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Awesome After School Orchestra Needs Your Help

You guys all know my involvement in local classic music as a percussionist in the Central Oregon Symphony and the Cascade Winds Symphonic Band. I think music is a great thing for all kids to learn as it helps them with so many skills later in life (young musicians turn into smart people). With my daughter, niece and nephew all spending a couple years in this class (and loving it), this is near and dear to my heart.

The Awesome After School Orchestra (AASO) is a great program put on by the Central Oregon Symphony Association and Bend Parks and Recreation and is a great program to introduce your third, fourth, or fifth grade children to the wonderful world of music. The AASO is a long-running after-school program two days a week during the school year where your kid can be introduced to playing string instruments (violin, viola, cello or bass), reading music, and have a great time. There are classes held at both Bear Creek and High Lakes elementary (covering both sides of Bend), and performances will be held through the year. More detailed information can be found on this page of the BP&R guide (the single requisite page hosted here as the full guide is a big download and 90+ pages long).

The problem? The enrollment for the classes is much lower this year than in years past, and there's a chance that the classes could be dropped entirely if enrollment doesn't increase before classes start next week. The initial $250 cost is a bit much up front, but think about it: It's a school-year-long class. It equals out to about $5 per-lesson. Where else are you going to find something so beneficial to your child that will cost that little? You would need to rent an instrument (we have my daughter's through Just Joe's, but there are other providers in town, too), though there are some instruments available through Bear Creek's music program.

Seriously, it's a great program that some hard-working people created back in the day, and with the lack of real music education in our elementary schools (like many of us had when we were kids) , programs like this are sorely needed. I really don't want to see it die. Call the Central Oregon Symphony Association at 541.317.3941 (or email symphony {at} bendbroadband {dot} com) or you can sign up by calling Bend Parks and Rec at 541.389.7275 or register online here. Thanks for listening!

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(Full Disclosure: Obviously I am in the symphony, which helps fund the AASO, but my wife is on the CO Symphony's Education Board, which oversees the AASO and other education out-reach programs the symphony does.)

Posted by Jake on 09/23/10 @ 01:07 PM
Posted in Jake, Local, Sad | Permalink

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