Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Endangered Instruments: Expanding the Viola Project

This article on unpopular instruments from the Casper Star Tribune is very interesting to me because I began learning the violin in the Casper schools:
The Casper Youth Orchestra felt the symphonic strain three years ago when it decided to expand its Philharmonia group into a full orchestra. But with bleak auditions for wind and percussion players it became painfully clear expanding may not be possible.

"It was so sad because we had none of the wind instruments we needed, like the bassoon, oboe or French horn," said executive director Kimi Winckler. Violas and string basses were down and harps seemed out of the question.

So board members started talking. They felt it was critical to begin "growing" Casper musicians to play the missing instruments, hopefully in both the youth program and later in life.

The program is now in its second year and has about 25 participants. It actively recruits students and offers private instruction. It also helps students get the various instruments, which are difficult to find and expensive to buy or rent. The program pays lesson fees for each student the first few years and often brings in teachers from around the state. Rentals and lessons cost about $1,200 a year for each student.


Brianna Casey said...

Yeah, I read that article in the newspaper. I play the French Horn for the Casper Classical Academy Band and I was really hoping to join. So I am still working on that...

Jeane Goforth said...

Good luck with that. Will you study music in college?