Middle School Strings Performs at First Live Concert After Pandemic

Allie Schnitzer

Middle School strings students will perform their first live concert since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday evening, Oct. 19.

Director of Upper and Middle School Strings Nick Paraskevas says the performers and the audience will be “masked, of course,” in addition to being “more spread out than usual.”

The fifth graders will “play short pieces from their Strings Method,” and the sixth graders “will play more extended pieces from the same source,” Paraskevas said in an email interview. “Sinfonia (7/8th grades) will play two pieces.”

The Sinfonia students will play British Grenadiers, by John Caponegro, and Conquistador! by Deborah Baker Monday.

The isolation of the pandemic era has been especially difficult for some of the students, Paraskevas said.

“Just as in their academic classes, we find students who really struggled with learning in isolation while others were not so severely affected,” said Paraskevas. “Some of our MS Strings students have had a difficult time while others were able to grow their skills significantly.”

Because of this, Paraskevas says he has had to adapt to the reduced skill level of some of these students.

“We emphasized chamber music (playing in small groups) so that opportunities for collaborative music-making would be more easily accessible,” Paraskevas said. “This was a good plan.”

Although the concert may have limitations on who may be able to attend, Paraskevas will upload the videos of the concert to the MyGreenhill school platform.

“I encourage the Greenhill community to take a look at the very good work so many of our hard-working, tenacious and talented musicians have been doing over the past few months,” he said in his email response to questions.