St. Stephen’s Orchestra Gives Remote Community Concert

Members of St. Stephen’s Upper School Orchestra perform “La Cumparsita”


Members of the St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Upper School orchestra performed a remote concert in mid-April to the delight of the entire school community. St. Stephen’s 11th grader Matthew Kim served as concertmaster for their rendition of “La Cumparsita,” a popular tango by Gerardo Matos Rodriguez.

Director of Orchestras John Moon initially selected the music and then asked Kim to serve as concertmaster. In this role, Kim chose a specific tempo for the piece and provided notes on how it should be played. “I also specified that everyone wear headphones and listen to a metronome, so everyone would be on the same beat,” he explained.

“Since we are all self-distancing, it’s a unique approach to having a spring concert,” Kim said of the remote performance. “The most difficult part of the whole process was editing the 17 individual videos. It took me six or eight hours to put this together because I had to first learn how to build it in iMovie. Then I had to go in and edit each individual video to make sure they were on beat and had the correct intonation. Moving everyone’s sound and video around to match was the hardest part.

“When you play in person, it’s easier to keep the same rhythm and use the same technique, rather than playing independently where some people may play one way or another way,” he added. “I’m proud that I managed to create one coherent and complete performance.”

Despite the many hours it took to create the concert video, Kim is eager to make another. “So many people have responded with positive comments, and the video has had a lot of views — that’s something I didn’t expect,” he said. “I am interested in creating more in the future, because I realized that people enjoy listening to them.”

In addition to Kim, members of the Upper School’s virtual spring orchestra included Lizzy Jones, Vivian Fu, Gabby Hoo, Carson Murtuza-Lanier, Salma Mohamed, Jerry Hao, Maya Murtuza-Lanier, Nina Mosler, Sadie Shea, Bella Salazar-Harper, Jael Dammann, James Stephens, Sofia Messer, Natalie Kim and Linda Liu.

The orchestra will give a live virtual performance of “La Cumparsita” in Chapel the week of May 11.

Click here to view the performance.

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