Huntsville Youth Orchestra provides positive environment for local children
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 23:10
The Huntsville Youth Orchestra is a community children's orchestra for children ages 7-18, organized to provide children who want to play string instruments a place to learn and perform. The Huntsville Youth Orchestra gives the youth of Huntsville a positive place to focus their energies.
The children have the opportunity to gain and utilize skills on the standard string instruments violin, viola, cello or bass, in a group setting. The organization has its roots in 1986 and has been serving the community by molding musically talented youth since the days it began.
HYO is sponsored in part by the Huntsville Arts Commission and contracts with Sam Houston State University students and faculty for conductors, instructors, and facilities. The organization uses the SHSU School of Music facilities to practice every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. for beginner players and 6:30 p.m. for advanced players.
The most advanced group consists of nine to ten young musicians, but the total HYO enrollment is 45. The beginner and intermediate groups are trained and groomed to enhance their musical abilities to one day move on to the advanced group.
Students who have never played a string instrument are still welcome to come and learn with the Huntsville Youth Orchestra. HYO offers a beginning strings class known as Huntsville Strings Unlimited. This class has twelve rehearsals and one recital per semester and is geared towards the beginning student with the intent that they should eventually perform with HYO.
“My older brother and sister started playing in [HYO] at the ages of 8 and 10. My parents wanted me to follow in their footsteps and as soon as I was old enough to join I did,” HYO viola player Grant Means said.
The parents, members, and instructors have a strong desire to see HYO continue to provide training, music education, and entertainment for the Huntsville area.
“I have two violinists, one cello player, and one viola player.” HYO Parent Board member Lynise Means said speaking of her children involved in the Huntsville Youth Orchestra, “I really had an interest in my kids learning to play string instruments.”
This wasn’t a problem for her son Grant.
“I’m homeschooled, so for me HYO is a good way to make friends,” Grant Means said.
Registration is $60 per semester. Second players from the same family are discounted to $40 and any students beyond that are free. First time students in the fall of 2012 are charged $30 for the first semester. All students associated with the Huntsville Youth Orchestra must provide their own instruments and take private classes, however private lessons are offered to them by SHSU students for $10 a week.
The group’s next performance will be Nov. 27 in the PAC. It will be open to the public and free of charge.
For more information on the Huntsville Youth Orchestra visit huntsvilleyouthorchestra.com.