News and Events

STEP invites the public to SHARE THE MUSIC!

Join us for our 29th annual

SUZUKI STRING SERENADE benefit concert

SATURDAY, MAY 19th at 6:30 pm

at SOUTH CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 45 Maple St. Springfield 01105

 

All are invited to see our beginning and Suzuki book 1 students in the free Twinkle prelude at 6:15pm.

Twinkle Prelude close-up

A donation of $12 in advance or $15 at the door is requested for adults attending the 6:30pm Suzuki String Serenade; children are free when accompanied by an adult.  The 6:30pm concert will benefit the STEP Scholarship and Instrument Fund, which has raised over $30,000 in the past 16 years to provide financial aid and instrument loans to local families in need.  Last year, in addition to supporting 5 scholarship students, we were able to purchase a viola for a scholarship student to use.

Tchaikovsky Waltz CR

This family-friendly concert has a great variety of string music, including classics such as an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture for strings, trumpet and percussion, a lovely string version of You Raise Me Up, Celtic music and spirituals.  You’ll be amazed by the polished, uplifting performance of the STEP Suzuki Strings, comprised of STEP teachers, friends, alumni and students aged 6 to adult!  STEP will present its 29th Annual Suzuki String Serenade, a concert to benefit STEP’s Scholarship and Instrument Loan Fund, in the beautiful and historic sanctuary of South Congregational Church, Springfield. South Congregational is located at 45 Maple St. behind the Classical Condominiums in Springfield, with plenty of free parking.

Please support our efforts to make high-quality string music accessible to the Greater Springfield community!  For tickets or more information, call Lani Bortfeld, director, at (860)265-2879.  Se habla español.

 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.

Dr. Suzuki believed that all children can learn, and so do we!

We will be starting our beginning class of students and Home Teachers this summer and fall.  Come observe a class to see how we learn through focus and having fun.  Beginning “pre-Twinkle” classes meet biweekly on Wednesdays at 5:30pm at South Congregational Church, which is located at 45 Maple St. behind the Classical Condominiums in Springfield.  There’s plenty of free parking.  Please let us know you are coming so we can meet you at the door.  We look forward to your visit!

STEP thanks South Congregational Church, the Springfield Suzuki Partnership (SSP), STEP’s parent/teacher organization, and friends and alumni for making STEP’s 16th year of music ministry possible!  

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

STEP’s March Solo and Chamber Concert, also at South Church was a resounding success. From the youngest to the oldest, everyone gave their best.  The concert opened with the a Purcell Madrigal performed by the Vivace Trio from the Music School at Sound Crossing in Windsor CT, with which STEP has a sister-school relationship. We segued to beginning students giving a “pre-Twinkle demonstration” on their block violins. It’s inspiring to hear the progress as the concert continues from the youngest students to oldest, performing works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Clarke, Couperin, Suzuki, and finishing with the tender Ravel Pavane.

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.

 

STEP gave a free interfaith sing-along in December 2017 at the Springfield Central Library’s Rotunda.  Opening with Let it Snow the audience then joined in the sing-along with music of the holidays of Chanukah, Christmas and Reyes.

Grp. playing at Spfld. Lib. Interfaith 17

STEP students, alumni and friends provided accompaniment for an enthusiastic audience to sing interfaith favorites in December 2017 at the Central Library.

STEP presented its 28th Annual Suzuki String Serenade – a celebraton of STEP’s 15th year – in the beautiful and historic sanctuary of South Congregational Church, Springfield on May 20, 2017.  The concert benefited the STEP Scholarship  & Instrument Fund, which provides need-based financial aid and the loan of instruments to low-income families STEP students in Greater Springfield and Northern CT.

The concert opened with the lilting Waltz from Tchaikovsky’s Serenade, which you can hear via the Youtube link on the STEP Suzuki Strings page.  It continued with classics by Bach, Haydn and Schumann and a powerful arrangement of the African American spiritual Go Down Moses.  The concert also included 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.

Bach A minor orch.

The audience was impressed by the high quality performances of the STEP soloists, chosen by audition, and enjoyed the STEP String Quartet’s performance of Gwyneth Walker’s Portable Rhythms with its jazz rhythms and blues-style melodies, and the Vivace Quartet’s rendition of the Haydn Adagio from Op.20 #2. The Serenade concluded with a sizzling performance of the American folk tune Old Joe Clark performed fiddle style.

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

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

The reception after the concert celebrated our 15 years of music ministry with three cakes and lots of delicious food!  Here the audience met the performers and learned more about this high-level, family-centered string program which has enriched Northern Connecticut and the Greater Springfield area for 15 years.

Listen to some of our holiday performance on Youtube:

https://youtu.be/3kIwU0caNpI – Las Navidades

https://youtu.be/FHAppbuLEBo – Jingle Bells

https://youtu.be/vBa3Q4ZsF7M – Dreydl & Days of Chanukah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymf4osCxyxU – O Jerusalem

Group photo 1