Chappaquoit Cellists

Chappy Cellists

Almost a year ago, on January 28, 2012, the Chappaquoit Cellists performed at the Woods Hole Library, all students of Nikki Patton of West Falmouth. Two quartets performed: the Chappy Cellists (four middle school students) and the Chappaquoit Cello Quartet (four high school students).

I videotaped the concert, but it took me a long time to get around to editing it. It was a busy year, and I was still learning how to edit video for Falmouth Community Television (FCTV). I wrote an article about the concert (below), which was published in the Woods Hole Library newsletter in April or May, and finally edited the concert video. By then, it was nowhere near as complicated as I thought it would be.

Here, at long last, is the concert video:

And the article:

Cello Quartets at Woods Hole Public Library

The Chappy Cellists and the Chappaquoit Cello Quartet brought the rich and wonderful sound of music to the Woods Hole Public Library on January 28 for a benefit concert. The library was packed with family and friends and others who love the sound of the cello and were excited about hearing not one, but two, cello quartets perform.

All eight cellists are students of Nikki Patton’s Chappaquoit Cello Studio in West Falmouth. The Chappy Cellists are fourth and fifth graders from Falmouth, and the Chappaquoit Cello Quartet are high school players, three of whom are from Falmouth. Ms. Patton teaches her students not only how to play the cello, but also how to perform graciously and confidently, showing respect for their instruments, the music, and the audience. The students’ poise and self-confidence was as remarkable as their music.

The Chappy Cellists started with a D Major scale. Ten-year-old Celeste Newman is the principal, which means she signals the start of each piece and helps to keep all players together. Others in the group are Qianlong Xu, Nell Bowen, and Ava Warner.

The Chappy Cellists performed from memory, sometimes playing in unison, often playing in parts, which meant they had to play their own part and be aware of how their part fit in with the others’. They played ”French Folk Song,” “Allegro,” by S. Suzuki, and Minuet No. 2 by Bach.

Some of Ms. Patton’s even younger students sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the cellists to get a better view. It was clear that they were inspired by the older cellists.

Chappaquoit Cellos 1

The Chappaquoit Cello Quartet had a more demanding program: eight classical and folk music pieces. Led by principal cellist Emily Farris, 17, of Nausett High School, the group includes Courcelle Stark, Kaylee Lino, and Kurran Singh. All are fine cellists who have been studying cello since they were little.

They began with “Cantabile” (anonymous), a slow and plaintive piece, played with much expressiveness. The “Suite Hispaniola” by contemporary composer Carole Rabinowtiz had a nice Spanish rhythm, and Giovanni Palestrina’s “Ave Regina Coelorum,” written in the 16th century, was presented with quiet dignity.

Next was a concerto by Telemann from the 1700s. There were quick passages in the first movement, each student passing the melody to the next, followed by a slow and deliberate second movement. The third was crisp and energetic.

Cesar Frank’s 1782 setting of “Panis Angelicus” was quietly reverential. “To A Wild Rose” was lovely, gentle, and evocative, and Jay Unger’s “Ashokan Farewell” was beautiful in its melancholy.

“Italian Song,” by Carol D. Critelli had a lyrical melody and also gave the cellists an opportunity to show off their pizzicato (plucking the strings) and for each to solo.

The quartet’s encore was a harmonious rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star,” which reinforced the good feeling all had from hearing these talented and hard-working cellists. When you practice, when you devote time and energy to learning music and playing it with and for others, all sorts of wonderful things happen.

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