Photo courtesy of Skye Chapman

I moved to Dripping Springs the summer before I started second grade.  I was initially disappointed to hear that there was not an orchestra program in the middle or high school, as I had already been playing the violin for about 2 years.  By the time I got to middle school, there was still no sign of an orchestra starting.  

I remember kids being attracted to the band program, as they wanted to learn instruments, but my passion was still in pursuing the violin.  An orchestra club started after school that I immediately joined.  A small part of my dream was coming true.  We met once a week and worked on chamber music.  This was beneficial in preparing me for any future orchestra settings, as it brought teamwork, commitment, a sense of passion, and confidence.  I have been a part of this club now for 4 years and it has molded me into becoming a better musician.  But it is time to create something bigger and better- a real orchestra program.  Meeting once a week is not sufficient.  It takes time, effort, and practice outside of school to make a difference in one’s playing. Students from other schools have the opportunity to practice during school every day, making it unfair when competing against them at events such as region orchestra auditions.  I want others to be able to learn a string instrument, experience a transformation, and truly grow as a string player.

Music is a passion that can only be filled if it is pursued.  A string program that is a part of the school system will be inviting to students that have busy schedules, as they won’t have to come after school or during tutorials.  The class period will provide ample time to rehearse chamber music and practice individual music- such as audition or recital pieces.  An orchestra program would expand the school culturally, as it adds another dimension of string instruments and classical music that many people are interested in. An orchestra program being incorporated into school schedules would improve the fine arts academy and would finally make my dream come true.

Skye Chapman, contributing writer