Thursday, April 23, 2009

High school students to ascend Music Mountain

By Henry Moore - Register Citizen

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Torrington High School is sending a group of string musicians to Music Mountain in Falls Village on Monday to participate in a program of performance and instruction.

Torrington High School is sending a group of string musicians to Music Mountain on Monday to participate in a unique program of performance and instruction. Thirty-one students will be split into groups of five or six to receive advanced instruction from students of the Hartt Conservatory, as part of an expanded offering by the Falls Village venue.

“During the session, each teacher will focus on simple, but critical techniques for a particular instrument,” Carol Ascher, Music Mountain vice president, explained. “The April 27 class is for Torrington High students only, though we hope to expand the program in the future.”

Students that perform in the school musical program do receive training and are required to practice often, and many take private lessons to develop additional skills. Wayne Splettstoeszer, musical director at THS, plans to send a diverse sampling of his program to work with the Hartt students, with 15 violins, three violas, five cellos, and six bases planned for the seminar.

“In the past, Music Mountain has offered these master classes to students with serious backgrounds in their instruments,” Ascher said. “This is our first partnership with THS, and our first attempt to offer master classes to a group of students that will include a number who have never had a private lesson.”

Though many of the students have performed in a theater environment, Music Mountain will afford them the opportunity to experience the rich acoustics of the renowned hall. While no formal performance is planned for this first venture, future classes may conclude with a joint performance by the students and the instructors. The program was initiated by Music Mountain, and funded by the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut.

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