Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Seven Last Words

The Gyros String Quintet performs Joseph Haydn’s “Seven Last Words of Christ” as part of the St. Thomas Aquinas Stations of the Cross and Concert Series. Stations begin at 7:00 PM and the concerts follow immediately at approximately 8:00 PM.

Admission is free.

Friday, March 4, 2016 at 8:00 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214

Franz Joseph Haydn - The Seven Last Words of Christ, Op. 51 (Hob. III:50-56)
(version for string quintet)

The musicians: Gyros String Quartet * with bassist Tony Rosario
  1. Introduzione
  2. Sonata No. 1 - Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt
  3. Sonata No. 2 - Hodie mecum eris in paradiso
  4. Sonata No. 3 - Mulier, ecce filius tuus
  5. Sonata No. 4 - Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me?
  6. Sonata No. 5 - Sitio
  7. Sonata No. 6 - Consumatum est
  8. Sonata No. 7 - In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum
  9. Il Terremoto - (The Earthquake)
* Aleksandr Snytkin, Ami Campbell, violins, Norbert Gerl, viola, Nan Zhang, violoncello

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ashlynn and Colton at Ashton Gardens

This warm and charming couple were in particular wondering if we might be able to play “The Book of Love” for Ashlynn’s walk down the aisle. A quick check on YouTube showed that the song had been recorded by Peter Gabriel for the 2004 film “Shall We Dance”. And fortuitously, in arranger Nick Ingman’s lovely score only strings were used to back up the vocal.

After some time spent listening and transcribing, a string quartet instrumental version was created and turned out beautifully for the bridal processional last Saturday at Ashton Gardens.

The Book of Love - arr. for string quartet


Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
Mozart – Divertimenti Nos. 1 & 3
Lovland – Song from a Secret Garden
Purcell – “Rondeau” from “Abdelazar”
Hagood – Anne’s theme from “Anne of Green Gables”

Seating of the Families
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Pachelbel –  Canon in D

Bridal Processional
Magnetic Fields / Peter Gabriel – The Book of Love

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Beatles – Here Comes the Sun

Veronica Gan, violin
Cornelia Demian, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Coordinator: Lauren Schmidt - The Creative Touch / Events by Lauren

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lenten Music, part 1

Handel's autograph manuscript of Salve Regina, HWV 241

Marian music by Handel and Bonporti and featuring soprano Camille King is to be performed this week as part of the St. Thomas Aquinas Stations of the Cross and Concert Series. Stations begin at 7:00 PM and the concerts follow immediately at approximately 8:00 p.m.

Admission is free. For more information, visit the parish website at

Friday, February 12, 2016 at 8:00 PM

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214


HANDEL - Salve Regina, HWV 241
BONPORTI - Clare Stelle, Motteto per la Madonna, Op. 3, No. 1
HANDEL - Haec est regina virginum - Antiphon, HWV 235

Camille King, soprano
Michael Conrady, organ continuo

Cornelia Demian, violin
Emily Aquin, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Life is like a box of chocolates

It was fun going down memory lane while revisiting the 1994 film “Forrest Gump,” whose original score was composed by Alan Silvestri. The Feather Theme - the main title of the movie - lends itself quite well to an arrangement for string quartet. The only tricky part was finding a way to address the very light, airy and playful piano texture of the opening:

Feather Theme from Forrest Gumo - arr. for string quartet

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Melody & Geoffrey at Dallas Heritage Village

May 2015 turned out not to be a good month for outdoor weddings. Severe thunderstorms made it one of the wettest months in Texas history. According to The National Weather Service in Fort Worth, over 16 inches of rainfall amounted to more than 35 trillion gallons of rain - enough to cover the entire state of Texas in 8 inches of water.

Despite all this, Sunday, May 25th brought us one of the most charming ceremonies in recent memory. The location would have been the fountain / big tree in the historic Dallas Heritage Village, but of course the weather caused everyone to move into the adjacent small church.

There a most unusual program - on which the bride and groom had obviously spent much thought and care on - unfolded with an almost improvised naturalness. In addition, the readings featured poems by Pablo Neruda - “Sonnet XVII” (1959), and D.H.Lawrence - “Fidelity” (1919). Even the postlude - normally upbeat and a little boisterous, but this time calm and relaxed (Handel’s “Air” from Water Music) - seemed to be the perfect bookend as the sun broke through the rain clouds just a little.

Months later, that afternoon still lingers.

