Community string orchestra seeking members | News, Sports, Jobs

KEENE VALLEY — The Community String Orchestra of the Adirondacks is something that happened because professional cellist Esther Rogers Baker saw a void.

“We met in 2017 for a sort of three-session trial to see if people would be interested,” said the conductor and resident of Keene Valley.

“Where it all started was I’m a cellist and a lot of people would come up to me and be like, ‘Oh, I wish my kid could play in an orchestra, but there’s no strings to school” or “I play the violin”. but I don’t play with anyone. I just started to think that there are a lot of string players who are not connected in any way or who have very limited opportunities .

Flow configuration

After the first meeting, the high level of interest prompted the official creation of the CSOA in the fall of 2017.

The orchestra has 20 to 30 musicians.

“Last summer, I think we were closer to 40,” said Baker.

“It really depends on each session. Sometimes we are closer to certain players. We’re still bringing those numbers right now to see what it’s going to look like. »

Baker has many specific goals for the orchestra.

“The most important thing is just to give people the opportunity to play, from absolute beginner kids to advanced players, to adult beginners, and to bring this community together for people who don’t have the opportunity,” she says.

There is no school ropes program in Adirondack Park.

“So there’s a great need for that in our area, and even outside of the Adirondacks, a lot of the surrounding schools don’t have ropes,” she says.

“A few do, Peru and Plattsburgh. I think Moriah does, but none in the park.

Stretching comfort zones

Musicians are introduced to repertoire that they may not have had the opportunity to play or to different styles that they may not have played before.

“To fill the generational gaps because it is open to all ages”, said Rogers.

“We had as young as, I think, 6 years old all the way up to 80 plus. Our current oldest member could be 85 years old.

“So it’s just a real spectrum of people to really create a community that we do something together, regardless of our background or our politics or whatever.”

CSOA is open to anyone who wants to participate and create.

“A really meaningful group that makes music together and experiences things together” she says.

“One of the things that happened was that with this multi-generational, multi-skilled level, people were really encouraged to keep going.

“Whether it’s a kid being told by an adult, ‘Wow, that sounds good.’ Or an adult just starting out with other adults that they didn’t know would one day be able to play in an orchestra and have that first experience, so it’s a really positive group.

Strong CSOA

When all the arts collapsed, CSOA did not waver during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has remained financially stable, having more attendees than ever for his outdoor session last summer.

“The orchestra is becoming an important part of the Adirondack arts scene as it focuses on the community of musicians who live here year-round; the string players who live and grow up here,” she says.

“Music is meant to be shared as an act of community.”

The next CSOA session will be May 5 at 4:30 p.m. at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, 17 Algonquin Dr., Lake Placid.

“Everyone is welcome, regardless of age or experience,” said Baker.

“We will be rehearsing Thursdays at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in May and June.”

CSOA will have a concert and fundraising sale at the end of June to be determined.

“Where people can donate music and used instruments which we will then resell as a fundraiser”, said Baker.

“I’m really excited that we’re meeting at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. This is the first time they’ve hosted us outside of our kind of tryout. I really think places like LPCA should support the community groups and provide that connection to community members.

“I’m really excited that they’re hosting us this year, and I hope more arts organizations will support community things as well as the professional groups they bring in and that kind of thing. I think that’s a very important part of keeping the arts alive.

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