When to Toot Your Own Horn; Mr. Quartuccio shares how two Kehillah Students Re-Crafted Piazzolla's Libertango


Pictured above: Stuart Kerr & Ben Gervin, in the midst of creating!

When Mr. Romero shared that two students were creating something special in Mr. Q’s class, excitement bubbled and the story had to be shared. Below, read the answers Mr. Quartuccio gave about how these two creative students worked together to create something extraordinary!

Tell me a little about the two students and their musical journey with you.

Ben Gervin and Stuart Kerr are college level musicians who play in the top youth symphonies in the bay area – both on trumpet. They have both completed the Music Theory curriculum. From time to time when we have very advanced students who can handle undergraduate work we offer “Beyond AP Music Theory” as a seminar type class that is custom tailored to challenge the students to creatively apply what they learned in theory by composing their own pieces or orchestrating existing pieces.

How did they wind up taking on this project?

I originally wanted them to write a piece of their own, but something I have wanted for a long time was to have a full symphonic orchestration of Piazzolla’s “Libertango” for one of my symphony orchestras because we don’t have an arrangement in our library. When I brought up the idea they both lit up and that was it. Instead of one of them taking the project, they shared the responsibility and co-orchestrated the piece using professional music notation software.

How did the project evolve into this exciting event?

I dangled the carrot, so to speak, by saying that if they were to spend enough effort on this to make it thoroughly professional then I might be able to give it a public performance with a full orchestra. When they submitted a first draft it was clear that this would indeed be possible so I asked my orchestra and decided to commit to rehearsing and performing it for our Latino symphonic concert on Mother’s Day.

What will be performed, who, where and when.

This piece will be played at the season finale concert of the South Valley Symphony Orchestra. The concert is on Mother’s Day May 8 at Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill at 3:00 PM. Before Covid these winery concerts were regularly sold out and extremely popular in the community. I will conduct the piece, along with other Latin based pieces such as music from the opera “Carmen” and “Capriccio Espagnol,” etc.


South Valley Symphony

Sunday, May 8, 2022, 3:00 PM, Guglielmo Winery, Morgan Hill

Bizet: Orchestra Selections from “Carmen”
Ruperto Chapi: El Tambor de Granadero
Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol
Marquez: Danzon No. 2

Click for Ticket Info

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