November 8, 2021

Emerging from the world of virtual learning, SWAN 4 Kids students had the thrill of having Lancaster Symphony Orchestra (LSO) musicians perform for them during their after-school class at Wickersham Elementary School. LSO Concertmaster, Luigi Mazzocchi, and Assistant Concertmaster, Nina Zubadi, performed a Leclair Sonata for two violins. The students were mesmerized as the musicians played the lively passages only a few feet from them. The sound of their violins was beautiful and captivating.

Following their performance, they engaged the students in an interactive conversation about many musical topics that sprang from the children’s questions. The students wanted to know how the “stick” created the sound. They learned that the stick was called a bow, and Luigi loosened it to show the children that the white part of the bow was horsehair. They were fascinated! One of the children thought that the violin scroll looked like a “cinnamon bun,” but Luigi explained how it showcases the violin maker’s skill and identifies the maker.

The SWAN students have been learning to play the ukulele, so they had their instruments at hand. They compared the parts of their ukuleles to the violin and found similarities and differences. Then, Luigi and Nina had the students repeat two notes on their ukuleles repeatedly. The violinists began playing a folk dance to the students’ ukulele accompaniment. The moment was magical and fun. The hour-long class seemed to end quickly, but Luigi and Nina promised to come back for another lesson in November.

As part of Lancaster Symphony’s “Stand-Partner” Community Program, Luigi, Nina, and other orchestra musicians will be visiting classes within the school district of Lancaster throughout the 2021-22 season to build musical relationships with students, educate, and inspire them in their musical pursuits.