Students in the Orchestra in Schools program at Community School of the Arts perform in the program’s final concert Tuesday at Winterfield Elementary School.
The free strings instrument program was offered at Title 1 at-risk elementary schools for about 60 students in grades 3-5 every year since 2003. But Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ hiring of full-time orchestra instructors at two program sites eliminated the need for the program to continue.
The program started after CMS eliminated instrumental music from the elementary school curriculum. Students received a loaner violin, took classes twice a week before school and preformed two concerts a year.
In 2012, the program expanded to provide free private lessons and a chamber music ensemble class for some of the program’s graduates. The program reached more than 700 students since 2003.