Musicians Build Strong Teamwork for Academy Chamber Music Society Concert

Simple yet upbeat piano melodies resonated throughout the room as Sofia Poncel ’21 played her solo. Soon, the violin, viola, and cello joined in, complementing Poncel’s cascade of notes from bass to treble clef. The piece continued with the four instruments blending together, growing and diminishing in sound, finally ending with the three stringed instruments playing one long chord in unison.

The piece, “Piano Quartet No.1 in G Minor by Mozart,” was performed by Poncel, violinist Kayla Lang ’22, cellist Ben Rowland ’22, and violist Laura Mahaniah ’20. It was one of the twelve pieces presented during the Academy Chamber Music Society Concert, which took place last Saturday in the Timken Room.

Lang said, “I really liked the ending because we all look at each other so that we blend our eighth notes on time, and I think it’s a really cool part of the piece because none of us are looking down at our music because we’re all engaged with each other.”

The Academy Chamber Music Society Concert takes place once every term. Members of the school Chamber Music Society are assigned to different groups and coaches at the beginning of the term to prepare for the performance. According to flutist Sophia Ma ’21, she believes the concert is a very important aspect of Andover.

“Chamber music is a very important aspect of music in general and the fact that students are able to be put in different groups and have different coaches that act as mentors makes this concert really neat. Just having this concert in general is something a little bit different than big ensembles like band [and] orchestra… it’s a really good opportunity and you really learn how to coordinate with just a few other people and you really get to know them better,” said Ma.

Violinists Ian Chong ’21, Cameron Kang ’21, Nina Choophungart ’22, and instructor and cellist Elizabeth Aureden, Instructor in Music, played “String Quartet in C Minor” by Beethoven. Audience member Emmeline Song ’20 commented on why this piece stood out to her.

“I really liked the [String Quartet in C Minor] because I think that [Chong’s] sound really contrasted with the rest of the chamber group. He would play these chords and the rest of the chamber group would play another chord, and he would play a chord, and the rest of the group would play another chord. That kind of contrast was very good, and it was a nice ending to the piece,” said Song.

Olivia Yang ’22 performed a piano duet alongside Aaron Chung ’22 called “Delphine,” from “Three American Dances” by Henry Gilbert. According to Yang, she and Chung prepared for the concert by meeting every week for forty minutes and rehearsing two or three times as they neared the concert date. Yang emphasized the importance of the Academy Chamber Music Society Concert on Andover’s music community.

“I think it’s important to have because there’s a lot of different kinds of music and it’s always fun to see how the students here approach being in different groups and come together to create this overarching expression of music with all the different styles. It’s always fun to see how everyone works and how people work together to create good music,” said Yang.