With the sounds of music: An interview with the Lorenzo Society

Reading Time: 3 minutes
The bow of a cello reverberates on its strings. The higher voice of a violin joins in the melody, and the sound of a live-string quartet echoes across the cafeteria.
As the last note hangs in the air, students lift their heads from their lunch. Applause is heard from the more eager diners. The bows lift again, and a new song begins. This is the Saint John String Quartet, one of the many facets of the Lorenzo Society.
Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron
The Lorenzo Society was founded in 1975 by William Prouty. It is named after a 15th-century patron of the arts, Lorenzo de Medici, a supporter of the likes of DaVinci and Michelangelo. It is only fitting that a society dedicated to the finer arts be named after a lover of them.
The Saint John String Quartet has been holding concerts in the Thomas J. Condon Student Center on Wednesdays since the 2023 Winter Term. The Baron sat down with Musician, Joseph Amber and organizer, Jenna Dobbelsteyn to learn more about the Wednesday Concert series and the Lorenzo Society in general.
How many members perform in the Wednesday music series?
 Jenna: There are usually groups of one to four performers, with a different group playing every week!
-What is something you like about playing music?
 Joseph: The reason I like playing music is because it has the ability to transport you to a whole other world. A world that you can choose to create based on the notes you play.
-Is there any particular piece you like to play?/Is there a particular piece the group likes to play?
 Joseph: My favorite piece to play is Autumn Leaves. It is a jazz standard based on the circle of fifths progression.
 Jenna: Every group that performs for our concerts is very different from one another, so they all have their own songs and styles they like to play.
Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron
-I understand the series is being done in remembrance of Dr. Li-Hong Xu. What motivated the Lorenzo Society to do that?
Jenna: Dr. Xu played a fundamental role in the music scene on the UNB Saint John and DalMed campuses during her time working for the university. She loved music and played instruments herself, so we wanted to bring the joy of music to the students by honoring her in this way.
-Do you have more or less trouble setting up in the cafeteria now that it’s been renovated?
 Joseph: Setting up in the cafeteria is about the same as prior to the renovations. Not difficult at all. However, the renovations have negatively affected the number of attendees.
-How long will the series run for?
 Jenna: The series will run this semester until December 6, and next semester from January 17 until April 3.
-Are there any other events coming up for the music portion of the Lorenzo Society?
 Jenna: No, but there will be reading events to look out for! Be sure to follow The Lorenzo Society on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for more information.
-Is there any particular anecdote you would like to be shared in the Baron?
 Joseph: I would like to thank Emily Wheaton for letting me store a real piano in the Baron office closet. I prefer playing real pianos for my performances. However, it is not practical to move real pianos to performances as they are extremely heavy. However, because Emily understood my plight, she provided me with a closet that I can wheel my piano in and out of!
Wolfgang Düchtel/The Baron

It is clear that those involved in this program love what they do and feel very passionately about the music they play. I’d like to thank both Joseph and Jenna for answering these questions about the Society they care for so much. If you’re able, please come to the cafeteria on Wednesday afternoon from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to hear the beauty of the Saint John String Quartet live.

Elizabeth is in her second year of her Bachelor of Arts degree. She enjoys drawing and writing fiction in her free time, and may doodle a bit during class. She tends to collect odd things such as rocks, sea glass, and even bubble gum comic strips. She hordes sketchbooks and notebooks from ages past, and occasionally those of others. If you like one of the video game series she likes, her run-on sentences in conversation will be the horror of any Copy Editor.