AAO Community Projects -2020

The Ashtabula Area Orchestra Board of Directors is hard at work, planning for the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 Concert Seasons. Along with ongoing fundraising efforts, we are also working on outreach to the Ashtabula area, especially to our friends and neighbors in its more economically disadvantaged and distressed urban and rural neighborhoods. We are in the process of applying for grants to underwrite year-round free orchestra and orchestra-derived solo and ensemble performances at various venues in these areas.

Although we are in residence at Ashtabula’s Lakeside Performing Arts Center, The Ashtabula Area Orchestra here to share the joy of classical and orchestral music with the entire county… from the shores of Conneaut to farm lands of Windsor. If your church, school or community organization is interested in hosting our Orchestra for a concert – it helps if you have an indoor space large enough to hold a 35-55-piece musical ensemble, complete with timpanis , or an outdoor space with a large amphitheater – please let us know.

Supporting our county’s children participating in K-12 public and private school music programs is also a big part of our mission. With that in mind, our Education committee is searching for grants and individual and corporate donations to support our proposed Ashtabula Orchestra String Project. This project, initially, would be targeted at offering 20 – 30 Ashtabula City Schools string instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) students, grades 4-8, free, in-school or after-school, individual or small group lessons, taught by members of our Orchestra. Lessons would focus on improving technique and performance skills, reinforcing and supplementing lessons being taught by their outstanding teachers during regular classroom time. Our goal is to prepare string students to perform individually at the level at which they can be competitive in the annual Ohio Music Education Association District 5 Solo and Ensemble Contests. Over time, we hope to offer this program at the high school level, and have the ability to expand this program to other county school districts.

The second part of this project involves the establishment of an annual summer Ashtabula Orchestra String Boot Camp, in 2020 or 2021. This would be a 10-day intensive day-camp for string instrumentalists (beginning to intermediate level), aimed at improving technique and building a strong foundation.

Day-campers would receive private and group lessons, supervised daily practice, classes on fundamentals, scales, and etudes and take part in workshops on practice techniques. The week culminates in a solo recital program, demonstrating individual student progress and growth made during the camp.

As with the lesson program, initially, this program would target 20 – 30 string students, grades 4-8, with the idea of expanding it to grades 9 – 12, in the near future. The String Boot Camp would offer full scholarships to participating students from the Ashtabula City Schools, and students from outside the district meeting certain income levels. All students would require a letter of recommendation from one of their music teachers, in order to participate in the program.

Would you be interested in becoming a string instructor or volunteer with the Ashtabula Area Orchestra’s String Project? Message us through this website or on Facebook or Twitter… we look forward to hearing from you.

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