Mondays in Millersville normally involve late classes after the weekend comes to a close, however, Monday, February 22 7:30 p.m. music emanated from Gourdiner to McComsey. The Marian Anderson String Quartet brought a night of entertainment and exceptionally gorgeous music. The event was hosted by the NAACP, the Black Student Union, and the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Starting as street performers in New York, these amazing women became the first African-American ensemble to win a classical music competition in the International Cleveland Quartet Competition. As a tribute of their achievement, Marian Anderson allowed the quartet to use her name for the group. Since the 1990s they have performed all over the county and beyond, from the Library of Congress to the Chateau Cantanac-Brown in Bordeaux, France. They have also founded a summer camp for chamber music which is open to veteran musicians and novices alike.
While there were not many people in the audience, it only made the night less formal and more enjoyable. The members of the quartet even invited the members of the audience to stand up and dance if they wanted. “If you feel like dancing there is plenty of room. Indulge and enjoy,” Prudence McDaniel said, getting a few giggles from the audience.
They played music pieces that varied from soft and calming to exciting and energizing, such as “American” by Antonin Dvorak. The most enjoyable part of the performance was not just in the music, but also the musicians as well. They were very animated as they played, to the point it looked like they were dancing in their seats. At one point they even sang along with the audience before they played a piece based on the spiritual song Calvary. They were focused but at the same time they where smiling and enjoying themselves. “We prefer to keep things informal” Marianne Henry said.
Their enjoyment did not go unnoticed by the audience as most of the viewers commented. “They were wonderful, I really like their energy,” said Messel Berati, a freshman who had come to the show. Another freshman, Stacy Grill said, “They really look like they were enjoying themselves.”
While the audience never did take the opportunity to dance with the music, they seem quite content in just listening to the magnificent coordination and talent that the Marian Anderson Quartet. “They are completely moved by their music so much so that it moves the room,” sophomore Heather Becker a said.
Halfway through the show, the Quartet had a question and answer session for the audience and explained their group’s origin, their summer camp and their relationship with Marian Anderson. They also discussed their plan to teach a master class the following day for Millersville students.
The enjoyable atmosphere combined with superb talent made February 22 a night to remember.