On Dec. 14, Alison Dalton, first violinist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, visited Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville to offer a master workshop with the Chamber Orchestra in preparation for their performance at the Illinois Music Educators Conference in January.
Dalton was invited by Sir Georg Solti to become a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1987, and plays a 1707 Giovanni Grancino violin. She was very gracious to visit Dundee-Crown, and was impressed with the orchestra program. She noted the "ambitious" task of a high school orchestra taking on such complicated music such as the Symphony No. 8 by Dvorak. She said it contains the most difficult violin solo ever written for a concertmaster, and she offered many helpful tips to players including asking violins to play along with the cello section in the first movement.
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Dundee-Crown orchestra director Mark Bettcher stated that he was blown away by Dalton's talent, but even more by her ability to connect with students. He said that it was a learning experience for him as well, one of the very best of his career.
Dalton also tutored the Dundee-Crown Symphonic Orchestra and gave them many helpful tips to improve their playing, including tips on holding the bow and "practice recipes," or strategies which lead to success. Dalton is planning to return to Dundee-Crown again this school year.