HISD Students Play Alongside Top Musicians

Houston Symphony members, creator of Trans-Siberian Orchestra visit two campuses

May 21, 2012

Students at HISD are getting the opportunity to fine-tune their musical skills with some very accomplished musicians.

Music Teacher
Dawn Holmes, Administrator of Fine Arts at West Briar, said the students got useful feedback about music as a career.

On Monday, three members of the Houston Symphony accompanied students at West Briar Middle School. The symphony members held a brief presentation in the school’s auditorium and followed up with one-on-one class instruction to Advanced Orchestra and Beginning Band students and other invited students in grades 6-8. HISD District Trustee VI Greg Meyers delivered remarks following the event.

Dawn Holmes, Administrator of Fine Arts at West Briar, said the students got useful feedback about music as a career, which is important because many of them want to pursue music professionally.

"(Our students) are very dedicated. They’ve been doing this since elementary school. To be able to see someone who has dedicated their life to music and who has a real general love for music ... is a valuable lesson for them," Holmes said. "As I walk through the rooms and hear them playing along with the musician, they really respect them."

Click the image above to see photos of students at Chavez and Marshall playing with top musicians from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Two other campuses had big days in musical instruction as well. On Thursday, Chavez High School hosted a workshop by international recording artist, electric violinist and music education advocate Mark Wood. Wood is the creator of the musical group, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Electrify Your Strings (EYS), a music educational phenomenon that fires up students, teachers, and local communities with a high-voltage dose of energy and much-needed funding into a school’s music education program. Wood guided students through exercises in bowing technique, performed with the students, and expanded their improvisational skills

On Tuesday, Wood hosted a clinic at Marshall Middle School for 150 orchestra students. Wood will host a concert with 1,200 students from across the district on Wednesday , which will feature student soloists.