Virtuosi spring concert provides hope
The MSU Community Music School auditorium was filled Thursday night with classic melodies and the work of the Okemos and Spartan Virtuosi Strings violinists.
Playing an advanced selection of music ranging from Pietro Fiocco to Arcangelo Corelli, violinists also played a piece written by their own composer, Dr. Marjan Helms entitled “Mountain Time.”
“I felt a little bit of the butterflies, but the rest were trained out,” said Zach Kribs, a home-schooled 17-year-old, who led the Okemos and MSU Spartan Virtuosi Strings in Johann Bach’s “Concerto in D minor for Two Violins.”
“It’s a nice feeling to know that they trust me enough, but this was just showing off in front of family.”
The Spring Virtuosi Concert has been held after each semester for the past 30 years, and violin and viola instructor Susanne Garber, who has been teaching for 20 years, said it was a great opportunity for young students to learn the art of violin and viola. The program is composed of violinists from the ages of five to 17, and the most advanced performed at the concert Thursday night.
“Children that have the opportunity to learn an instrument should take the opportunity.” Garber said. “Not only does it develop their minds and hearts, music helps develop motor skills, social skills and it builds community.”
Playing with the band provides performers with tools they can use for success later in life, Garber said.
“Most of these students have been playing since they were four or 5 years old,” she said. “They are able to work through issues like concentration and they are learning how their bodies work on stage.”
As a reward for their hard work, the concert was followed by an ice cream social, switching from the ordinary pizza party, Garber said. Ice cream was not the only reward the students received, she said.
“Music brings the community together, it brings the children together,” she said. “It teaches humanity and hope and promise to kids, they need that.”
It might have been a little nerve-wracking for a few of the players, but 14-year-old violin player Vivian Wang said she felt right at home on the stage.
“This (MSU Community School) is my home, my second home,” Wang said. “I try to practice every day.”