Fiddle Club 2017.
LAS teacher Jutta Massoud uses an Elmo Projector
thanks to a grant from the Livermore Rotary Club.
Fiddle Club is a program of the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association aimed at introducing elementary school children to playing the violin. The 2017 program was described in November 2016 at an assembly at Marylin Avenue Elementary School in Livermore; the lessons, to 4th graders, are in January and February this year.
Jutta Massoud introduces
Fiddle Club at a school assembly
in November 2016.
The students are given a violin, shoulder rest, and lesson book with practice CD for the two-month duration of Fiddle Club. As part of the program, the young fiddlers are also invited to attend a Livermore-Amador Symphony concert at the Bankhead Theater.
Fiddle Club is offered at no cost to the students, thanks to funding from grants.
We are happy that many Fiddle Club students choose Orchestra as their elective when they start middle school!
The 2016 program took place at Marylin Avenue Elementary during February and March. Jutta Massoud was the teacher, and Susan Ivie was the substitute teacher for the weekly lessons, which were limited to 22 students. Both Massoud and Ivie are LAS violinists.
In 2015, the program was offered in both Livermore and Dublin, California. Symphony players and Association board members Beth Wilson and Jutta Massoud introduced the 2015 program at a 5th grade assembly at Jackson Avenue Elementary School in Livermore. Although 32 students wanted to join, only the first 22 children to sign up could be accommodated. The weekly 45-minute after-school sessions ran for 8 weeks during January and February. Jutta Massoud was the teacher, with assistance from her teenage daughter Anya. Fiddle Club at Kolb Elementary School in Dublin ran during March and April 2015.
The 2017 program will be the sixth year of Fiddle Club—2 years at Junction, 2 at Jackson Avenue, and 2 at Marylin in Livermore, plus the 2015 club in Dublin. In past years we have worked with 5th graders, but in 2017, because the Livermore School District has re-introduced instrumental music into the elementary schools, we are working with 4th graders at the request of the administration. The schools are always thrilled that we are sharing the Fiddle Club with the students.
A child at the “instrument petting zoo” meets a violin
and is helped by LAS violinist Susan Ivie
after the 2015 family concert.
Each year the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association presents awards to graduating high school seniors to recognize students who have made significant contributions to school and community musical activities.
December 2016: The Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center hosted this second annual free family concert on December 3. Performers from Cantabella Children’s Chorus and Valley Dance Theatre were featured in addition to the Symphony. Following the performance an Instrument Petting Zoo offered audience members a chance to interact with the musicians and their instruments.
December 2015: Symphony Storytime and Surprises was the title of a family concert at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore sponsored by Shea Homes. Less than an hour long on the afternoon of December 5, 2015, and followed by an “instrument petting zoo,” the program included Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Waltz, “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Livermore Mayor John Marchand, and more. The Cantabella Children’s Chorus joined the orchestra for this performance. Tickets were required, but the concert was free. Read the concert program booklet, including lyrics from the sing-a-long which ended the show (968K pdf).
School Assemblies, November 2015
In “Peter and the Wolf,” which
instruments represent the wolf?
On November 5, 2015, Livermore-Amador Symphony Music Director Lara Webber conducted roughly 25 LAS musicians led by concertmaster Kristina Anderson at three Livermore elementary school assemblies. A highlight of the programs was the performance of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Livermore Mayor John Marchand. A total of more than a thousand students attended the assemblies at Arroyo Seco, Jackson Avenue, and Marylin Avenue Elementary Schools.
Since 1973, the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association has conducted an annual Competition for Young Musicians. The competition takes place in October and the winners perform as soloists with the Symphony at
its February concert and receive a monetary award.
Three school assemblies in March 2015, for 4th and 5th grade classes at Junction and Joe Michell schools in Livermore and 5th grade band students at Vintage Hills Elementary in Pleasanton, featured phenomenal flute player and April 2015 LAS soloist Annie Wu. A string quartet of LAS players accompanied Wu: Juliana Zolynas, Ursula Goldstein, Judy Beck, and Jim Aiken. Lara Webber conducted and served as MC. Beth Wilson had arranged for the programs.
At Vintage Hills Elementary School,
Annie Wu located a tile
she made in 2nd grade.
The musicians played selections from Devienne’s Concerto No. 7 in E minor, the instantly recognized “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” theme as arranged by Mozart, and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Wu also performed two short solos: Debussy’s “Syrinx” and a modern work by Greg Pattillo, “Three Beats for Beatbox Flute.” (See Wu’s YouTube channel for videos of several of her performances, including the beatbox number). The students were engaged throughout each assembly, but it was “Beatbox” that prompted the most attention. Wu obviously enjoyed playing for and interacting with the kids. Webber did a masterful job of involving the students—eager kids at each assembly raised their hands to share their knowledge and ask questions.
instrument zoo photo by Andrew Edwards of 4wrd Photography, 12/5/15
Nov. 2015 school assembly photos by Jacqueline McBride, 11/5/15
Youth Orchestra photo by Alan Frank, 8/8/15
Fiddle Club 2017 photo and Nov. 2016 and March 2015 school assembly photos by Beth Wilson, 2/2/17, 11/18/16, 3/19/15