We’re halfway through our 2023-24 season and it’s time to check in with our four Pathway Musicians: Solanite (trumpet), Keziah (violin), Mariella (violin), and Luis (violin)!
So far, our new Pathway musicians are thriving. We introduced all four musicians earlier this fall when the program launched. This month we explore how their journey has progressed outside of rehearsal with their GTCYS orchestras!
The first performances of the season took our Pathway musicians to the renowned stage at Orchestra Hall and beyond, including community performances to bring holiday cheer to senior communities and shelters throughout December. Sharing their music with family, friends, and the larger community in the Twin Cities metro area was a special opportunity to reflect on how their music impacts others. Solanite shares, “The most memorable part of the season so far was performing at Union Gospel Mission. It was really meaningful to see that our music affected some of the people there and you could tell they really enjoyed it.”
Other Pathway musicians felt the Fall Festival performances at Orchestra Hall were their most memorable highlight. Keziah appreciated Fall Festival, stating “I enjoyed the performance because I like seeing the progress we made on our pieces. I also really enjoy listening to the more advanced students play. It is impressive to see other students my age playing with that level of talent and skill.” Luis felt similarly, especially the ability to see the other GTCYS orchestras perform: “ I liked the songs we performed and listening to the other orchestras keeps me motivated to keep practicing and growing my skills. I really liked being part of the concert overall.”
Pathway musicians improve their playing outside of orchestra rehearsals with private lessons support. They can focus on unique music that matches their interests, or work on specific skills on their instrument. Mariella shares, “My teacher has been teaching me about better bow techniques.” Luis is tackling a different technique, “A specific skill that I’m working on now is practicing on doing 2nd position on the violin.” Similarly, Keziah shares that he is also working to perfect the same technique, “I am mainly working on shifting. In my new solo piece I am working on, there is shifting. I am also practicing higher scales.” Mariella and Luis showed off their new skills at GTCYS’ private lessons recital at Neighborhood House in December!
Trumpet player Solanite, is hard at work as well! “We’re working on multiple tonguing for a solo and sight reading both jazz and classical music. We also have been playing out of popularly used trumpet books and studies.” Spending more time with their private teachers gives Pathway students the confidence to challenge themselves and bring improved skills back to their orchestra rehearsals and performances. Having the opportunity to receive individual attention and expertise from a professional allows their musical potential to soar!
Growing skills isn’t just about practicing on your own, but observing where music can lead. Pathway musicians are encouraged to attend local concerts and arts performances and support is provided to help them access these opportunities. Solanite shares, “I’ve loved the Minnesota Orchestra’s Orchestra Spotlight performance. It was really awesome seeing the brass being featured in multiple songs and hearing parts of the Carmen Suite being played live. I also went to see Sphinx Virtuosi at Ordway. I specifically loved a piece where all 18 string players played a piece with 18 different parts for each individual.” Mariella and Luis both raved about the energy and skill level they enjoyed at recent Sphinx Virtuosi concerts. Mariella expressed, “We went to a Sphinx concert at Ordway. Half of the players started singing! I was also impressed by the energy that they were playing with.” Luis agreed, “I really enjoyed when two of the players played a violoncello duet, the energy and skills on stage were like nothing I have ever experienced. I also loved seeing players from different ethnicities and the level of skills they have.”
We’re so proud of this year’s Pathway Musicians, the great work they are contributing to their orchestras, and the skills they are building with their private teachers. Attending local concerts featuring professional musicians helps them imagine what the future could hold as they progress along their musical journeys.
Thank you to our community of donors who make opportunities like this possible. Each Pathway Musician is paired with a mentor to help guide them through the rest of the season, stay tuned to hear more about it next time!