High school students helped Fraser Woods Montessori School students celebrate their school’s cultural program theme for this year, “A Year of Music,” on Friday, February 22.
Alex Lampel, a Newtown High School senior, Cole Smith, a Wilton High School junior, and Korey Brodsky, a freshman at Jewish High School of Connecticut, in Woodbridge, played throughout the school day. In waves, the high schoolers played for the lower grades, the upper graders, and the middle school grades at Fraser Woods. A concert was also held during the school’s lunch wave.
For each presentation the high school students explained why they started playing music, shared an example of the type of music that can be played on their individual instruments, and performed multiple songs together.
Korey and Cole met over the summer at a fiddle contest, and Alex and Korey already knew each other as family friends, according to Cole’s mother, Katharine Smith, and Korey’s mother, Sherri Brodsky. Ms Smith said Ms Brodsky brought the three boys together, and they have been playing together since.
Cole told students during one wave of performances that he has been playing the violin for eight years.
“I started when I was in about third grade,” said Cole, “and what inspired me to start playing was a movie called Lord of the Rings.”
Specifically, Cole said a beautiful violin tune from Lord of the Rings inspired him. He played the tune for the students. After hearing the song, Cole said he joined his third grade orchestra, and eventually got his own violin. He admitted to being intimidated at first, because the students he played with had all started playing before he did.
“Fast-forwarding a bit, I am now a junior in high school,” said Cole, “and I play with a couple of groups.”
When it was Alex’s turn to speak, he said his instrument, a cello, is similar to a violin.
“You can play the cello two ways, just like the violin, with your bow, or you can play with your finger, which is called pizzicato,” Alex said, demonstrating both ways to play. One student in the audience was so impressed he said, “Wow.”
Alex said he started playing the cello seven years ago while a student at Reed Intermediate School, with the school’s orchestra.
“It wasn’t until two years later that I started taking cello lessons,” said Alex, “and I learned mostly classical music. What really inspired me to choose the cello was the prelude from the first Bach suite.”
After Alex played the song for the students, he shared all of the music groups and festivals he has played at or with.
When Alex met Korey, Alex said he started investigating other ways to play the cello, like bluegrass music and more.
Korey said he has been playing the guitar for ten years, and he also plays the mandolin. When he was younger, Korey said his father taught him how to play guitar, and when he was 9 he started taking private lessons.
At the moment, Korey said he is working on creating his own album.
Korey demonstrated both the guitar and the mandolin for students before the three musicians played a song they prepared specifically to play for Fraser Woods Montessori School, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” in honor of the school’s upcoming production of the play The Wizard of Oz.
“I’m very excited to play at this school and get to know you guys,” said Korey.
As a final fun song, Korey, Alex, and Cole played the Chicken Dance song, and all of the students and school staff present danced as the musicians played.