SAN BENITO — The elegance of the music sent a thrill through the young audience.
“I was like … beyond comprehension,” said Israel Valdes, 15, who’d just enjoyed a performance by the Maxwell Quartet from Scotland.
“I feel so privileged to be here,” Israel said. “I enjoyed how they would tell a story through the movement of the music.”
The Maxwell Quartet, comprised of George Smith, Duncan Strachan, Elliot Perks and Colin Scobie, presented a selection of classical and folk music to orchestra students Thursday at Veterans Memorial Academy.
More than 100 students attended the recital.
The Harlingen Concert Association had coordinated the performance as part of its educational outreach program, said Cheryl LaBerge, vice president.
“We saw them audition in Nashville,” she said. “We thought they would be a wonderful addition to our season.”
That season also included a performance Thursday night at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium.
However, San Benito’s young musicians were given first dibs on the musical menu, which included works by Joseph Haydn, Claude Debussy and Ludwig van Beethoven.
And in the midst of this a little bit of Scotland.
“This is Colin,” said Smith, introducing his fellow players, all of whom wore red kilts, save one Elliot, who hails from London.
“Hi, Colin, hi Elliott, hi Duncan, and I am George,” he said.
They spoke about history, how different clans went against each other, and how each clan had a kilt with its own unique design.
The students sat still, quietly listening to the violins and viola as their notes seemed to hop and skip into the air while a low growl emanated from Strachan’s cello.
The notes began to whirl and spin like frantic bees in the summer air. The kids stared unflinching at the experience, absorbing the rhythms offered by the players.
“I was very astonished in how they expressed themselves with their instruments, and the music was very good,” said Andrea Teran, 15.
Yarellie Rodriguez, 14, appreciated the cultural expression.
“I like how they introduced their culture to us,” she said. “I liked that they were in tune with their notes.”
Likewise, the traveling musicians themselves appreciated the response and the chance to perform for students.
“It’s fantastic,” said Smith, 32. “It’s one of our favorite things to do, outreach education work.”