The Children's Institute Blog

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Chamber Group Visits Our Amazing Kids

Posted: Apr 07, 2017 by The Children's Institute

A Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra chamber group was in the midst of performing David Anderson’s “Quintet” for a gymnasium full of students from The Children’s Institute’s Day School when something odd happened. As children clapped rhythmically, a woman from the Information Desk turned on the loud speaker and blurted, quite loudly, that teachers needed support in one of their classrooms.
The quintet didn’t blink.

The quintet, led by bassist John Moore, has played concert halls, high schools and bars, and they say they don’t alter their performance for the crowd or the venue.

“Whether we’re in a small ensemble, whether we’re in Heinz Hall – we do what we do,” John said after Tuesday’s 45-minute performance. “The quality and the music is appropriate in all of those settings.”

Performers includes John Moore on bass, Scott Bell on oboe, Dennis O’Boyle on violin, Andrew Wickesberg on viola, and Ron Samuels on clarinet.

In addition to recreating the modern piece by Anderson – a living composer whose work, John said, references popular culture, as well as orchestral repertoire – each musician performed a solo after a brief introduction to their instrument. The students seemed to love it, clapping and sometimes swaying with the sound.

Student Noah Hewitt had seen a clarinetist perform live before - and made his preferences known.

"It sounded good. I like the clarinet," he said.

“I liked the violin; it had great tone,” Wayne Marshall, Noah’s classmate, chimed in. “It made a great noise.”

Eric Emmons is in the business of great noises. The Day School music teacher educates his pupils about music and sound, and tries to open their eyes and ears to live performances on campus, too.

“Live music is a wonderful motivator for many of our students, enabling students to practice group and social skills that they work on in school while enjoying a positive aesthetic experience,” he said. “For our students to get to hear and see music of such high quality is fantastic!”


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