Nov 032010
Authors: Lianna Salva

The number four is important in all aspects of music. Four beats in a measure, four movements in a symphony and four performers in a quartet.

From the CSU School of the Arts, the Graduate String Quartet will perform tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Organ Recital Hall at the University Center for the Arts.   

The four graduate students performing are Allen Orginz, violin; Karmen Mitchell, violin; Sabrina Romney, viola; and Chris Stuberg, cello.  

These four students are in the music masters of fine arts program at CSU with intentions of professional performance or being involved in music therapy after graduation.  

The music selections for the evening are “Quartet No. 8, Op. 110,” by Dmitri Shostakovich, “Quartet in Eb, Op. 33, No. 2,” by Joseph Haydn and “Quartet in F minor, Op. 95,” by Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Having only four performers presents challenges that are not experienced in a full orchestra, according to Graduate String Quartet Coordinator Margaret Miller.

“In some ways, it’s harder to be in a string quartet because occasionally a composer will ask four people to sound like a full string orchestra,” Miller said. “Chamber music is much more intimate, and often composers would use this genre for their most personal feelings.”

Unlike in a full orchestra, the performers do not have a conductor present and must keep tempo themselves.

Violinist Karmen Mitchell, a second year MFA student studying music therapy, expresses the “high amount of responsibility” each quartet member has to each other and to the overall piece of music.

“We all breathe as a unit,” Mitchell said. “It is important for us to all move with the music so that we can cue each other for different parts.”

Violist Sabrina Romney, a first year graduate student focusing on performance, said the biggest challenge was the intimacy that each member of a quartet has.

“If you can’t work closely with other people, or if your personalities clash, it is a problem,” Romney said.
Following the performance there will be a “Meet the Artist” reception.

Tickets cost $7 for CSU students, $12 for adults and $1 for youth ages 2 to 17.  Tickets can be purchased at the UCA ticket office in the Griffin Lobby, by phone at 970-491-2787 or online at

Staff writer Lianna Salva can be reached at

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