After-School Strings Program students fill Overton with music

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fifty students filled Overton Elementary School with music recently as they showed what they’ve learned in the After-School Strings Program.
A joint project of the Rowan-Salisbury School System and the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society, the program provides a group learning experience for many young area musicians.
Classes at Granite Quarry, Landis and Overton Elementary schools serve students from elementary, middle and home schools in Rowan County.
On March 24, the three programs joined for a concert at Overton.
The audience filled the gym and overflowed into the cafeteria. The concert began with the 50 students performing “Take a Swing at This!” Each class then performed pieces ranging from fiddle tunes to classical selections. The concert ended with the entire group performing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Violinist Carrie Webster teaches the classes at Granite Quarry, assisted by professional musician Anne Cave, who provided piano accompaniment for the concert. At Landis, Salisbury Symphony violist Frank Albert teaches the classes, assisted by Sharon Gunther, music specialist at Landis and Millbridge. Gunther joined the cello section of the student orchestra. Overton students are instructed by Salisbury Symphony concertmaster Dan Skidmore, assisted by Karen Franks, choral director at West Rowan High School.
The Salisbury Symphony sponsored a food drive in March in conjunction with the League of American Orchestras and Feeding America (Second Harvest). Because the After-School Strings program is an important educational program of the Symphony, its musicians are helping out, too. People attending the After-School Strings concert brought non-perishable food items. This food will be distributed to organizations in Rowan County.