Last Saturday night, in the middle of a ferocious spring rainstorm, 6th Borough Quartet performed our first of two benefit concerts for victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The weather outside could not have been worse, so we were grateful for the small crowd of soggy but dedicated music lovers, including friends, family, and members of the All Soul's Unitarian Church on Lexington Avenue on New York's Upper West Side.
We raised just under $400-- much less than we had hoped, but it was still a wonderful evening of music and camaraderie at the concert and reception, which featured excellent cookies baked by the moms of my fellow quartet members: Clare Semes, violin; Maria Semes, violin and viola; and Mitch Lyon, cello.
You may have noticed that our quartet does not have a violist: Maria Semes and I share viola duty. In this concert, to lighten our load getting to the church in a taxi with all our instruments and equipment, we also shared a viola. I forgot to bring an extra shoulder rest large enough for the viola (Maria's shoulder rest does double-duty) so during my viola stint, I got to experience playing restless, and on the spot.
Here's a clip from the concert, Blue Rondo a l Turk by Dave Brubeck, arranged by Jeremy Cohen of Quartet San Francisco:
If you are in New York this weekend, please stop by to hear the 6th Borough Quartet play a benefit concert for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. The concert will be on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 at the Unitarian Church of All Souls, 1157 Lexington Avenue, between 79th and 80th.
The concert is free to the public. A freewill donation is requested to benefit victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donations are fully tax-deductible. All proceeds go to the Japan Disaster Relief Fund at the Japan Society.
6th Borough Quartet is comprised of four Philadelphians, all currently studying at Juilliard: me and sisters Clare and Maria Semes on violin; me and Maria on viola; and Mitch Lyon on cello. We've known one another since we were very young, playing together at Settlement Music School, Tempe Music Prep, and the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. We play a variety of styles-- classical, of course, as well as jazz and world music.
Our program on Saturday includes Haydn's "Quinten", Puccini's "Crisantemi", Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F (with guest artist Hsuan-Fong Chen), some Michael Mc Lean, and Jeremy Cohen's arrangement of Brubeck's Blue Rondo a la Turk.
The concert is FREE and open to all. We are requesting a freewill donation. All receipts will be donated to the Japan America Society's Disaster Relief Fund.
A reception will follow with home-backed cookies!
Please come! We hope to see you there! We're doing a second concert on May 20th in Philadelphia.
6th Borough Quartet: Clare Semes, Mitch Lyon, Caeli Smith, Maria Semes
More entries: March 2011