It was clear by the evening of Wednesday March 11th, 2020 the Oakland Unified School District was heading towards a school closure due to Covid -19. MUSE VIVO teachers had to act fast in planning for our last rehearsal with students on the follow day, Thursday March 12, 2020. We asked volunteer parent Susy Hovland to join us in capturing our final run of the repertoire by video, just two weeks shy of what would be our final concert for this season’s VIVO session. The following links are the result of students, teachers, and parents pouring their hearts into this musical experience, despite what we faced by way of another disappointing school closure which affects our rehearsal and performance schedule.

Johannes Brahms, Mvt 5- Scherzo Allegro from Serenade No. 1 in D. This arrangement is from the early works of Brahms, as he was learning to write symphonic music, a goal he had of following in the footsteps of Beethoven. This is a lively Scherzo where students focused learning an invigorating articulation throughout.

Johannes Brahms – Serenade in D, Mvt 5 Scherzo (3/12/20 final rehearsal):

Florence Price, Mvt 2- from String Quartet in G. Price was the first African American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer and have her music performed by a major orchestra. Listen closely to her music, though steeped in European tradition, it has American flavors and the music reveals her southern roots throughout. Students learned how to sculpt their bowing to make the beautiful crescendos and decrescendos. This repertoire choice was mindfully brought to the students as an example of diversity in composers.

Florence Price – String Quartet in G, Mvt 2 (3/12/20 final rehearsal):

Georg Philipp Telemann, Viola Concerto in G, Mvt. 3 -Andante. Geoffrey Voong, Oakland High Senior Violist, is featured soloist in the lyrical third movement, Andante. This opportunity was given to Geoffrey as part of our themed exploration of finding “Identity through Music”. Students learned how to accompany a solo voice, which requires a specific sensitivity and awareness from each ensemble player.

Georg Philipp Telemann – Viola Concerto, Mvt 3 (3/12/20 final rehearsal):

Soon Hee Newbold, Orion & the Scorpion. Newbold, a living American female composer, made a special guest visit to the VIVO Orchestra and shared her expertise and gifts as a composer and conductor. Newbold helped us reflect on our working theme for this season, which was finding IDENTITY and connection in and through music. This riveting work depicts Orion’s Greek mythological journey through mystical melodies to complex yet riveting rhythmic figures and powerful meters. Students rose to the challenge of =learning the difficult rhythms and meters through a variety of rehearsal techniques. Listen for the surprise musical quote towards the end, can you name it? There are two video samples here, 1/8/20 is a longer video of our session with Ms. Newbold. 3/12/20 is our final run through, showing our progress.

Soon Hee Newbold – Orion and the Scorpion (3/12/20 final rehearsal)

Soon Hee Newbold – Orion and the Scorpion (1/8/20 Composer visit to VIVO- Rehearsal)