The SEVO Experience

COVID-19 hit Alaska and we all ended up stuck inside. We all endured many uncomfortable sudden changes, and so it was time for the String Essence Orchestra to start up again in a whole new way. After 7 days of setup and many grueling hours studying video software, the String Essence Virtual Orchestra project was born.

None of us wanted to be on camera, but we all wanted to keep playing and studying music together. In doing so, we all surpassed some performance anxiety and moved on to improve techniques. Thankfully each participant decided to pick up viola studies alongside violin, so it really added to the fun of being a virtual orchestra!

The Bach summer concert series proved to be an excellent music challenge for students’ to improve their rhythmical abilities by working with a metronome. I tried a different recording approach every other week to help students’ with recording their part for the concert, while still allowing the feeling like they were playing right along with me. We all learned a lot, and I had a great time sitting in on some double bass and my five string viola too!

The five part 2020 J.S. Bach Summer Concert Series left participants with only 5 days of preparatory exercises and 9 days to prepare pieces up to tempo and submit their final videos, for each part in the eleven week series. And as each part progressed in the series, the tempo grew faster until top speeds were reached at 106 BPM. Way to go students!

I love watching part one through five straight through and seeing how well things progressed through the eleven week series. My adult students did an excellent job, and I am so proud of them for stretching their limits and reaching higher goals. Many thanks to Ann and Joel for their continued support and commitment to the fine art of music performance and education!

So what do you think? What did you learn?
I would love feedback from participants and viewers. Please leave a reply (at the bottom of the page) and share your SEVO experience, thank you!

Musically Yours,


2020 J.S. Bach Summer Concert Series

Thanks for watching!

5 thoughts on “The SEVO Experience

  1. It was a lot of fun to be part of the SEVO project. It definitely made me learn a lot and get comfortable working with the metronome. Athena did a fantastic job putting it all together. It had to be a huge learning curve to do it. It is really cool to see how we progressed through the series. Hats off to Athena for putting it all together and making it happen. It was an awesome summer/COVID project.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree with Joel— hats off to Athena for putting it all together. Several things made this a fun and interesting experience. I’ve always loved playing or singing WITH Other musicians, but recently, of course, that wasn’t possible until this, but with a new wrinkle! And then there’s the metronome 😁. It’s always been a problem for me, but this experience has helped — still not great with it, but definitely improving. Thank you Athena!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words! You really tackled this challenge and took your rhythm skills to the next level. I am definitely looking forward to the next virtual ensemble adventure….. to be continued!


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