Bringing Back the Strings | SierraSun.com

Bringing Back the Strings

Seth Lightcap
Sierra Sun

Have you have heard a concert cellist stand up mid-performance and start freestyle rapping?

Neither had fourth grader Victoria Goldstone until she saw a concert by the Afiara Quartet at the Tahoe Lake School Thursday.

“The music sounded all classical and then all of a sudden it went to rap. That’s cool,” said Goldstone. “It surprised me that he would do that with classical music in the background.”

Goldstone’s reaction to the unusual juxtaposition of sounds was exactly what the Afiara Quartet was shooting for in their third annual visit to local schools last week – to open young ears to the diverse sounds of classical and string music.

The Afiara Quartet’s return to the area was sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Music Festival as part of the festival’s ongoing dedication to educational outreach.

“The basic art forms are suffering in the schools so we continue to bring in accomplished musicians to help maintain the life of music,” said Lake Tahoe Music Festival Chairman of Educational Outreach Programs Domenic Favero.

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And according to Afiara cellist Adrian Fung, the outreach is working.

“The Incline Village Middle School band teacher told us that the number of string students enrolled in high school orchestra has increased from one last year to ten this year,” said Fung.

Building youth interest in strings is exactly why the Afiara Quartet performs such educational events.

“We feel playing music is a valuable emotional outlet that was vital to each of us growing up,” said Fung. “Doing outreach events like this is our way to champion playing chamber music in the youth.”

Having performed at five schools throughout the week, the Afiara Quartet will finish up their work in the area teaching at “String Day”, an all-ages string instrument clinic held at Truckee Elementary, Saturday October 4th from 9 to 1 p.m. After conducting the workshop, the group will play a final show at 2:30 p.m. at Moody’s in downtown Truckee during the Wine, Walk, and Shop event.