Time for Three violinist Nick Kendall (center, raised) instructs YOEC students Henry Chen (left) and Dylan Vos (right) after their performance. Credits: Satyen Gupta
Time for Three bassist Ranaan Meyer observes a wind ensemble from YOEC as they perform at the master class. Credits: Satyen Gupta
YOEC students pose after a dinner and enlightening discussion with the trio. Credits: Satyen Gupta
Students from YOEC and Millburn High School's Chamber group smile with Time for Three after the concert. Credits: Jayshree Gupta
County Students Attend Master Class and Enthralling Performance
Friday, March 15, 2013 • 9:38am
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - “My mind cannot even begin to comprehend how they played that fast.” These were Millburn High School Chamber Orchestra member Will Chen’s first words upon exiting the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) Theater. He, along with other select students from Essex County schools, attended a performance on Wednesday, March 13th by “Time for Three”, a trio of musicians that has been billed as the “world’s first classically trained garage band.”
“Time for Three”, before astounding the audience with their concert, had in fact first arrived at SOPAC in the mid-afternoon to host a Master Class – an opportunity for students to perform for them and for the group to critique and help the students improve their work. Participants in the class were selected from members of the Youth Orchestras of Essex County (YOEC), an organization that has provided arts enrichment to students for over half a century. Performers included violinist Henry Chen of Millburn Middle School, as well as other students who performed in ensembles or small groups such as Dylan Vos of Columbia High School, who thought the Master Class was “pretty cool” because “we ended up learning a lot from real professionals about important things like timing, sound projection, and how to stop and think before you start your pieces.”
After the Master Class, students from YOEC were treated to a buffet-style dinner with “Time for Three”, during which they got to know the members better, as both musicians and human beings. After an enjoyable and lengthy discussion, YOEC members entered the SOPAC hall while the trio made themselves performance-ready for the second stage of the program – the concert.
YOEC students were joined by the Chamber Orchestra members of nearby Millburn High School to watch the concert. As the lights dimmed, some said they were expecting “yet another droning classical repertoire”, as one student put it. Instead, they were treated to a diverse mix of music – “Time for Three” performed their own arrangements of such popular pieces as Katy Perry’s “Firework”, Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek”, and Leonard Cohen’s classic “Hallelujah”. Certainly, the audience received a dose of classical music as well, but it was in a different, more modern style – for instance, the “Bach Double Concerto” was played in the form of a competition between the two violinists in the trio, and Brahms’s “Hungarian Dance” was mixed in with a bit of “Fiddler on the Roof” as well as some war-like but entertaining grunting noises that contributed to the overall effect of the piece.
Chris Li, a junior at Millburn High School, shared his thoughts on the concert after the experience, “The entire concert was an adventurous, almost avant-garde display of virtuosity. It was fascinating to see how three classically trained musicians could combine their technical abilities with improvisation to perform such a diverse repertoire. Their originality and creativity and musicianship should serve as an inspiration for us all."
Indeed, most of the student-musicians in the room did sum up the concert as “inspiring”. But it is a well-known fact that “success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration," a saying that Time for Three violinist Zach De Pue attested to in the concert.
“Thank you to all the students who participated in the master class earlier,” Zach De Pue said before the group’s final number. “We were glad to work with such talented young artists, but they must now be wondering, 'how exactly do I get better?'” He paused, and smiled. “This goes for all the students out there – practice, practice, practice.”
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