King’s Academy, November 8, 2008—The Apple Hill Chamber Players held workshops this weekend for 20 King’s Academy and visiting students from Jordan and Syria culminating in a student concert. The ensemble also performed before an audience of over 150 people in the Abdul Majeed Shoman Auditorium.
The Apple Hill Chamber Players, who are currently on tour in Jordan, Cyprus, Palestine and Israel, work to bring conflicting people together to play and listen to music through their Playing for Peace program.
The Apple Hill musicians and King’s students gathered on the evening of November 6 for dinner and introductions, after which each student was assigned to a group and musical instrument. In coordination with the Apple Hill musicians, each newly organized group was co-headed by a student--George Steele ’10 on cello, Dana Arafeh ’11 on piano, James Lee ’11 on bassoon, Mounir Ennenbach’12 on piano and Junior Fellow Stephanie Wong on violin. Immediately following dinner, the students, eager to start playing, assembled in the Salfiti Fine and Performing Arts Wing for an ad hoc practice.
Following two days of intensive workshops, the weekend’s activities culminated with student performances.
Music teacher Reem Abu Rahmeh noted that the Apple Hill Chamber Players taught the students that in order to play expressively and harmoniously, they must be completely in sync with one another’s styles and communicate constantly to cue in and finish together.
“An intense relationship forms between chamber players, as opposed to orchestra players,” Abu Rahmeh said, “because there is only one person assigned to each part resulting in a bigger responsibility placed upon each player.”
The students indeed formed close bonds with one another, which was evident in their brilliant final performance before parents, friends, students and faculty. Student Arafeh reflected: “It was nice to see how our groups were diverse and how we had a mixture of different people from different countries playing. It was also incredible to see how with the limited time we had we were able to prepare our pieces and play them very well.”