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Quite the Quartet

Students spread positivity to Omaha seniors through music

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Quite the Quartet

Sireen Abayazid

Sireen Abayazid

Sireen Abayazid

Sireen Abayazid, Staff Writer

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photo by Sireen Abayazid

Dozens of audience members watch as three students ready their bows, awaiting a signal from the first violin. With a deep inhale and the lift of his bow, he begins, and the others follow. The four play both classical and modern pieces, bringing joy to an intently listening audience. They are the Dreams Quartet.

The Dreams Quartet was formed at the end of last year after an assignment from orchestra instructor Debbie Martinez. They are comprised of violinists Joseph Zhong and Brenna Monaghan, violist Moriah Friesen, and cellist Melody Hong. The quartet has been playing publicly since August of last year, playing gigs at various retirement homes in Omaha.

“We decided that we liked the idea of [playing] together and kept that going outside of school,” Zhong said.

The four perform once a month and practice at least once a week to prepare. Through these practices, they have formed a stronger on-stage connections with each other and improved their communication skills.

“Working with the quartet with signals [is important] because we can’t talk to each other when we’re performing,” Friesen said.

The Dreams Quartet keeps their older audience  in mind when choosing their pieces. They play a mix of popular and classical songs, including Viva La Vida by Coldplay and Pachelbel’s Canon.

“We believe these pieces represent us as a group [and] as individuals,” Zhong said.

The Dreams Quartet has also found success outside of their performances, and recently competed in this year’s String Olympics. The String Olympics is an orchestra competition held at the University of Nebraska Omaha where students receive ratings and are placed in certain categories. The Dreams Quartet received a Superior rating, earning second place in the High School Ensemble Division.

As of 2009, depression affected 6 million of the 35 million senior citizens in America. The Dreams Quartet hopes to bring joy into the lives of the Omaha elderly through their music.

“I think it’s nice to bring music to these people,” Monaghan said. “They don’t have much live music for them to see.”

Those in retirement homes don’t have a great amount of positivity in their lives, and the Dreams Quartet’s goal is to bring a sense of joy to the Omaha elderly. Although they have only been playing together for a few months, they have made large strides toward their goal of bringing positivity to the Omaha community.

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