In 2006, when I first heard about the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra, something told me this would be a wonderful thing for my children, if I had any. At the time, I did not have any, but I had recently been married.
Our children before the first orchestra rehearsal of the school year
Fast forward a decade and our children auditioned successfully for the youth symphony. For four years, between 2016-2020, we drove to Knoxville every week for rehearsals and concerts at the Tennessee Theater. The children made progress slowly but surely, advancing through the orchestra levels. Continue reading »
We have come close to the middle of this school year. Week 18 will happen here in a couple of weeks. In the US, there are 36 school weeks, or 180 school days, in case you did not know that. So here we are, starting week 17 and looking back at week 16. What have we learned?
Before their concert at the Tennessee Theater in Knoxville
First of all, I have slowed down my Trello lesson planning. For those of you new to homeschooling and planning, this happens every year. Once you know what you are doing and what your daily goals are, you do not need to put it into writing anymore. Continue reading »
The night of the Gatlinburg wildfires, my children and I were in Knoxville for their last orchestra practice of the year. That was the night we picked up their orchestra portraits and some merchandise we had ordered: a car magnet for me, which says “Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras;” two mascot lamas, and sweatshirts with the orchestra logo and roster.
With everything going on since the fire, I have barely had time to enjoy these things or to blog about them. A life-changing event like a national disaster sure puts things into perspective. Nevertheless, as things begin to align toward a new normal, we have time and energy to feel the pride of having joined the youth orchestras this year. Continue reading »
My son (in red shirt) during his first practice with KSYO Preludium
This experience may be a tad more exciting for me than for them, although I can see they like playing in their groups. They made some friends over the summer during String Camp and they were excited to see them again now that they are in the orchestra together. Continue reading »
Last Sunday, we took our children to West Valley Middle School in Knoxville, where the Knoxville Symphony held auditions for their youth orchestra. They have six ensembles and our kids auditioned for the entry level orchestra called Preludium.
Our children at the Pearl Harbor Exhibit inside Ripley’s Aquarium
By Wednesday, I was getting really anxious to hear the results, even though their violin teacher, who is a concert master in Canada, assured me they would get accepted. The question was, also, how they would be placed, as they are two years apart in skills. I knew that KSYO might start another ensemble, for children whose skills are not yet at Preludium level, but nothing was certain. Continue reading »
Today was the day we had been looking forward to since the end of June. It was at the end of June my children attended String Camp in Knoxville, with the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. When we started camp, I did not think we would be interested in joining simply because of the drive.
Before the second day of String Camp last summer
But by the end of the week, we were hooked. My children were having fun in orchestra and even though I was exhausted I knew it would all be worth it. Plus, I was enjoying seeing they finally had some positive feelings about the violin. Making friends who also like violin helped a lot, I think. Continue reading »
My children attended String Camp for the first time this year. Organized by the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestras, this five-day camp happened at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville. About 256 string players showed up and they were organized in five orchestras according to their skills and experience.
On the last day of camp, they wore “concert attire” – as you can see, very relaxed atmosphere.
Since my children had no orchestra experience, they were placed in the entry-level orchestra called Prelude. Erin Archer is the conductor of Preludium, the equivalent of this entry-level for the regular youth orchestra, and so she directed Prelude during String Camp. They played Over the Rainbow and the main theme from Pirates of the Caribbean. The theme of the camp was “That’s Entertainment!” and so all the repertoire was from movies and musicals. Continue reading »