Professional musicians will headline a concert, plus help aspiring musicians at Dover High on Friday and Saturday

 Copeland String Quartet will headline with a night of classical tunes at Dover High School Friday, ushering in the school’s inaugural Strings Festival.

The program will offer dazzling selections from composers Joseph Haydn to Ludwig van Beethoven.

Saturday, the members will return to Dover High to work with students of the violin, cello, viola and bass in a series of classes on technique, ensemble, chamber and repertory. They’ll provide feedback and examples to the young musicians.

Copeland String Quartet is in their 14th year. The veteran group of musicians all perform with Delaware Symphony Orchestra.

The quartet features Eliezer Gutman (violin), Thomas Jackson (violin), Nina Cottman (viola) and Jennifer Jie Jin (cello).

Gutman dished on ways people can connect more with classical music, superstitions and who he’d like to dress up as for Halloween.

If you had to dress up as any character for a Halloween concert, who would it be?

Probably Haydn. I was reading about him and studying his music, and he was the happiest guy. He lived a good life. He lived a long life. And he composed hundreds of pieces. He had a very nice humor and you could hear it in the music. He wrote a string quartet called “The Joke.” Wherever he went, he was treated like a king at the time. That would be great to be able to be like him.

Are you superstitious?

My mother used to say something about the black cats thing, but I don’t I have any superstitions. And I don’t know how much I’d agree with her [laughs].

Can classical music become more popular, like rock and pop?

I don’t think those three things need to be compared. With pop music, I do like listening to it in the car a lot. It will obviously attract thousands of people. When you go to a classical concert, it has a different feel. The music has some sort of internal meaning. I feel you’re much more internalized and you get to experience different composers, each of them gives you a different mood and different perspective.

I feel with pop music everything is kind of [sounding] the same. That’s my feeling. In classical music, you need to think a tiny bit. It’s not a given that you’ll tap your foot each time and you’ll be excited. It’s different in a way since you’re sitting there and might be extremely excited to hear the music. You also might be a little bit sad. So much depends on the composer and the way you actually play the music.

I think for us, we need to deliver that same type of message. I know we’re not going to be having thousands of people in concert, even if you have the most famous performer in the world, say Itzhak Perlman. He’d attract maybe (I don’t know) 2,000 people, 3,000 at the most. But it’s music that has a different meaning and people need to understand it’s not that people need to open an encyclopedia to understand that music. But the value of the classical music and the way you listen to it is a little different than every other pop song.

How can adults learn to appreciate classical?

By trying to attend concerts and trying to understand composers and their lives. In almost each concert we play, the conductor will explain a little bit about the piece, why it was written in a particular way and what’s so special about it. That’s education for an adult, and even for kids.