Musicians from Third Street Music School gather for live performances for the annual gala

There are obstacles that can be overcome by the ever-present Zoom and there are some that cannot. Steven Rochen, a teacher and conductor for over 30 years at Third Street Music School, can attest that there is no substitute for an orchestra playing together in person.

“You’re looking for a feeling of blending, an overall sound,” he explains. Although some of its students – like foreigners – are still far away, more than 70 of its musicians gathered outside the school on a Saturday morning to perform together for the first time since the lockdown. He found the mix he was looking for as the group “came together within the first ten minutes of rehearsal!” They were so excited to play together.

They were also happy to be filmed, as the performance was taped to be featured as part of the school’s upcoming gala fundraiser, which will be presented virtually and hosted by actor Julianne Moore and her husband, director / film producer Bart Freundlich, who are the parents of Third Street Alumni. “The gala should have been held in a beautiful ballroom of a chic hotel,” laments Kristen Kentner, director of communications. “But,” she continues, “we hope to be in person next year. And we always try to capture the joy, the resilience, the celebration, the togetherness, and all the other things that music represents.

Viewers are encouraged to watch the gala (registration is free) on May 5 and contribute if they wish. The show will honor Rochen as well as Grammy-nominated musician Yola and Myra Nieves, the school’s deputy director of student services. According to Kentner, “The Third Street Music School Settlement provides high-quality music and dance education through on-site and virtual programs, public and community schools, as well as an arts-infused preschool for New Yorkers from across the country. all ages, whatever their age. background, artistic ability or economic circumstances. No student is ever turned away because of their ability to pay. “

Although some of the students, aged 7 to 15, are still stuck in their home countries – such as New Zealand, who gets up at 2 a.m. to attend classes through Zoom – local musicians can help. expect to know more. rehearsal together as well as another street performance in the near future.

And Rochen can presumably expect more from what he felt in the first performance. It was, he said, “a total joy.”


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