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November 2, 2000

Area Teens Compete for the Sun Quartet

Youthful quartets' craft and imagination are up for evaluation and cash prizes at California State University, Sacramento.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 18, CSUS will host its first "String Quartet Workshop and Competition." Junior high and high schools students from throughout Northern California will meet to perform, observe, compete and receive coaching from the members of Sun Quartet, CSUS artists-in-residence. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three quartets.

The workshop, open to the public and organized by Lincoln Unified School District music instructor Tom Tatton, is sponsored by the School of the Arts music department and supported by the Sacramento Youth Symphony, California Music Educators Association and Ifshin Violins of Berkeley.

Tatton received his doctorate in music from the University of Illinois. He has organized youth quartet workshops and competitions in Stockton for more than three years. In 1999, Tatton asked the Sun Quartet to participate in the program, which fashioned the formula for this year's event at the University.

"The string quartet workshop is Tom's idea," said Andrew Luchansky, Sun Quartet cellist. "We were Tom's guest artists last year and we loved the kids, the kids loved us, so it's a natural fit. This workshop will be moderate-sized, but it's in the beginning stages. It will grow."

Five quartets with students from Davis, Sacramento, Stockton, Visalia and Vacaville are registered for the workshop.

Experience and showmanship are basic aspects of quality musicianship, and according to Tatton, the student's exposure to professional musicians is a key element of the workshop.

"The quartets will play for judges and they will get ranked," Tatton said. "Then each group will have a coaching session with a member of the Sun Quartet. This gives the students information directly from professional musicians regarding all musical aspects of their piece."

The workshop highlights include a 2 p.m. concert by the Sun Quartet and a 3:30 p.m. workshop on quartet rehearsal techniques. An awards ceremony with performances by the student groups begins at 5 p.m.

The Sun Quartet will also perform the following evening at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19 in Capistrano Hall. The concert's program will include chamber music composed by Haydn and Dvorak. The Sun Quartet members are violinists Robin Sharp and Anna Presler, violist Anna Kruger and cellist Andrew Luchansky.

Admission to the "String Quartet Workshop and Competition" is free and tickets for the Nov. 19 concert are $6 general and $4 students and seniors.

Parking for both events is available at CSUS on the student side of the parking garage adjacent to Capistrano Hall.

For more information about the workshop or the Nov. 19 concert call the CSUS music department (916) 278-5155.


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