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String Quintet serenades Elementary Schools


March 14, 2020

Marilynn Hogan, TSO Board Member.

The Young People's String Quartet (plus a Bass player), a sub-set of the Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra, just finished a set of three concerts. One each at Tompkins, Cumming Valley and Golden Hills Elementary Schools, where they played a wide-variety of music, demonstrated their individual instruments and talked about why they liked to play them.

The Quartet is composed of First Violin B. J. Zheng and Cellist Rebecca Carol, both juniors at Tehachapi High; Second Violin Emily Hamilton and Violist Everett Hamilton, both of whom are attending college online at the moment. The String Bassist is their strings teacher, Gayel Pitchford, who is the Concertmaster of the Tehachapi Symphony.

The group played various genres of music, including: pop ... "Just Give Me a Reason" (made popular by the singer Pink); chamber music for string quartet ... Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" from his Ninth Symphony; theme-based music ... "Pirate's Voyage," "Dragon Hunter" and "Blue Rhythmico," the latter of which is totally rhythm-based; movie/show tunes ... selections from "The Wizard of Oz"; classical ... Tchaikovsky's lovely Waltz from "Sleeping Beauty" and Grieg's "Peer Gynt Suite"; and typical American folk music ... John O'Neill's "Americana Medley."

This effort is part of the Symphony's outreach to ensure that young people in the Greater Tehachapi Area are exposed to live music performances and learn about the various instruments that make the music. If you and/or your children are interested in knowing how to get started playing a musical instrument, you may contact the Symphony's Concertmaster, Gayel Pitchford at (661)823-8249.

The Symphony's next concert will be on Sunday, May 3, at 4 p.m. at Country Oaks Baptist Church, 20915 Schout Rd., Tehachapi. The program will feature Violist April Park, winner of this year's Young Artist Competition in von Weber's Andante and Hungarian Rondo. In addition, the Tehachapi Symphonic Chorus, directed by Angela Rodriguez, will be performing Beethoven's "Hallelujah from the Mount of Olives" and "Kyrie" from the Missa Solemnis, with the Symphony, which will also play Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5, ("Reformation Symphony").

For more information visit the orchestra website,


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