After a season of packed houses, world class guest artists and standing
ovations at the Porter Center, the Brevard Philharmonic boasts an ever
growing, supportive audience; however, as the music organization’s fund
drive goes into its second month, it has become clear that the work
the orchestra’s Music in the Schools outreach does for our county’s school
children is generating an especially enthusiastic level of giving.
On the 21st of March the Transylvania County Board of Education
voted unanimously to endorse the observance of March as Music in Our
Schools Month, following the lead of the National Association of Music
Education. Board member Betty Scruggs made the motion which was
seconded by board member Marty Griffin. With this resolution, our school
system rededicated itself to a music education program that will, “…reach
and positively influence each child.” The Brevard Philharmonic was
lauded before the motion was made as one of the community
organizations that plays a vital role in moving the school system
toward its goal.
Every year, Aleta Tisdale, current chair of the Philharmonic’s Music in the
Schools outreach, coordinates setting up volunteers and live performances
of professional musicians in the elementary schools. This past year all
kindergartners had a “Meet the Orchestra” encounter where they could see
and touch the instruments of the 4 instrument families. All first graders
enjoyed Camerata Antiqua, five musicians playing ancient woodwinds
wearing Renaissance era costumes. All second graders were bussed to the
Porter Center where the Brevard College Percussion Ensemble led by the
head of the percussion department introduces them to the world of
percussion instruments. All fourth graders were entranced by the Pyramid
Brass Quintet and all third graders wrote their own music that was
performed on the spot for them by the Opal Strings Quartet.
The program culminates each year when every 5th grader in the county
Is bussed to the Porter Center at Brevard College to experience the
Brevard Philharmonic’s live performance of Tchaikovsky's Peter and the
Finally, with the goal of making sure every student in our system who wants
to play can have access to an instrument, the Philharmonic started its
Donate Your Instrument Program, or DYI.
DYI accepts contributions of both instruments and money to get them in
playing condition. So far this year they have distributed violins, violas,
flutes, clarinets, trumpets and a snare drum to aspiring musicians in both
Brevard and Rosman middle and high schools. The goal is to grow the
program so that more instruments can be donated to more students
wherever there is need.
“We knew we had struck a chord with the community when we got a call
from the United Universalist Church men’s group, wanting to give to
our Donate your Instrument Program,” said Tisdale. “They
presented us with a check for an unbelieveable $581.” The donation was in
memory of one of their former members, Arnold Braun, a music lover
and avid supporter of music in education.
“If music is a part of a child’s education it can have a lasting impact on the
quality of his or her life,” said Tisdale. “I met a young woman at the
intermission of the last Philharmonic concert. She had been in the Rosman
marching band, and today she is a history major at Appalachian State. She
told me the story of a musician who had come into her 5th grade class
room and played the french horn. ‘Something just happened to me,’ she
told me. ‘I knew that I had to play the French horn.’ Today she credits that
single school exposure to her love for classical music and how it enriches
her life. This is why we do what we do,” said Tisdale.
To donate money or your own musical instrument, call the Philharmonic
office at 828-884- 4221, or drop it off at the DYI table at the Philharmonic’s
John Williams Extravaganza pops concert on May 6th at the Porter Center.