The joy of teaching: community youth orchestra founder LaSaundra Booth

Posted on: July 1, 2021

LaSaundra Booth, founder of Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra, with a music student in Wake Forest, North Carolina

“LaSaundra Booth is a musician who is changing the tune in her community, even as cutbacks threatened to end her performances before they’d even begun,” reports Evan Sery in Monday’s (6/28) Spectrum News 1 (North Carolina). “Last week … Booth prepared to welcome a new batch of orchestra students…. She taught orchestra in public schools and when budget cuts silenced her classroom she took it upon herself to give back and give the gift of music. ‘If the public schools don’t wanna do anything about this, then I will take $2000 from my own savings … I purchased 21 violins,’ Booth said. That was in 2014. Booth had laid down the foundation for the Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra. If a family can’t afford their own instrument for the summer, Booth’s program provides one … ‘When kids see somebody who looks like them, … and see you’re successful because music changed your life … it can certainly change theirs,’ Booth said. ‘Once I teach, it’s like something comes alive in me that I’m pouring out, and the students are pouring into me also, so it’s a joy.’ … Students are already practicing for their first concert next month.”