On Thursday, September 29, the 2016-2017 Lorenzo Music Series began with a beautiful performance by UNB Saint John’s musicians in residence, the Saint John String Quartet.
This was the first of five scheduled performances in the Munch & Music portion of the Music Series which takes place in the Whitebone Lounge of the Thomas J. Cordon Student Centre, from 12:30 – 1:20 P.M. on select days throughout the year.
“You can come and go,” violinist Danielle Sametz explained. “People probably assume it’s very stiff and formal, and I think that’s why they don’t always come, but it’s super relaxed.”
“You are encouraged to bring your lunch!” violinist Christopher Buckley said – hence the name Munch & Music.
Those who attended the performance had the privilege of hearing the Quartet play famous compositions by Mozart, and to bask in the soothing sounds of the stringed instruments.
“The performance by the Saint John String Quartet was a perfect remedy to decompress and re-energize after an eventful week,” noted Trish MacLeod, a first year Business student at UNB Saint John. “I look forward to attending this series throughout the year.”
It isn’t just the audience who enjoys these performances, though. The Quartet loves playing at UNB Saint John.
“I think it’s a little bit more relaxed here. It’s an intimate setting, whereas a recital hall would be more formal,” said cellist Sonja Adams.
“There’s also more of a connection with a smaller audience. It feels like they are a part of us.”
Many local students may even recognize the Quartet from their childhood, since they frequently perform at elementary schools.
“It’s one of our favourite things that we do,” Buckley stated. “We think it’s extremely important. With so much non-classical music around, we like to show children what live classical music sounds like – at least with a small group.”
International students could potentially recognize the Quartet, as well, from their many performances abroad.
“We have the choice to play pretty much wherever we want. Really, it’s just a matter of seeking out contacts in the area that we want to target,” said violinist David Adams. “
“We’ve been in Asia – to Japan, and to Hong Kong in China. We’ve also been down to South America – we were there for a month just a few weeks ago.”
You can also catch the Quartet around Saint John this fall playing October 19 at the Imperial Theatre and November 6 at the Saint John Arts Centre.
In addition to those dates they will be performing ‘Christmas Music Shout-Outs’ for the Lorenzo Music Series in early December, at various locations around campus.
Students, faculty, and community members alike can look forward to the next four of the Saint John String Quartet’s Munch & Music performances, which are as follows: music by Beethoven on October 27; music by Holbrooke on November 24; music by Haydn on February 23; and music by Mendelssohn on March 23.
If you are a musician who would like a chance to play with the Quartet, the Lorenzo Music Series is offering a String Master Class later in the year on April 10th, from 6:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.
Campus band and choir clubs looking for new members
If the Master Class isn’t your thing, Dr. Li-Hong Xu, the Lorenzo Music Series coordinator, says that students interested in music can always join the campus band and/or choir, who will be performing ‘1/2 A Christmas Concert!’ on November 23rd, at 7:00 P.M.
The performance will take place at the Mission Church, on 819 Millidgeville Ave.
Both clubs feature a combination of UNB Saint John and Dalhousie Medicine – New Brunswick students, and they are always looking for new members.
“The choir rehearses every Wednesday from 6:30-8:00 P.M, and the band rehearses every Wednesday 5:00-6:15 P.M,” Dr. Xu explains.
Rehearsals are held in the DMNB Piano Lounge.