ESME is an acoustic string band exclusive in West Michigan in blending classical music training with popular music to create a live performance experience that is accessible to students and music lovers of different ages and varied tastes.
Their enrichment programs are designed to help students take their exposure to popular music and apply it to their study of classical music. They present a performance style that focuses on player interaction as well as improvisation. Through interactive clinic programs and eclectic mashups of classical and modern styles, they seek to engage students towards finding new and creative ways of exploring the classical instruments that they have the opportunity to learn in their schools.
After being seen performing at a local Grand Rapids bar in September of 2015, the band was invited to appear to perform on Fox17’s morning news segment the following week. The group makes regular appearances at Grand Rapids high schools throughout the year performing workshops and clinic concerts with the students. During these concerts the student orchestras perform with them using ESME written orchestral arrangements of their music. Past ESME clinic concerts have included orchestras of East Grand Rapids High School, Grandville High School, Grand Rapids Christian High School and Troy High School. The group has conducted residencies at Aquinas College, The Hillsdale String Festival and with the nationally renowned young musicians training program "Project 440" run by Philadelphia Orchestra musician Joseph Conyers.
The group also performs at concert and social venues, art galleries, movie theaters and popular bar/restaurants in Grand Rapids. Described by Revue West Michigan magazine as "a string group for the age of musical omnivores") ESME recently released their first CD Album. The self-titled album, which includes their original cover/mash-up arrangements of music ranging from Bach, Beethoven and Ravel to Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Led Zeppelin, is the first ever classical instrumental album to have been chosen by their recording engineer at River City Studios Ltd for a Grammy submission.
ESME band members have performance and composition degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and University of Michigan and have performed as members of The Grand Rapids Symphony and The Detroit Symphony. The band was formed in the summer of 2015.
Violin: Gene Hahn
Cello: Jeremy Crosmer