Western Academy, Symphony exposing students to violins | Local News
TWestern Academy at the HL Neblett Center and the Owensboro Symphony hosted a Strings Attached program for students – called “researchers” at the Academy – on Saturday mornings for the past two weeks to broaden students’ horizons.
On Saturday, Carrie Olsen, who teaches cello at the symphony, and Adrienne Vallandingham, who teaches the violin, began handing out violins to students and teaching them a bit about the instrument which historians say originated in the north. from Italy almost 500 years ago.
“Our goal is to introduce students to music by putting the instrument in their hands,” Vallandingham said.
Earlier this month, the students attended a concert by Black Violin, a hip hop duo from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Musicians Kevin Sylvester, who plays violin and Wilner Baptiste, who plays viola, perform classical and hip-hop music.
Mikell Walker, an eighth grader at the Academy, said he really enjoyed hearing rap made with violin and viola.
“I love the sound of the violin,” he says.
Seventh-grader Elijah Parker said the Saturday concert and classes “opened my eyes to the violin. I could start taking lessons.
Olga McKissic, principal of his Western Academy, said that earlier on Saturday, Lamar Owen explained to students how, from grade four to his senior year of high school, he played both violin and basketball.
“It’s special,” she said. “Scholars really enjoyed this lecture, hearing a black man talk about playing sports and playing the violin. “
This is the third year of the Academy, which has 43 students registered for Saturday classes.
The Academy is designed as an academic enrichment program for African American and Biracial males in grades 3 through 12.
Academics are expected to be “well behaved, well behaved, well dressed, well spoken, well read and well traveled”.
Vallandingham said lessons are most effective when students can hold the instrument.
Faith Holley, Executive Director of the Symphony Orchestra, said the Western Academy program “was the result of a conversation between our CEO, Gwyn Payne, and Western Academy Executive Director, Olga McKissic.”
She said: “Strings Attached will give students the opportunity to learn more about the violin, an extension of their experience while performing (Black Violin).”
Holley said, “Research clearly shows that programs like the Owensboro Symphony’s Strings Attached program prepare students to learn, facilitate student success, and develop the creative abilities for lifelong success. Simply put, programs like Strings Attached provide students with exposure that helps develop the brain, resulting in more balanced adults who have a greater impact in their communities.