New “String Cheese” Ensemble on Campus


Lucy Bui

Kent School is home to many talented musicians and music groups, and Kent School Violin Ensemble, just created this year, is one of them. Led by Ms. Shirakura with Mrs. Hobbs’ assistance, the group was named “the String Cheese Ensemble” by the student members.

Understanding that playing the violin is very hard, Mrs. Hobbs believes that it needs “extra attention that the group hopefully provides.” Ms. Shirakura adds, “String Cheese is for passionate violin players who wish to enhance their violin techniques in the hope of joining the full orchestra.” Thus, this is a great opportunity for students who are new to the violin. The students play as a group twice a week for about one hour per practice.

During practice, the group plays a variety of music genres, including classical, fiddle tune, and even Disney songs. Their study varies from reading music to playing with bowing and rhythm. There are also fun activities and small contests where clapping and listening rhythm are practiced. They also perform with the Kent School Orchestra in concerts, helping them learn performance skills.

Currently, the String Cheese Ensemble is made of seven members, all of whom are very happy with their development so far. Amida Akpan ‘21 claims, “After joining the ensemble this year, my playing skills have improved drastically.”

Ms. Shirakura mentions that she is very proud of how much the group has progressed in a short amount of time, and hopes to challenge them with harder music pieces in the future. The group has great chemistry and they have fun while learning and playing music together.