The Quarantoons create a virtual performance


The juniors and seniors in the music department created a virtual music performance. The music ranges from Chopin to The Beatles.

The juniors and seniors at Webster University banded together to make a visually creative musical performance. The students involved in MUSC 4700 had to come up with a way to create their semester project while following CDC guidelines. The upperclassmen had eight weeks to complete this project.

Fourteen students with different musical backgrounds named themselves The Quarantoons. With the help of their professor, Matthew Pickart, the students spliced, recorded and played, to create a 36-minute performance, which was posted on YouTube.

“I got the idea from a class I took as a second-year master’s student at Duquesne University,” Pickart said. “At the first rehearsal, Professor David Cutler explained to us that this was our ensemble and we needed to decide the music, what concert(s) we wanted to play, the theme and even our own name.”

Every student added their own creativity to the performance. The premiere included a variety of pieces. From famous piano pieces like “Nocturne in E flat major Op. 9, No. 2” to top hits by the Beatles.

“I’m mostly happy with how creative everyone has been. A lot of people in the class have other skills that we’ve been able to use to help in the YouTube premiere,” Pickart said.

This includes music major Grace Cash helping coordinate the group’s recordings and editing final video and audio takes.

“I’m so glad I can create an experience that will last a lifetime but also prepare me for future career opportunities,” Cash said.

International students unable to participate in person were positively impacted with the final project.

Graphic by Abby Peevers

Duc Anh Le is playing piano, guitar and singing all the way from Hanoi, Vietnam.

“Working in a group, especially virtually, helped me feel more included in the Webster department of music community this semester,” Le said.

Other students were positively impacted by the course. Songwriting major Chloe Ward, co-wrote with fellow students Cullen Curth and Addie Struckman to compose a new song, “The Time We Spent Apart.”

“I accomplished many things I didn’t realize I wanted to in this class. I arranged three pieces, wrote a song with two other people, and got to be a part of my classmate’s arrangements too in the span of a couple weeks. It has been a learning process trying to figure out how to have the best performances we can virtually, but it’s amazing what you can create when you throw a variety of musicians into a class together,” Struckman said.

With only eight weeks of class, the students manage to complete something that will stick with them through their musical careers. Luke Sailor helped manage the project and arranged a classical jazz piece for The Quarantoons.

“I’m incredibly lucky to be in this class with such a diverse and talented group of
musicians across all genres. The truly interdisciplinary nature of this class is nothing short of eye-opening and inspiring,” Sailor said.

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Holly Hargrove
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