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Final ode to Orchestra in Schools

Orchestra in Schools program ends after 14 years

Aram Bryan, with the Community School of the Arts, taught more than 700 students how to play the violin. In the end, they plucked the strings of her heart during the final concert. A new joint program with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will beg
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Aram Bryan, with the Community School of the Arts, taught more than 700 students how to play the violin. In the end, they plucked the strings of her heart during the final concert. A new joint program with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will beg

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.

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Orchestra program director Aram Bryan has taught every one of the more than 700 students in the program since it began. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ hiring of full-time orchestra instructors at two program sites eliminated the need for the program to continue. Molly Mathis mmathis@charlotteobserver.com

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.

Staff reports

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