MASTA Grant Aids Rural Orchestra Program

By Joe Harmsen

Thanks to the generosity of MASTA through the Program Grant, the Escanaba Orchestra program was able to hire much-needed sectional and small ensemble coaches during the 2017-2018 school year. Escanaba is a small town in the Upper Peninsula with a population of just over 12,000 people. There are over 120 students in the Escanaba Orchestra program in grades six through twelve. The Escanaba school district is designated as a low-income and Title 1 school by the U.S. Department of Education.

Only a small handful of students receive regular private lessons, so most of the students’ musical learning and technical development occurs in Orchestra class. For these reasons, any extra help we can receive is highly effective and greatly appreciated. String coaches hired through this grant included our former orchestra director, a college music performance major, and a local private violin teacher. They worked with students in a sectional setting, as well as with small ensembles and individual students.

If you would like to find out more information about us, please visit our website at eskyorchestras.weebly.com. Thank you again to MASTA for aiding our program!

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