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ESO musicians give D300 students lesson on harmonious ‘families’

ElgSymphony OrchestrApollo Trio musicians include Scott Metlick(right) woodwinds Kathryn Siegel strings Mark Fry (middle) brass. They played for School District

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Apollo Trio musicians include Scott Metlicka (right) on woodwinds, Kathryn Siegel on strings and Mark Fry (middle) on brass. They played for School District 300 students this week.

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Updated: February 25, 2013 12:06PM

CARPENTERSVILLE — Since fifth-grade students in District 300 have the opportunity to join band and orchestra, in a few short months hundreds of them will get to decide whether to pursue playing a musical instrument.

To make that decision easier, fourth-graders were invited to Dundee-Crown High School this week, where members of Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s Apollo Trio introduced them to three of the instrument families within a symphony orchestra: strings, woodwinds and brass.

The program was made possible through a partnership between the D300 Foundation for Educational Excellence and Target.

Each of the Apollo Trio musicians — who include Scott Metlicka on woodwinds, Kathryn Siegel on strings and Mark Fry on brass — performed on the various instruments within each family to demonstrate the similarities and differences between them.

“We are so blessed to have this local top-notch symphony in our backyard,” said Jennifer Troy, a member of the Fine Arts Department at Dundee-Crown High School, to the fourth-graders Tuesday. “They used to be students like you making these important decisions.”

The students were so entertained once the musicians began to play that they began clapping to the beat during the songs, especially while Siegel played the fiddle during “Orange Blossom Special.”

“My kids call it ‘the fast song,’ ” she told them.

School officials said the event was meant to inspire the district’s young future musicians.

“We hope that this will give students another experience with learning about some of the instruments that they will get an opportunity to learn at their school, beginning in their fifth-grade year,” said Beth Wood, Carpentersville Middle School orchestra teacher.

Played ‘like family’

Fourth-grader Jesse Garcia enjoyed the program. He said his older brother plays the saxophone.

“He plays at home, and I hear him and it sounds nice and gives me inspiration,” he said. “I want to try out the trumpet.”

Jesse lauded the Apollo Trio’s performances.

“They were good because sometimes when you have a band it’s hard for them to stay together on the notes, but these guys stayed together, almost like they were a family,” he said.

Fourth-grader Naomi Pootibarra would like to eventually begin playing the viola.

“I like the sound of them,” she said.

She also enjoyed listening to the Apollo Trio.

“I was really inspired by them,” she said.

The Apollo Trio members enjoy introducing their instruments to area students.

“It’s nice to hear their excitement,” Siegel said.

The Elgin Symphony Orchestra offers several educational programs for young and old.

“To serve the community is a pretty important part of our mission,” Fry said.

Wood said many studies have proven how involvement in music carries over into every part of a student’s life and academic successes.

“The Elgin Symphony Orchestra provides outstanding experiences through their programs,” she said.

The D300 Foundation’s mission is to enhance and extend learning opportunities in all District 300 schools.

The foundation focuses on four areas of impact: literacy, performing and fine arts, science and technology and student leadership. Money for the foundation is raised through corporate partnerships, private donations and foundation events.

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