By Jean Lotus
String playing alumni of Oak Parker Michael Hining's violin studio have been busy over the last 25 years in the world of music. Some of them won the gold medal at the 1999 Sydney International Music Festival, others performed at Carnegie Hall in 2003 to four standing ovations. And recently a group of Hining's students from the Windy City Strings Ensemble spent the day at the White House for Michelle Obama's Classical Music Day – where they got tips from violinist Joshua Bell.
Hining's current students and alumni will perform two shows this weekend in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Windy City String Ensemble. The first, a performance of current studio students, will take place Saturday June 2 at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School Auditorium, 325 S. Kenilworth Ave. at 3 p.m. Hining's students will play music by Hummel, Troelli, Pachelbel, Telemann, J.S. Bach, Holst, Rodrigo, Barber and two original compositions by teacher Hining.
Sunday, alumni will return for a reunion and celebration at 2 p.m. at the West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 N. Harlem, River Forest. Returning alumni perform in ensembles such as the Concertgebeouw of Amsterdam and the symphonies of Chicago, Detroit, South Dakota, Arkansas along with the New World Symphony and the Lyric Opera Orchestra. Alumni will perform works by Vivaldi, Mozart, Brahms, J.S. Bach and Hindemith. Former Oak Park residents Dan Stachyra, Benjamin Weber and Benny Peeled will perform. The recital is free and open to the public.