In September, the VCHS Conservatory Chamber String Ensemble students were invited by the head of strings at the San Jose State University Music department, Dr. Sarah Jones-Hayes, to participate in a master class hosted by the Parker String Quartet. The Grammy award winning quartet is currently the quartet in residence at Harvard University. Our students performed and were coached by the quartet's violist, Jessica Bodner.
"An amusing incident occurred when the violist sat down with the students to play the viola part and discovered that the viola part’s music clef had been changed from the customary alto clef to the treble clef, said Chamber Ensemble Director Dr. Scott Homer. "I had to explain that our violist, Angel Sun, just started picking up the viola a couple of weeks prior to the event. Ms. Bodner was indubitably impressed that Angel could have learned her part that quickly and that I that I also took the time to do the transcribing."
Later the students had an impromptu session with the head of the SJSU piano faculty, Dr. Gwendolyn Mok, who is also the private piano teacher of the Chamber Ensemble's pianist, Joey Vasconi. Dr. Mok gave them a spirited and energetic coaching on the work.
"Needless to say, the students got their money’s worth with two strenuous musical workouts that day," said Dr. Homer. "Later our group, the only ones in attendance, got to sit down with the quartet during lunch and converse about their musical backgrounds. The quartet members also enquired at length about the musical aspirations of our students."
The same evening, Dr. Homer took a number of the students to attend the Parker String Quartet’s recital at the Hammer Theatre in downtown San Jose. "From the response I received from the students, they were very much inspired, with cellist Daniel Lin saying that it was the finest live cello quartet playing he has heard to date," said Dr. Homer.
Date: September 17, 2018 Location: SJSU Concert Hall
Program Performed: Brahms Third movement “Scherzo” of his Piano Quintet in F Minor, op. 34
VCHS Chamber Ensemble Students: Megan Chi, junior, cello; Miles Huang, senior, violin; Christy Kim, sophomore, violin; Daniel Lin, senior, cello; Angel Yidan Sun, senior, violin/viola; Angela Tsang, sophomore, violin; Joseph Vasconi, senior, piano.