Commonwealth String Quartet At Commonwealth Convention Center

By Jean Metcalfe

Sunday, May 21, was "one of those days" for me. Trying to work out a schedule that included a son's birthday party and a nephew's graduation, among other things, and make them fit into an eight-hour work shift for the birthday lad, appeared to sufficient to keep me from doing any last-minute newspapering that I might want to do as press time neared.

But, wait ... the graduation invitation noted that the Commonwealth String Quartet would be playing for 15 minutes for the Health Sciences graduation ceremony that I would be attending at the Commonwealth Convention Center. A perfect opportunity. For once, everything miraculously fell into place and we were finally headed downtown.

We grabbed seats just a very few feet from where the quartet was tuning up. And while everyone was awaiting the procession of students, my husband took several photos of the foursome. What luck. I had been wanting to write an article about the group for our paper, but hadn't been able to get around to it yet.

Well, the string quartet did play, and they played well. They were scheduled to perform for 15 minutes before starting the processional, but it was close to 30 minutes before the first capped-and-gowned student made an appearance. The CSQ played some very enjoyable music and added much to my enjoyment of the afternoon. (Graduations can be less than enjoyable even when one's nephew is graduating with highest honors.)

Scheduled to play Rousseau's "Allemande" for both the processional and the recessional, the quartet opted to switch to Handel's "Water Music" for the latter.

Their approximately 45 minutes of playing was very relaxing and enjoyable. Thanks, I needed that!

The personnel of the Commonweath String Quartet varies from performance to performance (they have about 12 members), and most of them play on an occasional basis with the Louisville Orchestra. For the May 21 performance the quartet consisted of Betsy Foshee and Gretchen Wilcox on violins, Dale Jones on viola and Roberta Chappars on cello. Jack Griffin, himself a player with the LO, is the manager of the Commonwealth String Quartet, and persons interested in receiving information about the group may contact him at P.O. Box 14284, Louisville, Ky. 40214; (502) 367-9439.