Third grader Elly can’t wait to explore New York City in a few weeks. She’s “excited and a little nervous.”
She will be playing in Carnegie Hall.
“Carnegie Hall is the most famous hall in the world, so getting to play there is very exciting,” says violin teacher Sunny D’Apice, who will take nine Hockadaisies to perform in a concert on May 27.
Elly is the youngest daisy going on the trip this year, but she’s comforted by the fact that her sister Gretchen is going as well.
“It’s cool because it’s my first year and my sister’s last,” says Elly. The concert, which features 700 violin students from around the country, takes place every five years. When the next concert rolls around, Gretchen will have graduated.
Students of teachers who graduate from The School for Strings’ teaching certification program are given the opportunity to participate in the event.
Since Mrs. D’Apice received her Suzuki teaching certification from SFS, she is eligible to bring her students.
In addition to Elly and Gretchen, Hockaday students participating this year include junior Maura, seventh grade student Darla, sixth grade students Lisl, Joy and Emma, fifth grade student Megan and fourth grade student Catherine.
For this performance, the most experienced violinists play the entire repertoire of 16 songs selected from Suzuki music books. As the program progresses to easier pieces, musicians join the ensemble on stage according to their level of proficiency. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” the last and easiest song of the performance, features all 700 musicians playing together.
Maybe the concert is not the Carnegie solo that, according to D’Apice, means a musician has really made it, but “the girls have to work hard to get prepared, so it’s a treat to go.”
Elly has been working on her five songs for two months and already has them memorized. She will start with “Minuet I” by J.S. Bach.
“I’m almost ready,” she says. “Mrs. D’Apice wants me practicing every day.”
Gretchen will perform 12 songs on this year’s trip, beginning with Karl Bohm’s “Perpetual Motion.”
The individual teachers prepare their students for this event through group practice lessons, but the ensemble of performers from all over the country assemble for the first time on the day of the concert.
“The concert has motivated my daughter to practice more,” says Dr. Lisa Genecov, Megan’s mother. “I think she’s really excited.”