The Black & White

Classical Me unites student musicians in biannual concert

By Lucy Chen

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Ninety minutes of beautiful classical music wowed the audience at St. Dunstan’s Church Saturday at the second and final Classical Me of the year.

The volunteer recital featured 24 students, each displaying talent in vocals or instruments.

Students participate in the final Classical Me concert of the year April 28. The concert featured 24 student musicians, from vocalists to instrumentalists. Photo by Hanna Lee.

Senior Simone Levine opened the show by singing a heartfelt rendition of “Stars and the Moon,” arranged by Jason Robert Brown. Other strong vocalists included seniors Lizzie Bartlett, Jay Besch, Joe Lilek, Omid Vatandoost, junior Marissa Hosker and sophomore Calvin Schlach, as well as freshmen Jordan Abramowitz and Erin Craig.

Classical Me gives student musicians who normally don’t perform for their friends a chance to showcase their skills.

“I’m not usually a music person, like I’m not in the plays and everything, but I love being part of this,” Hosker said. “It’s such a fun activity to do and everyone’s so great. There are a bunch of people with a hidden talent who I’ve never thought of before.”

Senior Claire Graebner and juniors Stephanie Shao, Claire Ramirez and Elizabeth Wright perform a flute quartet at Classical Me. They played "Shenandoah" by Ricky Lombardo. Photo by Hanna Lee.

The evening also featured a number of outstanding instrumental performances. A flute quartet of juniors Stephanie Shao, Claire Ramirez, Elizabeth Wright and senior Claire Graebner performed “Shenandoah” by Ricky Lombardo. Solo instrumental acts included sophomore Beatriz Atsavapranee on violin, junior Ali Foreman on French Horn, sophomore Niels Verhoeven on cello and sophomore Matt Digan on trombone.

Acts like Gabe Slesinger’s performance of the second movement of “Trumpet Concerto in F Minor,” senior Jeremy Steinberg’s clarinet performance of “Solo de Concours” and sophomore Sam Shapiro’s double bass performance of the first movement of “Concerto in C Minor” were accompanied by music teacher Wayne Chadwick.

On solo piano, sophomores Conrad Mascarhenas and Zach Page, as well as junior Deanna Segall and senior Gabriella Taginya, showcased their skills, taking on challenging and melodious pieces.

Classical Me is open to everyone, which is part of what makes it such a great opportunity for classical musicians.

“My favorite part is that anyone who wants to do it can and that there are a lot of diverse instruments and both instruments and vocals, so you can hear both in one concert,” said Slesinger, who organized the recital and has participated in Classical Me for four years.

The skill and dedication of the performers impressed many audience members.

“I love seeing how the students have grown from one concert to the other,” parent Michelle Levine said. “Obviously they’ve worked pretty hard–some very very hard–and they’ve taken on challenging pieces, so it’s delightful to see that.”

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