By ADAM SCHRADER
Published in The Lewisville Texan Journal on March 12, 2016
Last Friday, the Lewisville Lake Symphony performed a closed concert for all Lewisville ISD third graders in two performances at First Baptist Church, 1251 Valley Ridge Blvd. in Lewisville.
Each concert lasted almost an hour and a half.
“Aaron Ming, our conductor, talks to the students before each piece to explain what they should listen for,” said Diane Busche, the Marketing Chair for the Lewisville Lake Symphony. “They are respectful, attentive, and in awe of the large and beautiful space they are entering at the church.”
During the concert, musicians also talked about and sampled each of their instruments. Students seemed to particularly enjoy hearing the piccolo, played by Juli Powers.
“It’s a great to see the energy and excitement from the students,” said Lewisville ISD Superintendent Kevin Rogers. “We provide the opportunity for students to hear a great local symphony and to experience all different types of culture.”
Indian Creek Elementary School student Steven Solis, 9, said his favorite song was the Star Wars selection.
“I liked the symphony a lot, especially the percussion,” he said. “It was helpful to hear them talk about the instruments and I learned a lot.”
Amareya Clay, 9, a fellow Indian Creek student, said her favorite piece was also Star Wars because she’s seen the movies before. She hopes to get dressed up and go back to the symphony someday, she said.
“It was really cool because it was a new experience and I loved to see all the instruments because I rarely see instruments,” she said. “I hope I learn to play an instrument. My favorite one they talked about was the drums because I love loud sounds.”
Dan Lewis, the principal cellist, has performed with the Lewisville Lake Symphony for almost 30 years.
“These kids make a really well-behaved audience and the teachers prepare them really well,” he said. “We’re just trying to capture the audience when they’re young before they develop any prejudices against classical music.”
Viola player Sonja Ryburg said that reaching out to the children is “the most important thing the symphony orchestra does.”
“It gives us energy onstage to see so much energy in the room, and it’s never distracting because we expect it,” she said. “Hopefully they will choose an instrument to play or come to symphony concerts.”
Marissa Rick, the music teacher at College Street Elementary School, is one of three music teachers that organized the event. Rick attended the elementary school as a child and has been teaching there since 1998.
“It’s very powerful for the kids because it goes right along with the state mandated TEKS that we’re teaching in class,” she said. “So it’s great for them to see and hear real life instruments as opposed to a poster of an instrument.”
Rick said that it’s contagious to see the children’s enthusiasm.
“They dress up nice and know they’re coming to a wonderful concert,” she said. “Kids say that this is the best day of their lives and want to take their parents to the symphony.”
Excitement for the symphony program has grown each year of its existence since it started four years ago, Rick said.
“It’s neat that this is now a tradition. The little kids look forward to being in third grade so they can come to the symphony,” she said. “We appreciate the Lewisville Lake Symphony working with us to make this happen and the fine arts in LISD.”