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September 11, 2012 > Local roots highlight chamber music project

Local roots highlight chamber music project

Submitted By Ann Seitz
Photos By courtesy of Ann Seitz

One of the summer highlights at the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) Sycamore Lodge #129, Hayward, is the Odd Fellows Youth Chamber Music Project, now in its third season. The 2012 concert on Saturday, August 11, 2012 hosted the premiere of local musician Austin Graham's composition.

Graham is majoring in music composition at Cal State Hayward and played cello in the quartet for his original work. He received a standing ovation. Graham has been a player with the Odd Fellows Chamber Music project since its inception and has now blossomed into a talented composer.

Five groups, of between two and four players, presented 10 different pieces of music on the violin, cello and viola. Many of the players, who joined the project, had not met before. The ensembles rehearsed three nights per week, for two weeks, before the performance. They not only learned the scores but about trust, responsibility and how to work well in smaller groups, a skill that will stay with them throughout their lives.

The 2012 concert offered a wide variety of musicianship and a diverse program - Telemann, Mozart, Haydn and Gershwin. Notably, Gershwin and Graham both composed their works for a composition class at the age of 21. The audience even heard "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix, arranged for classical string quartet.

This year's project drew 18 young players who take individual music lessons or usually work alone. They occupied the Lodge's many rooms for coaching sessions, tuned their instruments and waited to perform in the acoustically superior main hall. The latter was built in 1868 and its design dates from an era when things were done with care and meeting rooms enhanced voices and instruments. In 1926, the main hall was refurbished, adding the superior acoustics it enjoys today.

The hour-long concert was attended by the musicians and their guests and was organized and hosted by IOOF members for whom the presentation of music and the arts to the community is part of their mission. The concert was followed by a reception in the Sycamore dining hall.

For more information, visit http://haywardlodge.org/

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