A Day in the Life of the String Quartet Truck, 2016

String Quartet Truck 2016

 

By Annalisa Boerner, Resident Violist

“I’m not sure about this one. I think we might just be playing for an empty bus stop.”

I wasn’t optimistic when I texted a friend about Wednesday’s String Quartet Truck stop at the College and Chapel Street corner of the New Haven Green. It was in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the city. In comparison to our popular lunch stop by the Cedar Street food trucks, the sparsely-populated Green felt inauspicious.

Our lively truck driver (Keith Galberth of the New Haven Parks and Recreation Department) cranked his F350 up onto the green with the quartet’s trailer bumping along behind. We brought the trailer to rest in a puddle of shade, its “String Quartet Truck” banner facing out toward Chapel Street. There were pedestrians occupying our newly created audience area on Chapel. As it turned out, they were willing to hang out for 10 minutes before we played, waiting for us to unpack and plug in (we play on amplified electric instruments for these outdoor shows).

In the glow of their attention, I began to feel more optimistic about our little pop-up concert’s chances for success. We began to play. The sounds of Astor Piazzolla’s fiery “Libertango” created a magnetic pull, drawing additional people in toward us. We followed the tango with a “Concerto Grosso” by Vivaldi, and our audience grew a little more. A man approached the side of the truck and called up to us that he had heard us at the train station the night before — we even had a repeat customer.

The rest of the show progressed similarly, as passers-by of all ages glommed onto our growing audience. We toggled among an array of classical and pop tunes from J. S. Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3″ to Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me,” arranged by our very own Resident Cellist Philip Boulanger.

Philip Boulanger

Philip Boulanger, Resident Cellist

Even in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of the week, downtown New Haven had plenty of those passers-by, the kind who were happy to stay awhile in order to hear some music. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of being a practicing musician and forget how arresting our music can be. As it turned out, Wednesday afternoon’s concert was the perfect reminder that music can bring people together, even when the circumstances may look rather inauspicious at first.

The Crowd at College & Chapel

Annalisa Boerner

Annalisa Boerner, Resident Violist

Click HERE to see photos of the String Quartet Truck performing in front of the Yale Whale and Union Station, on June 14, 2016!

Click HERE to see photos of the String Quartet Truck on the New Haven Green on June 11, 2016!

Photos by Kathleen Cei

The String Quartet Truck hits the Streets June 11-16, 2016

String Quartet Truck 2016

We are excited to announce the String Quartet Truck schedule for 2016!

Music Haven presents The String Quartet Truck, June 11-16, 2016

In conjunction with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Haven String Quartet brings classical music to the streets of New Haven with the String Quartet Truck.The truck stops at various locations in New Haven through June 11-16.  For daily updates during the festival, click here, or follow us on Twitter @The_SQ_Truck !

Saturday, June 11, 2016
4:45-5:30 pm: New Haven Green

Sunday, June 12, 2016
6:00-6:45 pm: East Rock Park Summit

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
12:00-12:45 pm: Corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets (near the food trucks at Ingalls Rink, the “Yale Whale,” at 73 Sachem St.)
5:00-5:45 pm: In front of Union Station (50 Union Ave.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016
12:00-12:45 pm: Cedar Street (near the food trucks)
2:00-2:45 pm: Corner of College & Chapel Streets

Thursday, June 16, 2016
5:00-5:45 pm: Corner of York & Chapel Streets
7:00-7:45 pm:  Broadway Plaza parking lot

Music Haven gratefully acknowledges Yale New Haven Health System as the sponsor of our 2016 String Quartet Truck.

Highlights from The String Quartet Truck: June 18, 2015

What a fun finale  for this year’s String Quartet Truck week! String Quartet Truck 2015 Broadway

Music Haven Founder/Executive Director Tina Lee Hadari joined in on viola  …

The String Quartet Truck would not exist if not for the dream of Music Haven's Founder/ED, Tina Lee Hadari.

The String Quartet Truck would not exist if not for the dream of Music Haven’s Founder/ED, Tina Lee Hadari.

talented Music Haven student Isabel was summoned from the crowd to play cello (much to her surprise!) …

Isabel was surprised when her teacher Mr. Philip called her up to play "La Bamba." (She nailed it!)

Isabel was surprised when her teacher Mr. Philip called her up to play “La Bamba.” (She nailed it!)

and Mr. Benn beamed from behind the bass in Broadway Plaza. (Pretty sure this was the first time anyone heard  a version of Tchaikovsky’s Scherzo from String Quartet in D Major with electric bass!)

Mr. Benn, ace of bass.

Mr. Benn, ace of bass.

Thanks to all who stopped to listen, to Keith Galberth, our dynamite driver, and to everyone at International Festival of Arts & Ideas for making this possible!

A fantastic finale to this year's String Quartet Truck week!

A fantastic finale to this year’s String Quartet Truck week!

Our dynamite driver Keith Galberth (center) with the String Quartet Truck musicians.

Our dynamite driver Keith Galberth (center) with the String Quartet Truck musicians.

 

See you in June, 2016!

