Upper School musicians perform in Chamber Music Concert


Printed with permission of Bari LeBari

Bari LeBari ’24 plays the violin in the Chamber Music Concert.

Vasilia Yordanova

Camerata Strings and Symphony performed in the 2022 Chamber Music Concert on Feb. 25. The concert took place at the Feldman Horn Plaza, Art Gallery and St. Saviour’s Chapel.

Camerata Strings cellist Nathalie Paniagua ’23 said the concert moved between the three locations during the evening, depending on which group was performing.

“The concert started out on the Feldman-Horn Plaza area with a performance by the brass instruments,” Paniagua said. “Then, the audience entered St. Saviour’s Chapel to watch Camerata Strings and Symphony perform, which was followed by a brief intermission. Finally, we watched chamber groups perform in the Gallery.”

Paniagua said she appreciated playing in the concert and then watching her fellow musicians perform after lots of preparation leading up to the concert.

“My favorite part about this concert was watching the different chamber group performances in the Gallery,” Paniagua said. “The pieces chosen were incredible and they were beautifully played.”

Flutist Frances Ross ’22 said she was part of a sextet playing the “Northeastern Suite” by Virgil Thompson and a bassoon-flute duet playing two “Inventions” by Johann Bach. Ross said she had a great experience performing and preparing for her last concert at the school.

“I overall had a lot of fun performing in my final Harvard-Westlake chamber music concert,” Ross said. “To prepare, we rehearsed a few times a week together, sometimes with coaching, but mainly by ourselves. We were really supportive and worked on small sections while offering advice and our personal input. It was a really great environment.”

Performing Arts Teacher Mark Hilt said part of his role in producing the concert was deciding which piece each student should play, depending on their abilities.

“I chose a large portion of the pieces played [in the concert],” Hilt said. “There were some negotiations with some students, but for the most part, everyone played what I thought would be an appropriate challenge for them, based on what I knew of their playing and their personalities.”

Hilt said he enjoyed watching his students’ development as musicians throughout the process of preparing for and performing in the concert.

“My favorite thing about this concert was seeing the way that students rise to the challenges with which they are presented,” Hilt said. “Chamber music is about collaboration, teamwork, learning how to communicate non-verbally and developing one’s sixth sense with one’s ensemble mates. I get to see the entire arc of the learning from the first sight-reading to the performance at the concert, so I know where the piece was and the performance the players arrive at.”

Camerata Strings violinist Bari LeBari ’24 said although he rehearsed many times leading up to the concert, he still felt adrenaline during his performance.

“Even though I had performed the piece hundreds of times before, the aura of the crowd and all the parents watching almost made me feel as if I was playing the piece for the first time,” LeBari said. “My favorite part about playing at the concert was that unique rush of excitement and nervousness I felt walking on to the stage.”