Serenade for Strings

finale number of the concert
Photo by Jim Bishop

Between 80 and 90 students in the Shenandoah Valley Preparatory Music Program play variations on "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" for the finale number in a Suzuki violin group concert held Sunday, May 15, at Eastern Mennonite University. The program opened with several students performing advanced repertoire. As the concert progressed, the pieces became less advanced and more students were added, culminating with everyone playing the familiar tune.

The Preparatory Music Program, part of EMU’s music department, had 193 students enrolled the past year in the instrumental program alone. The program also includes the Shenandoah Valley Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings and Musikgarten classes for a total enrollment of 310 students. Private instrumental lessons and Musikgarten classes are offered throughout the summer months.

Through grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Arts Council of the Valley along with private donations, an "Outreach Program" has expanded into local schools, working with students who can’t afford lessons or instruments. In addition to fall and spring recitals, Preparatory Music students gave programs at the Massanutten Regional Library, the Harrisonburg Children’s Museum and the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.