Perlman alumni perform at Shelter Island School

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTOS | Bliss: Rebecca Benjamin on the final note of the Mendelssohn Quartet in F Minor.

JO ANN KIRKLAND PHOTOS | Rebecca Benjamin on the final note of the Mendelssohn Quartet in F Minor.

Perlman Music Program held its first-ever Alumni Chamber Music Retreat from September 30 to October 5. At the culmination of the retreat, the musicians presented a series of concerts in the community.

On Monday, violinists Zachary Spontak and Rebecca Benjamin, violist Will Bender and cellist Nico Olarte-Hayes performed at the Shelter Island School for students in kindergarten through 8th grade and the school orchestra. The interactive recital included ‘guest conductors’ Liam Adipietro, Emma Martinez and Christopher Ward, a Q & A and a discussion about favorite pets — Rebecca’s was a penguin.

Guest conductor Liam Adipietro.

Guest conductor Liam Adipietro.

Third grader Charlie Murray asked the young musicians ‘What inspires you to play music?’ The Mendelssohn Quartet in F minor moved 4th grader Alfie Brigham ‘to tears.’

Music teacher Jessica Bosak said, ‘This concert was about exposing kids to incredible music and hopefully sparking something inside them, whether it’s appreciating music, being more in tune to their emotions, or wanting to play their own instrument someday. Having the Perlman group come in and work with our kids was an experience that we won’t forget.’

SIHS orchestra members get tips from the pros.

SIHS orchestra members get tips from the pros.

‘We are proud to count over 400 alumni who are changing the face of classical music across the world,’ said Toby Perlman, founder and director of the Perlman Music Program. ‘To say that our graduates are doing well is an understatement. You can find them in major orchestras worldwide and excelling as teachers, chamber musicians, soloists — and simply wonderful people.’

Rebecca and Will warming up.

Rebecca and Zachary warming up.

Will on viola

Will on viola.

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