News and Events

Please join us for the

Inspiring, International, Multi-generational Suzuki String Serenade

Sat. May 20th at 6:30 PM at South Congregational Church, Springfield

Celebrating STEP’s 15th year of Music Ministry

STEP Suzuki Strings perform at last year's Suzuki String Serenade in the sanctuary of Springfield's historic South Congregational Church
STEP Suzuki Strings perform at last year’s Suzuki String Serenade in the sanctuary of Springfield’s historic South Congregational Church

 Come hear an inspiring, high-quality performance by the STEP Suzuki Strings, comprised of STEP teachers, friends, alumni and students aged 6 to adult!  STEP will present its 28th Annual Suzuki String Serenade – a polished, inspiring, fun and family-friendly concert of folk songs, classics, American and international music – in the beautiful and historic sanctuary of South Congregational Church, Springfield on May 20th at 6:30pm. South Congregational is located at 45 Maple St. behind the Classical Condominiums in Springfield, with plenty of free parking.

 All are invited to see our beginning and Suzuki book 1 students in the free Twinkle prelude at 6:15pm.  For adults attending the 6:30pm Suzuki String Serenade, a donation of $12 in advance or $15 at the door is requested; children are free when accompanied by an adult.  The concert will benefit the STEP Scholarship Fund.

Members of the STEP Quartet will perform Gwyneth Walker's "Portable Rhythms"
Members of the STEP Quartet will perform Gwyneth Walker’s “Portable Rhythms”

The 28th Annual Suzuki String Serenade, which opens with the lilting Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade, continues with classics by Bach, Haydn and Schumann and a powerful arrangement of the African American spiritual Go Down Moses.  The concert will also include international folk music from China, France, Germany and Puerto Rico and the lovely Andante from the Bach Concerto in A minor, with director Lani Bortfeld as soloist.

The audience will be impressed by the high quality performances of the STEP soloists, chosen by audition, and enjoy the STEP String Quartet’s performance of Gwyneth Walker’s Portable Rhythms with its jazz rhythms and blues-style melodies. The Serenade will conclude with a sizzling performance of the American folk tune Old Joe Clark performed fiddle style.

Our young students have practiced many hours with the encouragement of their families, and are taught using the highest standards.
Our young students have practiced many hours with the encouragement of their families, and are taught using the highest standards.

Come join us for a reception after the concert, with a celebration cake for our 15 years of music ministry!  Here you can meet the performers and learn more about this high-level, family-centered string program which has enriched Northern Connecticut and the Greater Springfield area for 15 years.    Proceeds go to the STEP scholarship fund, which provides need-based financial aid to deserving STEP students in Greater Springfield and Northern CT.

 Director Lani Bortfeld leads STEP's newest students in a demonstration of how we learn Suzuki violin.  
Director Lani Bortfeld leads STEP’s newest students in a demonstration of how we learn Suzuki violin.

STEP’s March Solo and Chamber Concert at St. Andrew’s Church was a resounding success. From the youngest to the oldest, everyone gave their best.  The concert opened with the the Bach “Double” Concerto performed by Grace and Aislin Farris, and segued to the youngest students playing renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and easy folk songs. It’s inspiring to hear the progress as the concert continues from the youngest students to oldest, performing pieces such as John Williams’ Star Wars theme and works by Bach, Gossec, Schumann, and the Gavotte from the operetta Mignon, all the way to concerto movements by Vivaldi and Kabalevsky.

The Vivace Quartet performs Haydn's Op. 20 #2
The Vivace Quartet performs Haydn’s Op. 20 #2

We heard two chamber works:    Corelli’s Trio Sonata Op. 2#1 performed by the STEP Quartet, and the first movement of Op.20 #2 by Haydn performed by the Vivace String Quartet from the Music School at Sound Crossing.

Close-up of small grp. playing

On December 4, 2016 at St. Andrew’s Church, Longmeadow, the STEP Suzuki Strings provided the instrumental accompaniment for an interfaith sing-along and also performed classics by Bach and Handel, fiddle tunes and other seasonal favorites, including Jingle Bell Rock.  We had great audience participation, singing along to holiday favorites accompanied by piano and strings, and creating a spirit of unity as we came together in song and shared international holiday music, traditions and food from the celebrations of Chanukah, Christmas and Reyes (Three Kings Day).  Young people from the audience joined the performance of Las Navidades with Latin percussion instruments,  and added the bells in Jingle Bells.

Listen to some of our holiday performance on Youtube: – Las Navidades – Jingle Bells – Dreydl & Days of Chanukah – O Jerusalem

Group photo 1