Music Comes Alive at the 2018 LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra Spring Concert
Stop for a minute and think what your life would be without music. So much of our daily lives are surrounded by it. Whether it’s in one of our favorite television shows or the band you love that has just come out with a new album, the influence of music in our lives is unmistakable. Unfortunately, a large part of the national discussion in recent years is the lack of funding provided to our schools for music and art programs. For over 20 years here in LaGrange, the LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra has been preparing students for careers in music by providing them with first class training and a platform to present their music to the masses. This past Tuesday night, March 27th, their spring concert returned to the stage at Callaway Auditorium.
The sounds of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and more filled the room full of parents and teachers alike. The stage was full of children from ages as young as five all the way through high school and even some college age men and women. Each year, the orchestra’s concerts are extremely well received, with many in disbelief that a program of this nature and grandeur is available right here in our own backyard. In fact, this year’s attendance was a record high for the spring concert as they have continued to grow year after year.
The orchestra is broken down into several different parts. The older students, mainly the high school students, are in the regular youth orchestra. The LSYO String Ensemble ranges anywhere from eight to nine year olds all the way through eighth grade and the String Sprouts are comprised of five, six, and seven year olds that play violin and cello. There is also a fourth program with the orchestra called the Strings Attached program. This functions as a program with the Troup County School System and currently serves Hollis Hand, Hillcrest, and Franklin Forest. Teachers work with students and prepare them for the concert.
There are a lot of people involved with the LSO concert each spring that go above and beyond to help these students and give them a chance to fall in love with music. The LaGrange Symphony Youth Orchestra is led by Celeste Myall and John Erdogan. Myall is the Director of Educational Outreach for the orchestra as well. Callie Hammond handles the LYSO String Ensemble as well as teaching the String Sprouts the violin. Ina Petkova-Apostolova teaches the Sprouts the cello. As for the Strings Attached program, there are many dedicated teachers across the schools that help these children learn these instruments and prepare for concerts. Executive Director Raylene Carter hosted the event in addition to all of her other duties. With people such as this in place, the state of music in La-Grange is safe for the foreseeable future.
The author of this article can be reached via email at jandrews@ troupcountynews. net.