What better way to foster an appreciation and understanding of a musical instrument than to have it played by a world-class musician? And what better way to do that than in an intimate session where you can talk personally with the masters?
Students of W.M. Anderson Primary School recently enjoyed such as treat and they didn't have to leave their school. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra String Quintet presented two performances to the children as part of their Music in Schools education program. Jamez Dudley, Anderson's music director spearheaded the performance. "I felt the students needed to be exposed to the performing arts," said Dudley who worked for eight months to bring it to fruition.
The April 26, event launched the Sponsor a School initiative which provides educational musical learning experiences while offering donors the opportunity to sponsor specific schools, which they have a connection. Dudley reached out to several organizations that provide musical education programs. "Most organizations that are preforming arts have a education program but we're out of the area for Charleston, so that's where the patrons came in to make it happen." Roger and Vivian Steel sponsored the performance.
During the two sessions the musicians played several familiar pieces, as well as excerpts from the classics. They also took time to discuss their instruments and fielded questions from the captivated child development, kindergarten, first, and second graders. "I was pleased with their reaction," said Dudley, whose students attend music classes on a weekly basis. "They were able to understand what was going on and actually enjoy what was going on. They're fond of the violin because we learn about the string family but their favorite was the bass (violin). I heard a lot of comments about that."
Principal Dr. Teresa Wright was equally pleased. “Having the Charleston Symphony Orchestra visit Anderson was truly the highlight of the year for our boys and girls as well as the staff," said Wright who attended both sessions. "None of our children have had the privilege of seeing a live orchestra in concert and to have such a prestigious group come to them was an experience that many of them will never forget. In fact, more than 50 students have expressed an interest in learning the various string instruments that the musicians played.”
The Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is the region's only resident and full-time professional orchestra. It is a non-profit organization that provides in-school demonstrations to grades kindergarten through eighth.