It’s been a busy few weeks in the music department since our last update. We had a few guests join us in our orchestras that I would love to thank! For the past few weeks violinist, Steve Rowe (IA Class of 2007) has delivered lessons to some of our violin and viola students. We have also been very fortunate to have two more Class of 2007 alumni join us to assist in our courses, Lauren Mitchell and Nyssa Rabinowitz. Lauren (former principal cellist) has been joining the String Orchestra class and assisting our cellists on technique and rehearsal methods. Nyssa Rabinowitz (violinist and former Concertmaster) has been hired as a graduate assistant for the school. Nyssa works with our viola and violin students in sectionals to help with their performance technique. We also had Dale Anderson, freelance bassist and string teacher from Detroit Public Schools, work with our Symphony musicians on the art of bass playing. We have also had trumpet teacher Ray Osset working with our brass sections in the bands. The choirs have been working with Casey Wooster from Michigan State University and reshaping the sound of the ensembles!

Every year we have unexpected highs and lows, but one that we all know is inevitable is the last day for seniors. The last day is filled with mixed feelings. For the past 4 years our senior musicians have been a stable fixture in our ensembles. As freshmen, they looked to the student leaders before them, and now, our younger students lean on them for musical stability. But it goes much further than mere stability and tradition. When ensembles make music together, they share a common bond through hard work and artistry. The seniors had over 20 performances together and countless hours of rehearsals. Some of our musicians will go on and continue to perform at the university level and deliver great performances for a lifetime, while others will no longer perform after graduating from IA. It’s bittersweet. We have made great music together and the Class of 2012 will be missed. Our hope as directors, parents, boosters and alumni is that they continue to love music and continue to be an active supporter of the arts communities where they end up.

On a personal note, I hope, that (at least once) after an IA musician graduates, they have a conversation that starts with the statement:
“I had an incredible musical experience in school. I remember this amazing performance we had when……..”

On behalf of the parents, Music Boosters, Mr. Ash and myself, congratulations class of 2012. Don’t be strangers.