The Gifford Youth Orchestra is unusual in that the community provided the orchestra before the school system did. “I don’t know of another program like the Gifford orchestra anywhere,” says the school system’s Matt Stott.
The violin’s neck bears red, yellow and green bands, cues for young fingers to find their place as Brianna Morgan makes her way through the etude on the music stand before her. She stops, receives encouragement from the teacher and a few notes played upon an electric keyboard to guide her, and continues. The other girls and boys listen or softly pluck out the notes on their own violins, assuring themselves that they too will get it right when called upon to play.
These are the members of the Gifford Youth Orchestra, a group of young people who gather on Tuesday evenings to study violin, one of the most difficult, and potentially rewarding, instruments in the orchestra. “What does the D-Major scale start on?” the teacher, Joan Haar, asks. Andrew Whitehead, a heavy-set boy with a sweet face replies “D!” And what does it end on? “D!” chime many voices.
Read the entire article in the April 2006 issue