First United Methodist Church - 707 Sassafras Street,,
The Erie Chamber Orchestra's Educational Outreach Programs have reached over 300 children in two months, setting an incredible precedent for our new era under Maestro Matthew Kraemer. From outreach visits to petting zoo's and instrument donations, the ECO has been working around the clock to ensure that the underserved youth of Erie have the same musical opportunities offered to everyone else. In order for the ECO to continue offering these educational and sometimes life-changing experiences, we need support from a dedicated patron such as yourself. If you're interested in becoming one of our first Educational Outreach Sponsors, please send a donation to:Erie Chamber Orchestra109 University SquareErie, PA 16541
Imagine being eight years old. The only way you can ever hear music of any genre is on your iPod. Then one day, a piano soloist visits your classroom, and for the first time in your life you hear live classical music. A few weeks later, you visit the local library, and after hearing another short live performance (only the second in your life), you have the opportunity to actually play a violin and a cello. Finally, you get to attend a free concert in beautiful church, hearing for the first time the four most important notes in all of the classical music; the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Help us share this dream with every young child in Erie!
Ms. Finch presented six individual classes for over 400 students at Harding Elementary School. Our day began around 7:30am, and we finally packed up the vans around noon. Each class featured detailed descriptions on the inner workings of the harp as well as musical discussions on how sound is created. A few musical guessing games were played, and each program ended with a few minutes of delightful question and answers as well as a "Petting Zoo" activity.
Later that day, from 2:15 to 3 pm, Ms. Finch presented a school-wide music assembly at Westlake Middle School. Playing music both ancient and contemporary, Kristina captivated an audience of over 625 middle school students while demonstrating both her artistic excellency and youthful nature.
We are honored to be able to present these classes free of charge, and we are equally anxious to get back out there and do it again. Stay tuned!
Guest Artist Adé Williams performs for local middle school students
January 17th - Westlake Middle School
Violinist Adé Williams gave a 45 minute long masterclass for over 30 excited middle school students at Westlake Middle School last month. Adé demonstrated her incredible violin technique to the delight of the students, and even welcomed 6 of them up on stage to take part in her class.
Following her performance, Ms. Williams took the time to answer 20-30 questions written by each of the students during the week leading up to her visit.
The ECO is again honored to offer such events as this completely free to the public, and we are extremely thankful to Carrie Borland for helping to arrange this visit.
Click here for a video from the performance as covered by Fox 66 News.
Keep checking back here to our Education Page to see what happens next!
Our first Petting Zoo was a huge success
On a cold, rainy Saturday morning, 4 musicians from the Erie Chamber Orchestra and myself sat patiently in the Storytime Theatre at the Blasco Library, waiting for an audience to show up.With the combination of heavy winds and rain, we were nervous that we might have to potentially postpone our petting zoo. But, to our delight, 1 child trepidatiously slowly walked into the theatre. Another followed suit quite quickly, and before we knew it, there were over 40 people packed into the seats in the rather intimate room. With a few opening remarks from our concertmaster, Howard Lyon, we were off and running. A short educational concert, featuring individual and ensemble playing, was followed by an incredible 45 minutes of hands-on learning. The concert itself featured fantastic playing by all members of the Erie Chamber Orchestra. Howard Lyon and Lou Nicolia demonstrated the violin, showing its versatility and ability to play both melody and harmony. Our principal viola, Jennifer Jansen, performed a portion of Ashokan Farewell to demonstrate the instrument's beautiful, lush sound. Ruth Ann Scanzillo concluded the program with an engaging demonstration on the cello, truly captivating all ages within our audience. The program concluded with 2 pieces featuring the entire quartet.
Following this, the hands-on activities started. Our 4 musicians spread out across the room, offering individual stations for everyone to try out a multitude of instruments. Howard set up his area with a music stand and a wine glass. He worked with the students, showing them how bowing anything can create a plethora of sounds. By bowing faster or slower, the children were able to create higher and lower pitches on both the glass and music stand.
From here, the kids could move to either Jen or Lou's station. Here they had a chance to use the bow technique they learned from Howard and actually apply it to a real instrument. Both Jen and Lou had violins of different sizes to help accommodate the various age groups represented. A few of these images are incredibly heart-warming.
The final station featured Ruth Ann and her cello. Students were able to sit in a chair and learn the proper technique involved in holding a cello. She then worked with them on how to use their fingers, hands and arms to create a sound and helped them learn how to hold the bow correctly. Following Ruth's station, the students were free to try any of the instruments again. Being able to witness this in person was truly a magnificent experience!
Following the success of this event, we will be both returning to the Blasco Library for another demonstration as well as going on tour to the various branches of the library across the county. We hope to see you at one of these events soon. Check our website and facebook page for details of all coming events!
Eugenio Urrutia-Borlando - Emerson-Gridley Elementary School
Eugenio Urrutia-Borlando - Pfeiffer-Burleigh Elementary School
Joseph Gaines - Fort Le Boeuf High School
Matthew Kraemer - Fort Le Boeuf High School
Matthew Kraemer - Collegiate Academy
Matthew Kraemer - McDowell High School
Adé Williams - Westlake Middle School
Kristina Finch - Harding Elementary School
Kristina Finch - Westlake Middle School
String Family Petting Zoo II
String Family Petting Zoo
Piano donation to Pfeiffer-Burleigh
109 University Square • Erie, Pennsylvania 16541-00011-800 GANNON-U (1-800-426-6668) or 814-871-7000