The Long Island Violin Shop located in Huntington recently sent two staff members, Estefan Cortez and David Wong, to work with the Riverhead High School orchestra during a FREE Electric String Instrument Workshop.
David Wong is the LI Violin Shop’s resident electric violin expert and (according to their website: www.liviolinshop.com) “has been called a ‘Rock Star’ in the violin world. He arranges rock, pop, and other top 40 hits into improvisation filled orchestrations.”
David demonstrated the magic of the electric violin and the flexibility of the electronic orchestration board he controlled with his foot to create “loops” to accompany his performance. He wowed the group with his performance on an electric violin.
David also taught the students how to “chop” the strings of their instruments with their bows. ("chopping" is a funk guitar technique in which the player plays chords or individual notes with the strings muted or even completely deadened.)
After David’s performance, the students had a chance to try out the electric violin and cello that the LIVS musicians brought with them.
“The students got to see first-hand how easy it can be to improvise on their string instruments,” noted RHS orchestra teacher Marisa Macchio. “They especially appreciated listening to David play pop songs on the violin that are familiar to them. When he taught them the parts to Pharrell’s “Get Lucky”, they were so into it. I myself appreciate and acknowledge that as a string player, you don’t always want to practice Bach, Beethoven and Mozart. Getting out of your comfort zone and improvising along to popular music can reignite a student’s love for their instruments.”
Info and photo courtesy of the the Riverhead Central School District