CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Middle school students from around the state had the opportunity to enjoy a concert from the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday and a select number joined in the concert.
The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History hosted the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Concert at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex.
The show opened with a side-by-side performance of the Star-Spangled Banner with select students from local Save The Music grantee schools. The program is sponsored by the recording industry’s Music Performance Trust Fund.
Those select students included Naomi Moccio, trumpet, Winfield Middle School; Joey Bacon, cello, Barboursville Middle School; Brody Hammers, viola, Barboursville Middle School; Sophia Giraldo, violin, Barboursville Middle School; and Michael Evans, clarinet, Horace Mann Middle School.
“Where a lot of states have decreased their arts in the schools because of challenges, we have excelled,” Randall Reid-Smith, West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator told MetroNews following the concert.
Reid-Smith spoke to the crowd along with special guests and speakers Dan Beck, trustee, Music Performance Trust Fund, and Henry Donahue, executive director, Save The Music.
“The Music Performance Trust Fund is pleased to support the Save The Music Foundation’s leadership in celebration of music education in West Virginia,” said Beck in a release. “We are excited to bring the musicians from the West Virginia Symphony to this wonderfully collaborative experience, and we salute the musicians and members of Local 136 of the American Federation of Musicians.”
One of the WV Symphony’s strongest initiatives, the Young People’s Concert Series reaches thousands of students annually, a release said. Students from schools and programs across the region and state are bussed in to enjoy these concerts.
“It’s inspiring. I thought it was great as they have the schools here, they announced where each kid was from and the crowd was going wild. They loved it,” Reid-Smith said of the impact of the performance on the students.