Gyros String Quartet at Dallas Heritage Village


Prelude I: Gymnopedie No. 1 – Erik Satie (1866 - 1925)
Prelude II: Pavane, op. 50 – Gabriel Fauré (1845 - 1924)

Entrance of Family
Edelweiss - Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895 –1960)

Entrance of Bridal Party
Ladies in Lavender – Nigel Hess (from the 2004 film Ladies in Lavender)

Entrance of Bride
Stars and Butterflies – Dario Marianelli (from the 2005 film based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice - Mp3) 

Candle Ceremony
Pure Imagination – Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (from the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory)

Mother Nature – Natalie MacMaster

“Air” from Water Music– George Frederic Handel (1685 - 1759)

Filip Fenrych, violin
Jennifer Sweetman, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

Monday, July 27, 2015

Katelyn and Ryan at HPUMC

Katelyn had a very specific vision for her processional music. She wanted to walk down the aisle to “In Christ Alone” and had found a version on YouTube she really liked. Would it be possible with a string quartet?

We liked the idea and ended up creating an arrangement - incorporating the Celtic feel of the video clip inspiration -  which allowed for just enough of an intro to create anticipation while the doors were still closed, and then built to a dramatic crescendo as she arrived at the altar. For full effect the organ - imitating the sound of bagpipes - was added as well.

In Christ Alone - arr. for string quartet and organ

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Patricia & David at HPUMC

The absolutely delightful flower girl in these pictures seems to have gotten side-tracked by those strange and fascinating instruments of the string quartet:


Chiming of the Hour

Seating of the Families
Largo from “Xerxes”

Processional of the Groomsmen
Be Thou my Vision

Processional of the Bridesmaids
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring

Bridal Processional
Pachelbel - Canon in D

Embrace this Place **

Mendelssohn – Wedding March

Handel –The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba

Gary Schnitzer, violin
Saejin Yoon, violin
April Kondrat, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Shayne Green, soloist / guitar

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Break in Texas

Record snowfall - over 3 inches - just days before Spring Break. I blame the groundhog.

Snow in Dallas / March 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Katherine & Michael at Four Seasons

The new year’s first big wedding took place in the Las Colinas Ballroom at the Four Seasons on January 17, 2015. From the start it was evident that music was particularly important to the bride and her mom, who had stumbled upon a charming version for violin, cello and piano of John Legend’s “All of Me”. An arrangement / transcription had to be prepared for string quartet with piano and then edited for length to cover the bridal processional and circling of the groom, while maintaining the original arc of the song. Additionally, after the seating of the grandmothers, Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) - featuring soloist Goga - was used as an interlude.

John Legend - All of Me - arr. for string quartet and piano


Fauré – Pavane, Op. 50
Rota – Theme from “Romeo and Juliet”
Lovland – Song from a Secret Garden
Bach – “Siciliano” from Flute Sonata No. 2

Seating of the Families
Chrissie Hynde – I’ll Stand by You

Boi V Shalom (Con te partiro) **

Jason Mraz –  I Won’t Give Up

Bridal Processional
John Legend – All of Me **

Beatles – All You Need is Love

Aleksandr Snytkin, violin
Ordabek Duissen, violin
Norbert Gerl, viola
Mitch Maxwell, violoncello

** with Goga, soloist / piano
Coordinator: Mary Wright Shaw - Diamond Affairs

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve 2014

24 December, 2014
On Christmas Eve you can choose this year again from either two afternoon services, or two Candlelight midnight services:

Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

3:00pm and 5:00pm – Christmas liturgy with the Gyros String Quintet, trumpet, organ and choir.


St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church
6306 Kenwood Avenue
Dallas, TX 75214

11:00 pm – Lessons & Carols
Midnight – Midnight Mass


Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church
8011 Douglas
Dallas, TX 75225
(click here for map)

10:00 pm – prelude with Gyros Strings, oboe and trumpets

TOMASO ALBINONI  –  Concerto for oboe and strings in C-major, Op. 7, No. 12*
ARCANGELO CORELLI  –  Concerto Grosso, op. 6, No. 8  (fatto per la notte di natale)

* Steve Pettey, oboe

10:30 pm – Midnight Service:
HOLST  –  Christmas Day
MOZART  –  Sanctus from Missa Solemnis in C
WARLOCK  –  Balulalow
BERLIOZ  – Shepherd’s Farewell
and others

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