News: Featured Stories

November 7, 2014

String Project Warms up for BSO Ensemble


  • Lowell
Student Musicians Get Inspired

Neither the season’s first snow, nor the bluster of a stiff wind could douse enthusiasm for the initial foray between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and UMass Lowell’s nationally recognized String Project

A crowd of 500 turned out at Durgin Hall Sunday, Nov. 2 for the event, which featured a BSO chamber ensemble performing after a group of children in the String Project.

The event was a “complete success,” noted String Project Executive Director John-Morgan Bush. People from all over the Merrimack Valley attended the free performance.

"We were thrilled to have this partnership with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We were able to share with the audience the magic of where music learning begins with the first-year students in the UMass Lowell String Project. Then, the String Project and our students were able to see in the artistry of the BSO musicians, the goal, the arrival point of a life in music. It was a special day for all in attendance."

The UMass Lowell String Project, founded in 2001, offers string-instrument lessons and music classes to Lowell public school students and helps prepare university students to become music teachers.

The BSO contacted Bush last spring about having its musicians perform on campus.

“The mission of this is to bring the BSO out of the city and engage them with the rest of the state. And UMass Lowell is one of the cultural hubs of the Merrimack Valley,” Bush said.  “I requested string players because the project we have at Lowell is the String Project.”

The BSO quintet – Si-Jing Huang and Sheila Fiekowsky on violins, Kazuko Matsusaka and Daniel Gertz on Viola and Blaise Desjardin on cello – performed pieces by Max Bruch and Felix Mendelssohn.

"We hope to be able to provide many more opportunities like this that serve the dual purpose of serving the community and inspiring our students,” said Bush.