KDFC’s Robin Pressman, the Friction Quartet, and students at Oakland’s Cleveland Elementary School during a KDFC Playground Pop-Up

Several hundred 3rd, 4th and 5th graders packed Oakland’s Cleveland Elementary School cafeteria this afternoon to hear something many of them had never heard before: a live concert by a nationally renowned string quartet. Under the auspices of a recently launched station initiative called KDFC Playground Pop-Ups, the renowned Friction Quartet played a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire, bringing down the house with its grand finale: a string arrangement of the Star Wars theme by John Williams. The theme of the concert linked music to such natural wonders as the layers of rock at the Grand Canyon and the flow of rivers into oceans. The kids were captivated. Later they cheered on their teachers as the teachers joined Friction violinist Kevin Rogers in a raucous game of “Soundball”.

Robin Pressman, host of KDFC’s Home Stretch weekdays from 3:30-8pm, was the warm and engaging emcee, and the members of the Quartet fielded surprisingly probing questions from the kids: What would happen if you guys traded instruments? How do you play so well together?

Members of the Friction Quartet

KDFC presented Pop-Ups in the spring at Franklin and Manzanita Elementary Schools, also in Oakland, partnering with the Oakland Symphony and the Oakland Unified School District. We hope to extend the concept to other regions in the Bay area later this school year.