Truckee Youth Music Program a great success in 2015-16 | SierraSun.com

Truckee Youth Music Program a great success in 2015-16

Bonnie Dyer
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — On May 19, roughly 20 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders appeared on the Truckee Elementary stage to play musical solos and duets on the clarinet, flute, piano and violin.

These grade school pupils are participants in the Truckee Youth Music Program (TYMP), which pairs the young students with high school student teachers who share their knowledge and love of music.

This performance was the culmination of the year-long after-school program.

The students all stepped up to the microphone and confidently introduced themselves and their musical selection.

The tension was apparent as they positioned their instruments and concentrated on the sheet music in front of them.

As they started to play, I found myself sighing with relief and pleasure at the sounds created by the partnership between musician and instrument.

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If this sounds fanciful, well it is. That is what music is. A very wise man once said, "where words fail, music speaks." The music was wonderful and the applause well-earned.

Before the recital ended, the audience was treated to performances by the seven high school student teachers. These talented kids preformed longer and more complex pieces, showing off their musical skills and mastery of their instruments.

The grade-school students, still on stage, tapped their feet and nodded their heads to the beat of their mentors' music.

TYMP is funded from profits of the Lake Tahoe Music Festival's summer concert series. The program provides students with instruction, sheet music and musical instruments, including clarinet, flute, trumpet, violin and piano.

Truckee Elementary School teacher Christine Duner, who is assisted by Johan Sotelo, coordinates the program.

This year, Truckee High students Jack Keith, Vincenzo Pellegrino, Jessie Howard, JP Eikam, Anna Keith, Aidan Danagher and Casey Joby volunteered their time and talent to teach the younger students.

The two seniors in the group — Joby, who is planning to attend UC Davis, and Keith, who is off to Colorado State University next year — will receive scholarships from Lake Tahoe Music Festival in appreciation of the time and energy they have contributed to the program.

TYMP was started in 2003 by the Barcus family to supplement the lack of musical instruction in the school system.

In 2007, the family left the area and asked Lake Tahoe Music Festival to adopt the program.

Domenic Favero, the LTMF board liaison to the TYMP, says of the program, "the kids acquire a mind muscle discipline" identifying the note on the score, transferring this information to muscle, finding the key on the instrument and producing the musical sound.

Students participating in the recital this year were: Tru Mann, Destine Martinez, Gaby Nunez, Katia Islas, Sara Magana, Yiara Santos, Blake Jacobson, Mia Sanchez, Stephanie Guzman, Emily Diaz, Leonardo Vasquez, Aylin Parrazal, Valeria Ovalle, Jade Schram, Brittani Oregel, Valeria Olivares, Bryer Chalstrom, Sebastian Lee, Leilah Mead and Angel Villa.

Visit tahoemusic.org for tickets or to learn more about this summer's LTMF "Sunset Serenades" concerts, set for Aug. 16-21.

Bonnie Dyer is a board member for the Lake Tahoe Music Festival.