The String Project’s performance highlighted its 15th anniversary. (Tim Clark/Connector)
UMass Lowell’s String Project celebrated their 15th anniversary Tuesday at Durgin Hall with their annual spring showcase.
The event, presented as the “Spring Project Fiesta,” paid tribute to the festive music of Mexico, Central and South America, and Spain. The String Project has different ensembles to cater to the skill levels of the musicians, ranging from beginner elementary school students to advanced high school string players.
The night started with heart-warming performances from the beginner classes playing songs such as “This Land is Your Land,” “Old MacDonanld” and “Do Re Mi” from “The Sound of Music.” The talented, young musicians were as excited as they were nervous when they took the stage, all donning ear-to-ear smiles.
UMass Lowell wind, brass and percussion players accompanied several of the groups. One of which, The String Sinfonia, a mid-level ensemble, played “Fiesta Tropicale,” an upbeat and exciting tune that had the crowd dancing and grooving along. These performances were light-hearted and fun, highlighting the core beliefs of the String Project program.
The night continued and the Lowell Youth Orchestra took the stage with guest violinist Filip Pogady, a world-renowned musician who delivered an electric performance. The Lowell Youth Orchestra, accompanied by university wind, brass and percussion players, performed two pieces that were the canvas to Filip Podagy’s virtuosity.
His lightening fast fingers danced across the violin’s neck and stunned the crowd. The ensemble played two moving pieces, “Havanaise” and “Carmen Fantasie,” which heavily featured solo violin improvisation. The pure musicality coming out of the entirety of the ensemble was a sight and sound to behold.
Rich textures of harmonic motion topped with the incredible styling of Filip Podagy tugged at primal human emotion and held the crowd in a trance; expressions of awe and amazement covered the audience’s faces. The performance ended in thunderous applause and cheers. UMass Lowell’s String Project did a phenomenal job in preparing their students and instructors for this celebratory evening.
The String Project is a music education and community involvement program that provides musical instruction to K-12 students across the Merrimack Valley. It seeks to enrich the lives of community members by not only teaching them fundamentals of music, but also by encouraging them to develop a lifelong love for the arts and allowing them to sow deep-rooted relationships with other community members.
The program also provides first hand experience to university students in music education, allowing them to have the tools and skills they need to succeed in the real world.
The program will release a documentary titled “We’ve Got the World on a String” to commemorate their 15th year of providing excellence to the community. The documentary will show how being a part of the String Project positively influences the lives of its members not only in the classroom, but at home and in the music world as well.