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August 26, 2011 > Musical Ambassadors

Musical Ambassadors

Submitted By Ted Seitz

The Hayward Odd Fellows Youth Chamber Music Project concluded its second anniversary season with its final concert before a capacity crowd on Saturday, August 13 at the Odd Fellows Hall, B Street, Hayward. Judging by the appreciation, the concert was a resounding success.

To encourage initiative and cooperation in young musicians, the Hayward Odd Fellows hosts an annual two-week summer workshop that brings together young string players for a chamber music experience. This year's recital featured several pianists and a feast of romantic and modern compositions by Haydn, Stamitz, Mozart and a Tango by Jeremy Cohen. A Waltz for six hands composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff was played. These young musicians brought an infectious sense of fun, energy, musicality and virtuosity, to Downtown Hayward.

Twenty-one musicians joined the workshop as strangers and rehearsed three nights each week. Eight different student ensembles performed this year. Many of the musicians play in Bay Area youth orchestras under a conductor but seldom work together in small groups in which they must rely upon each other for their cues and the ultimate quality of the piece played.

In the Chamber Music Program, they dispense with the conductor and work only with a coach, learning valuable skills in group dynamics and trust.

The Hayward Odd Fellows Youth Chamber Music Project is the brainchild of Ted Seitz and Cathy O'Connor, two Hayward music teachers, professional classical performers and Odd Fellows members, who wanted to expand the opportunities for young musicians in the area. The other coaches this year were Sharon Hendee, Rick Shinozaki of Quartet del Sol, Romanian-trained virtuoso Corina Stoian and Katrina Wreede formerly of the Turtle Island String Quartet.

With the support of its Noble Grand Frank Goulart, the Hayward Odd Fellows Sycamore Lodge #129 collaborates with regional cultural and educational institutions to bring the arts to the Hayward area. The Lodge generously donated the rehearsal and concert space.

For more information, contact Ted Seitz at (510) 538-3801 or Cathy O'Connor at (510) 209-2019.

For more information about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sycamore Lodge #129 and the Odd Fellows Summer Concert Series at the Hayward Memorial Park (behind the Hayward Plunge), visit

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