Watch them perform at Pacific Symphony’s Target Symphony in the Cities concert on Sunday, July 29, at the Orange County Great Park
As a result of a three-way partnership between Pacific Symphony, Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) and the academic support program, THINK Together, more than 150 4th and 5th grade Santa Ana students from Diamond, Harvey and King elementary schools are participating in “Santa Ana Summer Strings,” a new summer program that introduces students to the violin. The pilot program provides the students with access to intensive summer instruction. Taking place June 20-July 31, Summer Strings is designed to foster creativity, discipline, perseverance and self-esteem, as well as develop teamwork skills, while strengthening school music programs and building parental support for them. At key points throughout the five weeks, students perform mini-concerts at their school sites for family and friends.
“We’ve dreamed for years about bringing hundreds of young children together to experience the joy of making music together in a large group,” says Pam Blaine, vice president of education and community outreach. ”By combining resources with these two great partners, we’re accomplishing that dream!”
The program includes an average of five hours of violin instruction per week via daily instruction provided by SAUSD music specialists at the elementary school sites. Each Thursday afternoon, all 150+ students are bused to one site to participate in a two-hour workshop with Symphony musicians (seven musicians per week) and rehearse as a full group. The experience culminates with the students providing pre-concert entertainment at the Symphony’s July 29 Target Symphony in the Cities concert at the Orange County Great Park at 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. with Symphony musician coaches performing along with the students. Students’ families and friends are provided transportation to the Great Park, so they may see their children perform and attend the concert with them.
“The students are getting a lot of power and strength from this program and they are learning how to work together as a team,” says Janet Schermer, SAUSD music teacher. “One of the girls had the most beautiful look of joy and pure happiness on her face as she read the notes and played the strings. I lost MY place because I was so happy to see her expression!”