Musical ensemble concerts on campus have always been a popular past time among the students and faculty at St. Mary’s. Usually the jazz band, orchestra, and the many choral ensembles will perform at least one concert during the semester, although this year a new classical string quartet will be added to the Music Department’s concert season. Introducing The Elemental String Quartet, in which four orchestra students have decided to try something a little more individualized. This new musical group was formed at the end of this past summer and includes two violinists, a cellist and a violist.
Sophomore violinist Nathan Blumberg, fifth-year transfer violinist Kaitlin Rose, and sophomore cellist Amanda Durst were in a piano quartet last year. When they met first-year violist Emily Magruder, they decided to form a string quartet. This Tuesday, the quartet will open its first concert with Antonin Dvorak’s “American Quartet,” a piece which Magruder says contains “energy in the movements and gorgeous melodies. Durst says her favorite part of being in a quartet is “that it causes you to listen so much more carefully [to your peformance] than you would when in a larger ensemble.”
Both Blumberg and Rose are music majors who play violin as well as piano. Besides playing music, Rose enjoys “sewing costumes and playing video games” and if she could play any piece it would have to Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden.” According to both the Durst and Rose, the hardest part in being part of a quartet is to listen to each other and to be “accountable for not only your own part but others’ as well.” So when they aren’t playing in a large ensemble or doing academic work, these four string players are having fun discovering the passion of Dvorak’s “American Quartet” and growing as musicians. Their first concert as a group will be on Tues., December 10, at 8pm in St. Mary’s Hall.