July 27, 2020Print | PDF
A group of aspiring young cellists were not going to let the coronavirus pandemic stand in the way of their 15 seconds of fame.
Thirteen students, ages nine to 18, recorded a virtual performance of Abba’s 1978 hit Take a Chance on Me as part of the Laurier String Academy's year-end recital. Cello instructor Amber Ghent (BMus ‘00) created a video collage of the performance to showcase her students’ talent and resilience as they successfully transitioned to weekly online lessons as a result of COVID-19.
"I am continuously amazed by these young musicians and their parents for their dedication and adaptability to keep the music going." - Amber Ghent, cello instructor
“My students began learning the Abba song before COVID-19 and were so disappointed when our weekly group rehearsals and performance dates were cancelled,” says Ghent. “Instead, we decided to make a virtual performance, which meant that students needed to rehearse their parts with a background track and then record themselves playing with it. Some students told me they recorded themselves several times before they had a version of their performance that they were happy with. I am continuously amazed by these young musicians and their parents for their dedication and adaptability to keep the music going.”
Celebrating its 10th year, the Laurier String Academy has grown from a single violin studio into a vibrant, thriving music program offering viola, violin and cello instruction to students ages five through 18. The academy’s curriculum is based on the methods and philosophies of renowned string educators Mimi Zweig, Paul Rolland and Shinichi Suzuki. Lessons, theory and masterclasses are taught by professional instructors, including some members of the internationally renowned Penderecki String Quartet. Academy students participate in chamber music, concerts, recitals and community performances.
“The academy is passionate about developing each student’s potential by delivering the highest quality of instruction,” says Jerzy Kaplanek, Laurier String Academy instructor and a professor in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Faculty of Music. “Our students have won numerous accolades, including placement at the Kiwanis Musical Festival’s provincial competition, invitations to perform with orchestras, participation in prestigious summer programs, and, for some, post-secondary studies in music.”
The Laurier String Academy is accepting registrations from new and returning students for the 2020-21 academic year. Lessons will continue to be offered online, with group lessons resuming in January 2021. Recitals and performance opportunities will continue to take place online until in-person events can resume.