Symphony in C’s school programs burgeon

Posted on: February 7, 2012

In Tuesday’s (2/7) Philadelphia Inquirer, Claudia Vargas writes, “With his chin nestled against the violin and his right hand holding steady on his bow, Kolby Johnson tries to play an E note. ‘It’s not quite high enough, so make sure your forefinger is on the tape. And you need a little more space in your hand,’ professional violinist Rebecca Ansel tells him. The sixth grader’s next try produces a cleaner, higher-pitched sound. ‘That was good,’ Ansel assures the 11-year-old with the untucked white uniform shirt, who breaks into a smile. Kolby is one of about 15 students studying violin at Sacred Heart School in Camden. They are learning to play through a partnership with Symphony in C, South Jersey’s professional orchestra. What started last year as a 10-week after-school course for students at a few of the city’s Catholic schools has become a $20,000 program that teaches more than 70 children at all five area Catholic schools to play violin, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. … Opportunities to enjoy what the more affluent world enjoys are limited for the students at Catholic Partnership Schools, 93 percent of whom are from low-income families, said Fran Montgomery, principal of St. Joseph’s. … Krishna Thiagarajan, president of Symphony in C since July 2010, has increased the orchestra’s community outreach, especially to disadvantaged youth in Camden, where the performance group is based.”

Posted February 7, 2012