President of Orchestra and manager of string quartet senior Emily Pan talks about the groups’ recent special opportunity to showcase talent performance opportunity

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President of Orchestra and manager of string quartet senior Emily Pan talks about the groups’ recent special opportunity to showcase talent performance opportunity


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Stephanie Sonik (SS): You are performing with two bands at the Hobby center on May 20. What exactly is this event?

Emily Pan (EP): This event is a nationally touring rock concert, with these two tribute bands. One is a Beatles tribute band and the other is a Rolling Stones tribute band. They battle it out in a show and they asked us to play backup for them since they needed string accompaniment.

SS: How did you end up joining the string quartet?

EP: The string quartet has existed for a long time. From the top orchestra, there are a couple players who come together in an ensemble and we go out and play paid gigs and do service events at nursing homes and hospitals. We are a professional performing ensemble.

SS: Was there an audition process for the quartet?

EP: No, the members were picked by chair order. Since I am a manager, I usually choose people who are in the front of their section. For example, our first chair cellist gets to play and I get to play because I am first chair violinist. If that person can’t make it, then we move down.

SS: How did you hear about this event, and how did you get the group to play with them?

EP: We had not heard of this event until the bands approached our orchestra teacher. There was a booking agency that worked with the event and were looking for a local high school string quartet to join the performance. They approached Ms. Reynosa because they knew the Bellaire string was good enough to be part of their production.

SS: How has your group been preparing to perform in the concert?

EP: The production sent us the music a few weeks ago, but we have not really looked at it yet. We are going to rehearse it soon.

SS: Have there been any events similar to this that you have participated in?

EP: A couple months ago, the quartet played backup for Lindsey Stirling when she came to Houston. That was pretty similar to the event we are going to do, and it was a very fun experience.

SS: Is there anything you do to help yourself play in front of a large crowd?

EP: Yes. I actually get really nervous for a lot of performances, but in a quartet, it is not as bad. I think the key to performing in front of large audiences is practicing a lot and being confident in your abilites.

SS: Do you think an event such as this one opens doors to more professional musical opportunities in the future?

EP: I think any time you can go out and get exposure for your ensemble is a good opportunity. If you do a good job and represent your school and your ensemble well, then people will start to notice. This could mean they possibly hire you in the future for more gigs.

SS: Would you do other large events like this if given the chance?

EP: I would definitely do more large-scale events like this. The quartet is always looking for new opportunities, and even though we get paid for our work, we are still amateurs. I think that we really appreciate any exposure and any performance opportunities we can get.

SS: How do you think events like this will help the quartet in the future?

EP: This is one of our bigger events, since the quartet will be playing at the Hobby Center. There will be a really big audience, and the event is ticketed so the people who come all really want to be there and are excited to see us perform. I think this larger setting versus our usual gigs playing at someone’s house party or doing a community event will give us a lot more exposure and help people know about the quartet. Hopefully this will lead to more event opportunities in the future.

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