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cuke MUSIC

11-07-08 - Sophia Baker woos audience in Crestone Charter School cello performance. Performing for her mixed second and third grade class, her teacher, Clancy Walsh, and a few adult visitors, Miss Baker skillfully stroked her bow across her quarter-size cello with deft skill. Accompanied on cello by her cello teacher, Jack Barton, Miss Baker played five pieces, four from a Suzuki method book. The first was Allegro, followed by May Song, a German folk song. Next came Andantino, and then Brigadoon by Henry Purcell. This reviewer wondered if there was some common thread with the musical by Lerner and Lowe about a magical village in Scotland. The rapt audience thoroughly enjoyed the encore, a playful improvised  atonal musical adventure in which both cellists freely expressed themselves. John Cage would have been most pleased.

The concert was followed by a question and answer period in which the assembled learned that Miss Baker had been studying the cello for a year after having played the violin since the age of four. Mr. Barton explained that the cello bows were made of hair from the tails of horses that live in very cold places such as Mongolia, Siberia, and Alaska. In these frigid climates the horse's tail hair grows uniformly thick. Mr. Barton is a luthier, one who makes and repairs string instruments. It took him several years to make his cello, a process which began with the purchase of a forty foot long spruce log. He also made the varnish used to finish the instrument. Miss Baker is his only minor student.

The adults attending the audience were her proud parents, Marie-Louise and Richard Baker, and this most  enchanted reviewer. -DC

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