for a while. And I went back to cello knowing that that was the one that I actually wanted to stay with. And I was like, Cello was the best. And now that's kind of what led me to getting off social media and focusing on cello, because it's the best instrument out there.

Gina: So the music can save your children. That's fabulous. I know that Mary from WHQR right here- Mary has some children. Right Mary? And I know Mary has a question. Tell us about your children.

Mary: Well, you were answering part of my question because my 11 year old daughter just started in her middle school orchestra a few weeks ago. And I somehow cannot imagine her going from playing- she's playing the bass- from the theme from Jaws to anything near what you guys are playing. But it sounds like you had a real musical background, but I just wondered if anyone else started a little bit later than two.

Gina: Anyone start later than two?

Addie: Actually, I started in sixth grade as well in my middle school orchestra. My sister played cello, so I saw she started in sixth grade as well. And so, my parents were like, Do you want to play an instrument? I was like, Yeah, I'd like to play viola. So I chose it and I stuck with it.

Gina: I started playing the flute when I was in fourth grade. And all I play is stuff like the Jaws theme. Doesn't help. I mean, if you start really young, that doesn't mean you'll be really good. If you start later that doesn't mean you won't. I think that's my perception. It depends on how hard you work. Right? OK, let's come to Camden.

Camden: Next we'll be playing the Allelujah, which is also known as Exsultate Jubilate, which means, Rejoice and be glad. Mozart wrote this when he was on a trip with his dad in Italy seeing a famous Italian castrato. And when that castrato performed, Mozart was so taken aback by his voice that he decided to write this piece for him. And now, this piece is usually sung by Sopranos.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: How long have you been playing, Camden?

Camden: I've been playing since the age of two because my mom is a violin teacher and my aunt is also. My older sister says she started at age one and a half, so she likes to one up me on that. But I started at age two and it was just kind of a part of my family, so I stuck with it.

Gina: Was it forced upon you?

Camden: After a while I chose it. But I was so young when I started it I didn't really comprehend it.

Gina: That was lovely. And you're going to speak about the next piece, Camden. Is that right? OK. So tell us about the next piece.

Camden: Next we'll be playing Largo from Xerxes. Xerxes was a play and it was a total flop. It only showed about five times. This beautiful aria, however, was resurrected 100 years later and became a huge hit. The Aria is sung by the main character of Xerxes in Persia as he is admiring the shade of a tree.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: Camden, how old is that piece?

Camden: Probably hundreds of years. Near the 1800s I assume. Yeah, a couple hundred.

Gina: Doesn't that just remind you how different times were when you could write some music about how lovely the shade of a tree? I think we should live that way. Oh my goodness. So beautiful. I'd like to take a moment right now to talk to Nicole Thompson. Nicole, how are you related to the symphony?

Nicole: I am the Marketing Manager.

Gina: And you promote all of the stuff that goes on with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra?

Nicole: Yes I do.

Gina: And the Youth Symphony Orchestra?

Nicole: Yes. Lucky me. Yes, I'm very lucky and it's great to be here today and get to hear them play because much of my job is in front of the computer screen. So I'm so lucky that I have such a wonderful product that I get to promote, because if they weren't as wonderful it would make my job a lot more difficult.

Gina: Tell us about the upcoming concert on October 15th.

Nicole: The 15th is the next Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra concert that's at 4:00 p.m. in Kenan Auditorium. The next Wilmington's Symphony Orchestra concert- the one that Beverly plays in, or the “bigger orchestra,” as we call it in the office- that next concert is October 14th and that is Mozart and Brahms. That's at 7:30 p.m. in the Wilson Center and it's featuring pianist Barry Salwen.

Gina: Barry Salwen was our guest last month for A Little Lunch Music. So the 14th for the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra at the Wilson Center and the 15th for the Youth Orchestra where?

Nicole: That's 4 p.m. at Kenan Auditorium.

Gina: Kenan Auditorium, that good old space. And is there anything you'd like to tell us about the Youth Symphony Orchestra or how this happens?

Nicole: Sure. Well, it was founded in 2002 and I did ask some of our fabulous musicians here today and some of them were just born at that time, they're about a year or two old. But there are some players in the group now that were not born yet at that time. So it's kind of a nice little milestone that the orchestra has seen such a great success. Between the Youth Orchestra and the Junior Strings, there are over 100 kids involved in the ensembles. And sometimes we work with other organizations, too. Sometimes the Girls' Choir, for example, comes and plays and so then you've got over 200 kids up on stage at one time and it's really pretty impressive. Once a year there is a free family concert. So that's wonderful. We have usually packed out Kenan Auditorium at that time and have people of all ages come out and get to experience the symphony. So we always say, you've got to hear it live. There's just nothing quite like hearing a live symphony. So if you haven't been, you owe it to yourself to go. And like I said, October 14th is the next one for the Youth Orchestra and the next October 15th is this group playing. And both wonderful talent.

Gina: I have to say, and I'm kind of bragging, but I did perform a puppet show- Peer Gynt- with the Youth Symphony. What was it? Five or six years ago or something. Gosh, that was so much fun. And I've seen them perform a lot. And it is a lovely experience.

