quintet

Members of the Young People's String Quartet include (front row, from left) violinist B. J. Zheng, violinist Emily Hamilton, and violist Everett Hamilton; (back row, from left) and cellist Rebecca Carol, plus bassist Gayel Pitchford.

The Young People’s String Quartet (plus a bass player), a subset of the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra, just finished a set of three concerts, one each at Tompkins, Cumming Valley and Golden Hills elementary schools, where they played a wide variety of music and demonstrated their individual instruments and talked about why they liked to play them.

The Quartet is composed of first violin B. J. Zheng and cellist Rebecca Carol, both juniors at Tehachapi High, and second violin Emily Hamilton and violist Everett Hamilton, both of whom are attending college online. The string bassist is their strings teacher, Gayel Pitchford, who is the concertmaster of the Tehachapi Symphony.

The group played various genres of music, including: pop, "Just Give Me a Reason" (made popular by the singer Pink); chamber music for string quartet, Beethoven’s "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony; theme-based music, "Pirate’s Voyage," "Dragon Hunter", and "Blue Rhythmico", the latter of which is totally rhythm-based; movie/show tunes, selections from the Wizard of Oz; classical, Tchaikovsky’s lovely "Waltz from Sleeping Beauty" and Grieg’s "Peer Gynt Suite"; and typical American folk music, John O’Neill’s "Americana Medley."

This effort is part of the Symphony’s outreach to ensure that young people in Greater Tehachapi are exposed to live music performances and learn about the various instruments that make the music. If you and/or your children are interested in knowing how to get started playing a musical instrument, you may contact the Symphony’s concertmaster, Gayel Pitchford, at 823-8249.

The Symphony’s next concert will be at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, at Country Oaks Baptist Church, 20915 Schout Road. The program will feature violist April Park, winner of this year’s Young Artist Competition in von Weber’s Andante and Hungarian Rondo. In addition, the Tehachapi Symphonic Chorus, directed by Angela Rodriguez, will be performing Beethoven’s "Hallelujah" from the Mount of Olives and Kyrie from the Missa Solemnis, with the Symphony, which will also play Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5 (“Reformation Symphony”).

More information at the orchestra website: tehachapiorchestra.com.

Gayel Pitchford is the concertmaster for Tehachapi Symphony.