The sweet sounds of success filled the air as 700 middle school orchestra students practiced their music for the group solo festival called Stringathon. Founded in the late 1980’s as an elementary event, Thunder Ridge orchestra teacher Ellen Ravnan revamped it in 2000 for middle school students. Beginning with 150 middle schoolers, the event had to be split in two several years ago because one gym couldn’t hold so many musicians.
So Campus, Laredo and West middle schools held their Stringathon Feb. 10 at Smoky Hill High School, and Falcon Creek, Fox Ridge, Horizon, Liberty and Thunder Ridge middle schools held their Stringathon Feb. 26 at Thunder Ridge. You can listen in here!
“Stringathon uses a level-based system to inspire students to improve their playing,” said Laredo Middle School instrumental music teacher Chelsea Peele. “The repertoire we perform consists of 10 levels of music of increasing difficulty, and students are required to pass through the levels in order. Students then perform the levels they pass as a large, 300+ member group.”
The event helps students meet state and national performance standards.
“Each level introduces or refines a particular technical or music skill,” said founder Ravnan. “Because all are playing the melody, camaraderie develops, as friends are able to practice with each other more easily. New friendships emerge as like-minded students work together; older students mentor the younger students, discovering unexpected teaching talents.
Congratulations to all 700 Stringathon performers!
Posted March 3, 2014.