Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SymphonyKids Spotlight: Fiddlesticks!

This year, the VSO's Education Department had to dig a little deeper to find schools in Vermont where Fiddlesticks! has not been in recent years. With many years of active touring under their belts, we found that Fiddlesticks! has played in just about every school in Vermont. Read on to find out why they are so popular and watch a clip of the trio at JFK Elementary School in Winooski.

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra's SymphonyKids string trio, Fiddlesticks, makes a stop at JFK Elementary School in Winooski. Footage provided courtesy of WCAX.

The dynamic string trio Fiddlesticks! consists of violinist David Gusakov, violist Hilary Hatch, and cellist Bonnie Klimowski. Their performances for schoolchildren are designed to introduce students to the most important members of the symphony orchestra and to make some of the key concepts in classical music-making come alive. Longtime members of the VSO, the performers are funny, friendly, interactive—and superior musicians. As a former member of Banjo Dan & the Midnite Plowboys, David adds a unique twist to their presentation with his strolling rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown," and Bonnie demonstrates "Godzilla," the double bass.

Fiddlesticks! has been one of our most popular trios since they played 57 performances as part of our Artists-in-Residence program in 1994. Stephen Metcalf from Randolph Elementary School wrote us the following: "Two hundred children were exposed to the world of strings, a world that, unfortunately, many of them have never encountered. The enthusiasm, professionalism, and personalities of the trio members kept the children on the edge of their seats throughout. It was an informative and delightful 45 minutes."