On Friday the fourth, the February Chamber Music Concert was held in the chapel. The concert was a success, with Concord Academy students, faculty members, and parents filling the audience seats. Several student ensembles had the opportunity to showcase their pieces, which they started practicing back in September.
There were nine performances in total, involving student groups such as a clarinet ensemble and the flute trio. The concert started with the piece, “String Quartet in G Major,” while the Chameleon Chamber Players were second to last, performing “Quartet” by Hindemith and a new work of Marti Epstein. Meghan Miller, the director of chamber music at CA, remarked that in selecting the pieces performed at the February concert, not only were famous composers such as Telemann considered but also those who only gained recognition recently. For example, the opening piece of the concert was composed by Florence Price, a 19th-century composer who studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. Price was the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and the first to have a composition played by a major orchestra. A beautiful string quartet, Price’s work served as the perfect opening to the concert.
Often seen as the “end of semester concert,” the February concert is the largest chamber recital during the school year, with participation from every single chamber group. This year, 37 students had the chance to perform. There were also many new 9th-grade players in the program.
While the student ensembles started preparing early, they also worked hard, practicing twice a week on Monday and Wednesday to refine their performances. Each ensemble had a coach to assist with their practice. Despite challenges imposed by the pandemic, student players were not deterred in their efforts. Under the guidance of faculty members, they performed a superb concert.