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United in isolation, 40 young musicians play from across the country during COVID-19 crisis
MONTREAL -- An ensemble of 40 talented young string musicians found a way to connect all provinces and territories in song during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thirty-eight violinists, cellist Sophie van der Sloot from Ottawa and violist Davin Mar from Vancouver play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Concerto for Violins, second movement in a video perormance that included musicians from Edmonton, Saskatoon, Outremont and every other area of the country.
The youngest is 11-year-old violinist Elan Chow from Abbostsford, BC and oldest in their early 20s with the majority between 14 and 18.
Sebastien Tsai in Montreal and his cousin Kai Chow in Vancouver came up with the concept of bringing together the musicians across the country together to play the piece.
“The goal of our project was to unite Canadians in this time of really dark times,” said Tsai. “We all know that music can bring us together and we wanted to do something that could make people happy.”
It is one of a growing trend of musicians that have pieced together parts to produce video songs or concerts. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra produced a piece to thank those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tsai and his cousin contacted players they knew already or connected with teachers that directed them to people in places like Whitehorse, Charlottetown, and Yellowknife where the cousins didn’t have a direct connection.
After the recordings were done, it was the tech side that proved much more difficult than playing the actual music.
Seeing it come together was a relief.
“I felt pretty much relieved that it worked, that the editing process turned out to be fine," said Tsai.
The response has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People right away were like, ‘Thanks for bringing joy to our day,’” said Tsai.