By Dia Gill | Web Managing Editor
Since their freshman year, juniors Alex Spees, Hannah Simmon, Jenna Bradford and Alexis Willman have performed together as a string quartet. They are a chamber group made up of two violins, a viola and a cello, and are known as the Canzonetta Quartet. The idea for a quartet came from orchestra teacher Mr. Dean Westman, who encouraged his students to form such groups.
“Mr. Westman came up to me freshman year and told me it’d be cool to start a quartet now and keep it going all the way up through our senior year. So I asked Hannah, Jenna and Alexis if they wanted to start one,” said Spees.
But the four weren’t the first Avon students to form a such a group.
“We were inspired by a previous quartet composed of a group of seniors,” Simmon said.
The girls have performed at a number of events and locations, ranging from the class of 2017’s top 25 dinner to local retirement homes.
“We have performed at the top 25 dinner for seniors, the Washington Township Library for their Artscape event, at the Wellbrooke of Avon, a wedding at the Avon gardens, the Back to School Night for parents at [Avon High School] and we were an act during Symphony for a Dance Floor,” said Spees.
According to Bradford, performing as a group has not only helped enhance their musical skills, but has also helped them grow as leaders.
“Playing as a quartet has taught me a lot about communication, teamwork and leadership, and has greatly improved various musical abilities like listening across sections and how to really fine tune when practicing,” she said. “Our goal is to make music for other people to enjoy, and to have fun and maybe make some money in the process.”
Spees notes what she’s learned as someone performing with her friends.
“I have really learned that you need to have tough love when it comes to chamber groups. You need to be able to critique your friends without being aggressive, and also work together to make great music together.”
Simmon tied the goal of the Canzonetta quartet back to Avon’s orchestra.
“Our ultimate goal is to follow through with the Avon Orchestra Mission, which is to create positively life changing experiences,” she said.
You can contact the quartet at email@example.com or follow them on instagram @canzonettaquartet.
Photos submitted by the Canzonetta Quartet