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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Thursday Concert Series presents music for strings

A 2×4 is a wooden board typically used to support a structure, but in this week’s Thursday Concert Series, it was used to perform musical pieces composed by Ludwig Van Beethoven and Maurice Ravel.

Eight University of California, Los Angeles music students, dubbed “2×4,” performed as two string quartets on Thursday, May 21, in the Pierce Performing Arts Building.

The show featured two separate quartets consisting of two violins, a viola and a cello. 2×4 did its best to provide Pierce students with some music to keep their minds off of upcoming finals.

Host and adjunct music instructor James Bergman introduced the string quartets as something different.

“I think today is going to be an interesting show. We have two string quartets and two cool pieces of music, both very different,” Bergman said.

The first piece was “String Quartet Op. 18, No. 3” by Ludwig Van Beethoven. It was performed by violinist Anna Corcoran, cellist Jeffrey Ho, violist Daniel Mireles and violinist Sarah Worden.

The second of the two was the “String Quartet in F Major” by Maurice Ravel, performed by violist Julien Altmann, violinist Catherine Arai, cellist Niall Ferguson and violinist Stephanie Spencer.

Although both quartets included the same instruments, the music they played was very different.

Beethoven’s piece was written 100 years before Ravel’s, but that doesn’t take away the enjoyability of either piece according to Corcoran.

“We played such different, but equally pleasing music,” Corcoran said.

The performers, who are all majoring in their instruments of choice, were asked how different their school schedule is than a more common major.

“It’s sort of split, but there is definitely an academic feel to it. You have to take a certain amount of theory courses and history classes in addition to that. I think the majority of our coursework is performance-based, so we spend a lot of time in rehearsal and lessons. The academic workload isn’t so different from a liberal arts major. It’s just that we have to put a lot of time into our practicing. That’s our studying,” Ferguson said.

The last Thursday concert will be held next Thursday, May 28, with the students of Pierce College performing.

“Next week is a little different. The Pierce student concert is going to be a whole variety show, that’s all kinds of music,” Bergman said.

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