On Sunday, February 26, Packer’s Middle School and Upper School strings students joined peers from Saint David’s School, the Brearley School, the United Nations International School, Collegiate School, and Rudolph Steiner School for the Carnegie Hall Festival of Orchestras 2020.
Led by strings teacher Lucas Maia, students from Sixth Grade to Twelfth Grade performed as one combined ensemble. Maia said having students from two divisions perform together was a “collaborative learning experience, where students had the opportunity to be musically challenged as well as develop their leadership, teamwork, and communication skills.”
Packer Strings opened its concert with “Lascia Ch’io Pianga” (“Let Me Weep”), a piece by Handel. This arrangement of the aria from the opera Rinaldo depicts the emotional grief and sadness of the soprano confronting her cruel destiny. After that, the orchestra performed three short selections of the Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock. This piece is a set of dances in the renaissance style: “Basse Danse,” a heavy slower-paced danse; “Pavanne,” a funeral-march-like procession; and lastly, “Matachins,” where dancers pretend to fight with swords. Afterwards, Packer Strings performed the hymn-like theme of “Jupiter” from The Planets. The original piece written by Holst is a collection of orchestral works inspired by the different planets and Roman and Greek deities associated with them. Packer Stings’ portion of the concert ended with a performance of a student favorite: “Turning Point” by Robert Longfield. This piece has modal harmony, a driving rhythmic main theme, and a contrasting lyrical middle section.
See highlights from the show below.
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