Spotlight: Amster Chamber Music Ensemble

After three months of rigorous preparation, this year’s Amster Chamber Music Ensemble comprised of four talented high school string players is ready to perform at the Austin Civic Orchestra’s Texas Rising Stars concert on March 26 at Bates Recital Hall. At 6:30 p.m., before the 7:30 p.m. concert, and during intermission, the quartet will play String Quartet No. 1 in D minor by Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga and “Lullaby For Strings” by George Gershwin. Anderson High School Orchestra Director Dick Frazier coached the ensemble and selected the repertoire.

We sat down with the four students at a recent rehearsal to get their take on the experience. To hear more, meet the students at the Texas Rising Stars performance and celebrate their hard work!

Margaret Seo, Violin
Senior at Westwood High School

“What I like about this quartet is that we get to make beautiful music while learning new pieces. Rather than a big string or full orchestra performance like we’re doing at school, this is a smaller group where we can communicate and explore musicality together.”  


Edward Seo, Violin
Sophomore at Westwood High School

“In a quartet, your role feels a bit more important than when you’re playing with an orchestra because you don’t blend in with everyone else. That contrast is interesting for me to explore since I haven’t been in many small ensembles.”


Alex Williamson, Viola
Freshman at Lake Travis High School

“When you’re in a quartet, your voice is heard more since you don’t have to conform to what works for the entire section. You can be more artistic and expressive, making decisions with the other members about how the piece should be played.”


Andrew Yao, Cello
Sophomore at Westwood High School

“The Arriaga composition is lesser known, so I always learn something new when rehearsing it. I appreciate getting more experience in chamber music and performing in a quartet — the experience will help me grow as a musician.”

ACO News