The young musicians of Elemental Strings and Band, Santa Monica’s oldest youth orchestra program for elementary students, will perform three world premieres by local composers at Lincoln Middle School. Composers Robert Anderson, Jonathan Beard and Peter Senchuk, all current or former teachers for Elemental Strings and Band, have written new works to be premiered by the instrumentalists in the program.
All three composers drew inspiration for their pieces from the natural beauty of Santa Monica. Senchuk, who has taught with Elemental Band since its debut season in 2013, was inspired by the bustling atmosphere of the Santa Monica Pier. He uses three movements to represent different aspects of visiting the pier, an activity with which most Elemental Band students are familiar. Senchuk says that the familiarity of the scenes depicted helps to make the music especially interesting to the students.
Robert Anderson leaves the pier behind and heads to the beach for inspiration in his new work, Low Tide. The title refers to both the beaches of Santa Monica as well as the technical challenges in the piece. The piece, in the key of C major (or is that “sea” major?), features low C-natural and F-natural, notes played with a low second finger in the violins and violas.
Composer Jonathan Beard was motivated by ideas both literal and conceptual when developing his piece. First, he drew inspiration from the dolphins that frequent the waters just off of Santa Monica Beach. He was also interested in the idea of translating water, conceptually, into orchestral sound.
The concert is free and open to the public. Elemental Strings and Band is a nonprofit organization. Support for its programs is made possible, in part, to grants from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the LA County Arts Commission, the Colburn Foundation, the Hennings Fischer Foundation, the D’Addario Foundation, the American String Teachers Association, and generous donors from the community.
More information can be found at www.elementalstrings.com.
The performance will be held March 6 at the Lincoln Middle School auditorium, 1501 California Ave.