Strings Winter Concert strums its way to success

On Dec. 6, the strings classes performed in the Donna Hubbard Auditorium, playing winter-themed songs for their audience.
The Strings Winter Concert took place on Dec. 6, showcasing the strings classes skills that they have developed over the past few months.
The Strings Winter Concert took place on Dec. 6, showcasing the strings classes’ skills that they have developed over the past few months.

Since August, strings teacher Ms. Jennifer Bellusci has been preparing her music program to perform a concert filled with winter songs. She had to teach beginner strings, guitar and ukulele classes as well as her advanced, guitar and ukulele classes.

“Music is my life, so everything is the most important,” she said. “I’d like to share that love with anybody who’d like to learn it. I grew up with music.”

Every day, Ms. Bellusci listens to the students’ music and provides appropriate critique to each of her classes, making sure to correct any notes or rhythms they may play incorrectly. 

“You have to feel music inside, open it up to express it,” she said. “But it’s more than emotions. It’s deeper than happiness and sadness. It’s all energy and you have to tap into it not with your head but with your heart, it comes inside that’s why it’s from your soul because you can’t think about it. ”

Due to her extreme preparation and years of experience, Ms. Bellusci knew what to expect, and was never overwhelmed in rehearsals.

“I wasn’t scared of the concert, nor overwhelmed,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for too long. You have to be prepared for anything and enroll in it. In the past, I was scared because we didn’t have a chance to prepare in our performance space until the concert day. I thought I’d explode on those days and there was just not enough time to get everything done. But we had one extra day that made all the difference in the world. I felt somewhat relaxed.” 

During rehearsals, her students played their instruments and strummed the chords to the tempo of the song, quickly recovering from the few mistakes they made. 

“What I enjoyed most is seeing students get up and having the opportunity to share their music with the audience,” she said. “That’s my favorite part of the concert, watching the students have that experience, and seeing them grow the love of music and share their art with others.” 

Adrian Ramos is an advanced guitarist in an ensemble who takes pride in the music program on campus. During the concert, he had a duet with violinist Cristopher Garcia. 

“We worked on this duet during Thanksgiving break because we wanted to make sure we played correctly,” Ramos said. “Making sure we play the dynamics into it, I had to translate the notes to the guitar. The name of the song is ‘Spanish Violin.’” 

Ramos has been working on spreading awareness towards his advanced guitar program by telling people to donate money for their next semester’s competition. They hope to reach $5,000 through the program’s GoFundMe

“Last semester, we went against a choir and an orchestra, but we still won,” he said.

There were three music competitions last year. In the first two competitions, the Guitar Ensemble and Ukelele Ensemble won first-place gold medals. In the third competition, they competed against each other, winning first for guitar and second for ukelele.

Kate Tetvadze, another member of the advanced guitar team, appreciates Ms. Bellusci’s hard work. Tetvadze has been in the music program since her sophomore year. Her growth since then has been substantial, achieved by overcoming challenges and having a good practice schedule.

“In the concert, we played a song named ‘The Final Duet’ [ arranged by student Normhie Quijano from the game ‘Omori’]” Tetvadze said. “It was a difficult song to learn but we overcame that with cooperation; we talked, explained and helped each other throughout our practice sessions.” 

In the end, the concert showcased the hard work and dedication the strings students put into their studies. 

“I think the overall goal for any strings class is to achieve good tone quality along with everyone else and maintain stability simultaneously,” Tetvadze said.

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About the Contributor
Mia Rodriguez
Mia Rodriguez, Staff
There’s many things I enjoy doing, such as music, playing my instrument. When the marching band won the LAUSD championship, my love of music grew more as if it was a sapling who turned into a beautiful flower. Writing and playing music calm me, like if I’m at a cafe drinking a warm coffee or tea. I feel proud of belonging to the VNHS community. After I graduate from high school, I want people from later generations to keep reading my articles.
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