Carnival in Quarantine
Do you remember the lulling sounds of the cello of the Swan from your elementary music class? Houston's own renowned musical high school non-profit, Trio Oriens Jr., has brought together 78 young artists from around the world to perform 6 movements from Saint Saëns' Carnival of the Animals, showing their unifying strength in art despite being isolated during this pandemic.
Carnival of the Animals, written in 1886, is a humorous musical suite, each movement in the piece was composed to sound like a different animal. The suite has since become some of the most recognizable romantic classical music including pieces such as Le Cygne (The Swan) and Aquarium.
Spearheaded by Evelyn Fung, a senior at Carnegie Vanguard High School, the performance features six musical movements. Each features a full orchestral ensemble including amazing students from around the world playing piano, piccolo, oboe, violin, and many more and a number of visual artists. When you aren't listening, you're watching! Part of the ensemble includes a traditional Taiwanese lion dance performed by students at the Taipei National University of the Arts, a Bharatanatyam Indian dance by the Shrinatraj School of Dance, an ensemble of ballet dancers so dedicated they danced with pointe shoes on concrete, and numerous pieces of hand-drawn art. In addition, every piece is introduced and concluded by a poetry read in over 20 languages - just a few included are Twi, Indonesian and Turkish!
"That was why this project was decided. We were all stuck at home and most fine artists didn't have the opportunity to perform their art in the public like they used to. This project allowed the performers to dust off their costumes and all the participants to have a definite result to look forward to," says Fung. "Our motivating factor was unification of artists through music in the pandemic. It shows how dedicated everyone was and I also heard from parents that the kids practiced a lot for this."
With an amazing team of editors the students were able to bring the project to life. Watch the video to see the end result of all their hard work.
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