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Violins, violas and cellos — oh my!

SOLEDAD — Last Friday fifth to eighth-grade students from South County met up at the Soledad YMCA to join in on a special program that allowed them to work with a professional musician.

The young string students of Youth Music Monterey County’s (YMMC) South County Strings program participated in a free workshop. Students from King City’s Sol Treasures also came north to join in.

The well-regarded group, The Catalyst String Quartet, presented the guest teaching and coaching. The Quartet members are Karla Donehew-Perez, who plays violin, along with Suliman Tekalli, member Paul Laraia, who plays viola, and the final member Karlos Rodriguez, who plays the cello.

The Quartet members are from New York City and are represented by the Sphinx Organization, which aims to promote diversity in the arts. The quartet has traveled the world and at this time is touring California.

The members offered to work with the young South County string students in Soledad. The students received lessons and coaching from the quartet members and enjoyed a dinner with the musicians hosted by YMMC.

After the lessons and pizza, the general public was admitted to hear the Catalyst String Quartet members perform a free concert.