For more photos, see Music Haven’s Facebook page .

Highlights from The String Quartet Truck: June 17, 2015

What a beautiful day for today’s three truck stops!

We started out with a stop on the New Haven Green, at the corner of Chapel and Temple Streets.  Big smiles swept across the faces of  the downtown lunchtime crowd when they heard Michael Jackson’s  “Man in the Mirror.”

SQT

String Quartet Truck at the corner of Chapel & Temple Streets.

It was especially  nice to see Music Haven Founder/Executive Director Tina Lee Hadari and Music Haven violin student/ High School Fellow Noel out there in the crowd — they even brought us burritos!

Tina and Noel

The String Quartet Truck was the idea of Music Haven Founder/Executive Director Tina Lee Hadari, shown here with her violin student Noel.

We are so lucky to have our devoted driver, Keith, who goes way above and beyond the call of duty, passing out Music Haven brochures to everyone in the crowd.

Our devoted driver Keith  goes above & beyond the call of duty!

Our devoted driver Keith goes above & beyond the call of duty!

Our next stop found us in Fair Haven, across from the school busses lining up at Columbus Family Academy. Fair Haven folks found a shady sidewalk spot to sit and listen to our intimate, unplugged set.

We headed next to the Dixwell neighborhood for our third and final stop of the day at Scantlebury Park. It was so nice to see some of our budding young Music Haven violin students and their families in the park! CLICK HERE to watch a video of Prince‘s “I Wanna Be Your Lover”  performed by The String Quartet Truck in Scantlebury Park!

 

So nice to see some Music Haven families in Scantlebury Park!

So nice to see some Music Haven families in Scantlebury Park!

 

Fair Haven folks found a shady sidewalk spot to sit & listen.

Fair Haven folks found a shady sidewalk spot to sit & listen.

The String Quartet Truck on Blatchley Ave.

The String Quartet Truck on Blatchley Ave.

We are joined by a special guest in Scantlebury Park!
We are joined by a special guest in Scantlebury Park!

Join us tomorrow, Thursday, June 18, 2015 for our final performance on the truck this year:

6:00-6:45 p.m. Broadway Plaza Parking lot

See more photos on Music Haven’s Facebook page.

Highlights from Tuesday, June 16, 2015: Prince and Princess

Both Prince and a Princess could be found today in Edgewood Park!

Our first truck stop in wonderful Westville kicked off with Prince’s  “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”  We warmly welcomed a few coffee-sippers from nearby Majares as they crossed the street to come closer and hear us play.

Princess in Edgewood

A pretty princess declared our music “beautiful.”

A few more folks (and a couple cute dogs) gathered as we wooed ’em with Vivaldi’s “Concerto Grosso,”  Erroll Garner’s  “Misty”  and Brazilian choro music (a piece called   “Our Time,”  artfully arranged by our own Colin Benn), and soon after, we were visited by a pretty princess —  spinning around and around, dancing to “La Bamba,”  then Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO) and “Man in the Mirror” (Music Havens unofficial theme song). The princess festooned  us with freshly-plucked flower petals, declaring  our music “beautiful.”  We were royally honored.

We ducked into Majares ourselves for a quick fix of coffee and cookies (with a side of sweet words from the kind owner, who heard us play through the cafe’s open doors), before making tracks to Union Station, our second scheduled truck stop of the day.

Sadly, we were only able to play one song for  a few enthusiasts before our set was derailed, due to rain.  We should be back on track tomorrow,  with a sunny  forecast for Wednesday’s (June 17) three stops:

12:30 -1:15 p.m. Corner of Chapel and Temple Streets

2-2:45  p.m.:  In front of Columbus Family Academy (corner of Blatchley and Grand Ave., Fair Haven)

3:30-4:15 p.m.:  Scantlebury Park (139 Ashmun St., Dixwell neighborhood)

 See more photos from today’s String Quartet Truck stops on Music Haven’s Facebook page.

TODAY’S VIDEO: “Billie Jean” in Westville: The String Quartet Truck

Due to rain, String Quartet Truck performances on Monday, June 15 are cancelled

WEATHER ALERT: The String Quartet Truck performances scheduled for Monday, June 15, 2015 have been cancelled due to rain. We hope that you will join us for a performance later in the week!

The String Quartet Truck: June 13-18, 2015

Here are the locations where The String Quartet Truck will park this year.  Hope you can join us!

String Quartet Truck

String Quartet Truck: June 13-18, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015
6:30-7:00 p.m.  On the New Haven Green (just before the Darlene Love concert)

Monday, June 15, 2015 (*CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN*)
12:30-1:15 p.m.  Cedar Street between Congress Ave. and York Street
2:00-2:45 p.m.  Corner of York and Chapel Streets (near Yale School of Architecture)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
12:30-1:15 p.m. Westville Village (corner of Whalley and West Rock Avenues)
2:15-3:00 p.m.  Union Station

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
12:30-1:15 p.m.  Corner of Chapel and Temple Streets (next to CitySeed Downtown Farmers’ Market — Opening Day!)
2:00-2:45 p.m.  In front of Columbus Family Academy (corner of Blatchley and Grand Avenues)
3:30-4:15 p.m.  Scantlebury Park (139 Ashmun Street)

Thursday, June 18, 2015
6:00-6:45 p.m.  Broadway Parking Lot

Thursday’s String Quartet Truck Highlights: June 19, 2014

The morning rain stopped and dark clouds cleared just in time for today’s first stop at Union Station.  Travelers pause to listen to a song or two en route to their next destination. We’re reminded of an idea we had last season — how cool it would be to perform Terry Riley’s  “Different Trains” here one day!

