Story last updated at 1/21/2009 - 11:45 am
JUNEAU - The months of practice are paying off for students in the Juneau String Ensembles.
Young musicians from elementary school through high school have been preparing since fall for their annual Chamber Music Night concert.
Juneau string students will give a free concert on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at Northern Light United Church. Most of the ensembles are directed by Guo Hua Xia and a Suzuki group will be led by Lisa Miles.
"I'm very happy to see the kids have pieces ready for the performance," Xia said. "It's very difficult in the beginning to get all the pieces ready.
About 30 students will pay in the Juneau String Ensembles' groups and quartets, and 25 Suzuki violin students will also perform.
The program will include Mozart's quartet K 156 performed by the Encore quartet; Beethoven's quartet No. 6 performed by Sixteen Strings; three violin pieces performed by Ursa Major; and five different styles of classical music played by the Aurora Strings group.
Three of the students in Ursa Major participated in the All-State Music Festival held in Anchorage in November and qualified to go to the Northwest Region Music Festival in Spokane, Wash, a biannual event for high school students. Only six people were chosen to attend from all of Alaska, so it was a great achievement for Juneau string musicians Franz Felkl, Lindsey Clark and Pauline Zheng to all be selected to attend.
"Usually we have one string player go to Northwest," Xia said. "I think this is the biggest number (ever selected from Juneau)."
Many of the students who begin playing with the Juneau String Ensembles go on to play to the Juneau Symphony while in high school.
Xia said he is proud of all the time his students have put into preparing for the concert.
"They work very hard," Xia said. "Kids are so busy and do some many things - academics, school (activities). (But) they still rehearse. They realize that music is a part of their lives. They are always coming to learn the music."
For more information, visit www.juneaustrings.org.