A Concert to Remember

In celebration of the retirement of Lower School Music teacher Christine Derber, students in all divisions were treated to a magnificent private performance by Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Michael Shih, who played the 1710 Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Stradivari Violin, and Megan McCulloch Li on harp. Some people never hear a Stradivari instrument in their lifetime. All FWCD students had to do was come to school on April 10 for a truly extraordinary experience.
 
The three concerts were approximately 30 minutes each, and Derber, who also serves as the School’s Thomas M. Ryan Chair for Distinguished Lower School Teaching, was seated in the front row for them all. She introduced the Stradivari violin to FWCD students in 2009 at a special program. “This was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my musical life,” Derber noted. The concerts on April 10 added more unforgettable memories.
 
Shih and Li played a handful of exquisite pieces, including “The Swan” (from Carnival of the Animals) and “Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124”, both by Camille Saint-Saëns. At the end of the concerts, there was a bit of time for audience questions and a demonstration to show the difference in sound/tone between one of FWCD’s Strings Program violins and the 1710 Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Stradivari Violin, which was designed by famed Italian luthier Antonio Stradivari. In addition to violins, Stradivari also made harps, guitars, violas and cellos – more than 1,100 instruments in all. Approximately 650 instruments survive today.
 
Following the Upper School concert, Derber’s friends, family and colleagues gathered in the Lou and Nick Martin Campus Center for a reception in her honor, complete with a violin cake that was nearly too beautiful to cut!   
 
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.