Resident violist Colin Benn brings out his bass guitar for “Motown Forever,” and we’re thrilled to see Music Haven’s Executive Director Tina Lee Hadari  climb on board to play viola with us! it was an especially poignant moment for us all, as our 2013-2014 season comes to a close and we’ll all be heading off in different directions for the next couple months to teach and perform professionally across the country — from Chicago to Minnesota to Vermont to high up in Adirondacks.

Mr. Benn brings out his bass ...

Mr. Benn brings out his bass …

 

… then Ms. Tina jumps on board to play on viola.

… then Ms. Tina jumps on board to play viola.

 

Union Station audience

Our final stop for 2014 finds us at Stop & Shop on Whalley, just across the street from our Music Haven office and rehearsal space. Shoppers wheel their carts over to hear the music. While waiting at the bus stop nearby, Ann (or “Mama” as she says to call her) walks over after hearing the music and decides to take a later bus so she can stay a bit. We present our fantastic diver Keith Galberth (from the Dept. of Parks & Recreation) with a thank you gift for his outstanding commitment to awesomeness — not only did he drive us around all week, saving the day again and again  (filling our empty generator with gas when we unexpectedly ran out; glueing our table when it cracked, etc.) but he also handed out our flyers to everyone in the crowd, sharing his passion for our mission and what we do. We are so lucky we connected with Keith!

The parking lot crowd joins in to sing along, clap their hands and sway  to our final number, “Motown Forever.”

It’s been wonderful experience engaging the New Haven community this week with our  String Quartet Truck during the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. We hope to see you again next June!

Click here to watch today’s videos:

“Motown Forever” at Union Station

Coldplay on Whalley Ave. (String Quartet Truck)

We're lucky we connected with our outstanding driver, Keith Galberth (center).

We’re lucky we connected with our outstanding driver, Keith Galberth (center).

The crowd joined in on "Motown Forever."

The crowd joins in on “Motown Forever.”

Gregory Tompkins

Violinist Gregory Tompkins on the String Quartet Truck.

Ann (aka "Mama") decides to take a later bus so she can hear more music.

Ann (aka “Mama”) decides to take a later bus so she can hear more music.

Wednesday’s String Quartet Truck Highlights: June 18, 2014

One thing you learn pretty quickly when you’re performing on a truck is you gotta “roll with it!”

Though we lost power for a bit when playing at the CitySeed Downtown Farmers’ Market (corner of Chapel & Temple), it was nice when folks moved up  closer to the truck to hear us play acoustic. We liked having a chance to chat with you and answer  a few of your questions!

sDSC_0578

Thanks to the handworking CitySeed staff and our awesome driver, Keith, we were powered back up in no time. Keith

What a beautiful day to celebrate local produce and community spirit.We even got our photo taken by a tomato!

CitySeed Tomato!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we arrived in Fair Haven, we found bongo player Raymond banging out some cool rhythms on the corner of Ferry St. & Grand Ave. We were honored to have him come onboard to join us for our set!

Watch a video by clicking here: Michael Jackson in Fair Haven (String Quartet Truck featuring surprise guest Raymond on bongos!)

Special Guest Raymond on Bongos

 

See us next …

Thursday, June 19

12:30-1:15 PM: Outside of Union Station
2-2:45 PM: Parking lot at Stop & Shop (150 Whalley Ave.)

Today’s String Quartet Highlights: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

At today’s first String Quartet Truck stop, we played for the lovely lunch crowd at Broadway Plaza:

SQT at Broadway Plaza 1SQT at Broadway Plaza 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our second stop was scheduled for Co-Op High, but when we arrived we were surprised by loud construction on the block. Good thing we’re on wheels! Our outstanding driver, Keith — who goes above & beyond the call of duty for us — quickly found us a great alternate location at the corner of College & Chapel Streets. It was so much fun to watch people stop and listen as they discovered us!:

sDSC_0539 sDSC_0557

 

Check out today’s 2 videos by clicking on the links below:

String Quartet Truck plays George Shearing’s “Lullaby of Birdland”

String Quartet Truck plays Erroll Garner’s “Misty”

Come see us next:

Wednesday, June 18 
12:30-1:15 PM: Corner of Chapel & Temple Streets
2-2:45 PM: Parking lot at C-Town (325 Ferry St.)

Thursday, June 19
12:30-1:15 PM: Outside of Union Station
2-2:45 PM: Parking lot at Stop & Shop (150 Whalley Ave.)

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