Strings for Success performs February 18 | Arts & Culture
They're making music inside the Charles T. Lunsford School on Seward Street in Rochester.
Young violinists, members of Strings for Success are rehearsing for a February 18 concert with the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra. That's right -- third through seventh graders will play with college musicians.
One of the members of Strings for Success is nine-year-old Rachel Gayle. She just started the violin in September. This is the fourth year for sixth grader Marquan Gunter. Both students consider it an honor to be a part of this group.
It is a program of The Center for Youth. Dr. Patty Yarmel founded Strings for Success. Every week she and other volunteers, like Gretchen Judge, Robert Faulknor and Chris Brewley volunteer at the school to help mold these young musicians.
Dr. Yarmel says music opens doors and creates opportunities for children. "We need a place where we can express ourselves and find a place where we can go and just make music and make the world that sometimes doesn't look so happy, into a place where there is joy and beauty."
For students like Rachel and Marquan playing in Strings for Success is simply fun. Rachel says, "Next week on the 18th we're going to the U of R. We're going to have a concert!"
The concert with the U of R Chamber Orchestra is at 8 p.m. on campus in Strong Auditorium and it's free. Marquan added, "I've played with them before. I played with their orchestra and it was fun. I liked it."
They may not realize it but these students are learning much more than just how to play the violin.
Dr. Yarmel says they're also learning to focus, work as a group and they're finding out what it means to be a professional. “We tell the children when they are playing the violins that they are professionals and we need to look and act like professionals and that's part of the whole experience."
In addition to the performance at the U of R, Strings for Success will also play during a special luncheon March 28 at the Riverside Convention Center.