When you play in an orchestra, you learn so much more than music. For Jayda Francis, GTCYS has been a home for her to grow as a leader and performer. Jayda transformed from her first, nervous audition, into playing confidently for others in the community. She shares what GTCYS has meant to her and the progress she’s made in music and life.
“I was very nervous to try out for GTCYS at first. I didn’t think that I had the skills to be in orchestra. I took a summer orchestra camp through GTCYS and it was the first time I had ever performed with my violin for a group,” Jayda says. “Although I didn’t want to go on the first day at camp, afterwards I couldn’t wait for the rest of the week!” Jayda’s great summer experience led her to audition for a school-year orchestra.
Now in Concertino East, Jayda is growing in leaps and bounds. “My favorite part is getting to play with other instruments. I can’t put it into words the feeling of hearing my instrument played with all the other instruments together. GTCYS has helped me grow as a musician by teaching me to listen to others and learn to play with them.”
This community has been even more important during COVID-19. Extensive health protocols have made it possible for orchestras to come together and make music when students need it the most. “It is really nice that we can meet in person even with COVID, because the sound of all the instruments together is such a big part of the orchestral experience. Even though I just have a small part, together the sound is so moving,” Jayda says. “It’s really fun getting to use my skills with other kids my age and to hear our progress.”
Jayda is taking her skills outside of GTCYS and into the community. Although GTCYS hasn’t been able to hold concerts, Jayda’s Concertino East rehearsals gave her the confidence to find an outlet to share her music. “After attending GTCYS for a few months, I felt more confident in my skills to play with others. I was also personally looking for a way to spread joy during the pandemic using my skills.” So this past holiday season, Jayda got a few friends together to rehearse and lead music for a service at her church. “I loved getting to play for others because it brings me joy to play for them, and it brings them joy in hearing it,” she says.
Emboldened by her own development, Jayda has advice for anyone who might find learning music difficult or intimidating. “I’d like to encourage anyone who would like to learn music or is at a hard point in their music to keep trying, because it will be worth it,” she says. “Music can be hard, but it can also be extremely fun. It has brought me so much joy and I can’t wait to see where it will take me!”
Students learn so much in an orchestra. They learn skills well beyond the notes on the page and can apply these skills to other areas in their lives, like Jayda does. Is there a young musician in your life who would benefit from GTCYS? Encourage them to register for an audition at gtcys.org/auditions for our 2021-22 season. We look forward to welcoming many new faces as we return to a more normal season next year.