In early November, From the Top provided two Atlanta middle schools with an interactive demonstration before taping a From the Top broadcast at Emory University’s Schwartz Center. We brought Hally Davidson, 15, flute, from McDonough, GA and Bryan Anderson, 16, piano, from Stockbridge, GA, members of the flute and piano duo “Music Two Share”, to play for students at Shamrock Middle School and Henderson Middle School, through the Emory Coca-Cola Artists-in-Residence Program.
Hally and Bryan performed the final movement from Widor’s Suite for Flute and Piano, Op.34, which they also perform on our upcoming broadcast.
After an electrifying performance, the students eagerly shared what they imagined while the two were playing.
“It was fun to see them really get into describing the pieces and the pictures in their heads. They gave [the] Widor so many great titles, it was hilarious—from a cat and mouse game to a boat sinking at sea!” Hally said.
A serious Tolkien fan, Hally explained that the music reminds her of a scene from the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Then, Hally and Bryan each played a solo piece and talked about the challenges and benefits of their instruments. In fact, Hally’s favorite thing about the flute– which is that in playing the flute you only have to read one line of music — was exactly what pushed Bryan from the flute to the piano. Bryan explained to the students that he also plays the organ, and on that instrument, it’s like having 20 flutes under your fingers!
After sharing some of their favorite classical pieces, including Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee” and a Chopin Etude, Hally and Bryan played a ‘mystery’ piece, which was quickly identified as the theme from Lord of the Rings by the excited audience. They followed that with the theme from Pink Panther, which was a definite hit.
Hally later commented, “I really liked sharing music at the schools…The students’ excited responses taught me how important finding a ‘common ground’ with your audience can be in building bridges with music.”