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Mentors support music

Dan Bischoff, Of the Record Staff

Ambitious musicians will now have another place to call home in Park City. The Park City and Summit County musicians have organized a community youth orchestra and choir project.

"This will serve to complement the wonderful work, which area public school and private music teachers are already doing for our local music students," said Eric Samuels, a founder of the project.

Interested parents, faculty and students are invited to a meeting Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Park City Academy. The youth choir and orchestra will be an extracurricular program, "requiring students to first be committed (wherever possible) to their school ensembles," Samuels said.

The program is being established because organizers observed a large demand for it.

"Thanks to the history of devoted and excellent teaching in our area, the organizers of this effort have noticed an increase in the numbers of gifted and enthusiastic young musicians," Samuels said. "Judging from the many requests from parents, there seems to be a growing interest on the part of students and their families to participate in this sort of community activity."

Samuels said there will be weekly large and small ensemble rehearsals led by experienced professionals that will prepare the students for quarterly public concerts. There will be work for smaller string, woodwind, brass, and vocal ensembles, in concert with pianists. Samuels said the orchestra and the choir will also offer more frequent performances for regional civic and church organizations.

"Private instrumental and vocal lessons, along with master classes will be available through the teaching staff," Samuels said. "Cultural field trips to some of the numerous local and Wasatch Front musical events will be arranged in coordination with the Parents Volunteer Guild."

Samuels hopes this will become an outlet for kids, similar to athletic clubs.

"Of course, it will always be a challenge to compete with activities such as the ski team, lacrosse, extreme soccer, recreational skiing, the swim team, etcetera," Samuels said. "However, perhaps those who were also given opportunities in music, theater, choir, musicals, sports, scouting, etcetera during their educational years might understand the advantage of blending a variety of activities to help enrich their children’s lives."

The Orchestra and Choir will be run by a local organization of parents, musicians, and teachers, according to Samuels.

Samuels said the artistic direction will be conducted by Eric and Alison Samuels who are directors of the Utah Music Festival.

"We have a combined history of close to 50 years as performers and music educators," Samuels said.

Samuels said they will also rely on staffing assistance from local music teachers, visiting music faculty and graduate students from the music programs of the University of Utah and BYU.

There will be an introductory meeting for those interested Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. at the Park City Academy. For more information, call 658-4943.


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