“Members of the [Mount Tahoma High School] 15-piece string orchestra seemed to be savoring their chance to have two professionals playing alongside them and coaching them through the repertoire for a concert Thursday evening,” writes Rosemary Ponnekanti in Tuesday’s (12/8) News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington). “Anna Jensen, assistant principal bass of the Tacoma Symphony … and her colleague, Gwendolyn Taylor, associate concertmaster for the symphony, were in the second-period class for the eighth and final week as part of a new collaborative project between the orchestra and Tacoma Public Schools. Dubbed TSO2U, the project sends professional musicians into high school orchestras to coach and play side-by-side, bringing high-level coaching and inspiration into public schools where students need it most.… In a school with 75 percent of students on free or reduced lunch, none of the students has the luxury of private lessons, so the experience is priceless.… Students also start to think about the possibilities of lifelong music, even considering college where they hadn’t before.… The TSO2U project was partly Jensen’s idea, although it’s an experience that symphony director Sarah Ioannides … is committed to offering.” The article is accompanied by a video of the music program.
Posted December 14, 2015
Pictured: Anna Jensen, the Tacoma Symphony’s principal double bass (right), at a side-by-session with student cellists and bassists at Mount Tahoma High School. Photo by Rosemary Ponnekanti