Nicole: I have nothing to do with training them, but I'm ever so very proud of them and it's great to be able to come out here today and hear them play.

Gina: Thank you Nicole. Anyone on Facebook have questions or anything?

Comments: Wonderful. Sounding great. How exciting to have this concert live. Very cool.

Gina: Thank you, Facebook. OK. Now, who has the next piece? Who's going to talk about the next one? Meg again.

Meg: Bach was once employed as an organist and one of his jobs was to provide choir music for Sunday services. And he once said that he was concerned with the betterment of church music. So he wrote over 200 cantatas and Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring is the one we're going to play. And it celebrates advent and the anticipation of the birth of Jesus Christ.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: I want to tell you, if you get bored of watching the performers, which I'm sure you wouldn't, but you can also see the music flowing through Beverly over there. I mean, she is like, she's performing with them. She's trying to be really still, I can tell.

Beverly: Wouldn't that piece have been perfect for a wedding? I would like to put a plug in for them, as all teenagers like to work for money. You can contact them by the Wilmington Symphony office. We'll get you in touch with them.

Gina: Yeah, they could come and play that song and others like the other ones. I mean, you could get married again if you've already done it. They need work, right?

C.J.: The next piece we are playing is Rondeau, which is composed by a French composer named Mouret. And he composed a lot of dramatic works which kind of makes him the leading component of all the Baroque music of his country. And his most famous piece, Rondeau, is composed of the more royal kind of styles. And it demands full attention and it's really exciting.

[Quartet plays]

Gina: Let me see if we have any questions in our in-house audience. Any questions? What's up? Where do you go to school?

Camden: Addie, me, and Meg, and actually C.J. all go to Ashley High School.

Gina: We have a question from one of our Facebook watchers. And what is that question? Who keeps tempo in a quartet? Who wants to answer that?

Camden: Well for one, that commenter was my uncle. Thank you Uncle Dodo. So technically, I'm the first violinist and Meg is the second because we- there's two violinists and it creates more harmonies. So as the first violinist, I kind of cue everybody in and cut us off because, I mean, we can't all do it at once. So to just kind of even it out. And I kind of just use body movement and we all look at each other to kind of stay together.

Gina: Anyone else want to say anything about tempo? How hard is it to follow?

Camden: Well, I always have to tap my foot because I get off sometimes. So that's how I do it. It helps you stay on.

Gina: But you have to stay, keep your foot along with the first violin.

Camden: Yes.

Gina: Is that hard?

Camden: Usually when you start a piece, you cue in time. So people come in knowing how fast it's going to be, you just have to keep that in mind.

Gina: But then sometimes the tempo changes. And what do you do then, C.J.?

C.J.: Usually depends on who changes that tempo. But since I usually have quarter notes and eighth notes, which is the kind of bottom structure of all the pieces, I usually kind of keep that bass tempo, but I rely on Camden for the lead.

Gina: And how about for you, Addie? What is the tempo like for you, especially when things change a little bit?

Addie: When the tempo changes, usually I look at Camden for the sniff to know how fast we're going. But then the cello usually has the beats so I just keep with the cello. And usually then I'm good.

Gina: So this is like an organic organism thing. That was kind of redundant, but yeah. But you guys are watching each other. You are the leader? It's good to have a leader, right? And you work with each other. That's really great. Are you going to speak about our next piece, Addie?

Addie: So the next piece you'll hear is the Danza Pastorale, a part of Antonia Vivaldi's best known work, the Four Seasons. Composed in 1723, this piece was merely one of over 500 violin concertos orchestrated during Vivaldi's lifetime. And as we play, listen and see if you can recognize any common melodies. This is, in fact, the most played piece of classical music in the world.

[Quartet plays]

Beverly: Before this concert is over, I would like to say how much I admire these young people. Yes, they all are well-rounded people as well as fine musicians. They represent at least four different studios in town. They are the product of the Wilmington musical community and for their whole life they will be contributing to the musical communities wherever they live. They are on their sports teams at school, they're on the tennis teams, the lacrosse teams, the cross-country teams. They fly airplanes by- they're private pilots some of them. They have taught themselves to knit. They are very accomplished, interesting people with active social lives who love cookies and pink juice at their coaching sessions.

Gina: And they're playing the great music. Gosh, that Vivaldi piece- it's so lovely. It just sounded absolutely perfect, didn't it? And it reminds me, you think all of the music that is the most popular- like that one you said was one of the most played- and I don't know, when you're around a lot of classical music you think, Oh, it's one of these ones that they play all the time. But then you realize, Oh they play it all the time because it's so beautiful. What a beautiful piece. Do you get to tell us about the last piece? Addie?

Addie: OK. So the last piece you will hear is the Entrance of the Queen of Sheba composed by Handel in 1748. This piece was originally inspired by the Queen of Sheba- a wealthy queen who traveled to meet King Solomon in Jerusalem. When the people saw her arriving on camels, bestowing gifts such as spices gold and jewels, they observed her splendor in awe. As you listen to this piece, imagine yourself as one of the witnesses of her extravagant entrance into the kingdom. As you listen to this piece, imagine yourself as one of the witnesses of her extravagant entrance into the kingdom.